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Archive for September 12th, 2019

Ohio State offensive line answering the skeptics with back-to-back champions performances against FAU & UC

Offensive center Josh Myers told the media after the UC game, the line is starting to jell and know its assignments better (megasportsnews.com photo)

JOSH MYERS PRESS CONFERENCE AFTER CINCINNATI GAME

Josh Myers OSU Offensive Center On OL Dobbins and Fields 9 7 2019

 

ADDITIONAL INFO

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For Starters, A Terrific Start for the Offensive Line

All five – including four who were not starters for Ohio State last year – are back-to-back champions

COLUMBUS, Ohio Ohio State wasn’t even close to being on any top 10 or 25 list of teams returning the most experience along the offensive line entering this season. Buckeye offensive linemen had just 22 combined starts, a number that jumped to 38 with the arrival of Jonah Jackson, a 16-game starter the past two seasons at Rutgers before graduating and transferring to Ohio State this summer.

 

The top teams in the nation in terms of returning starters along the offensive line had cumulative starts totaling in the hundreds. Oregon far and away led with 153 starts along the line with five other teams boasting more than 100: Iowa State (114), Michigan State (113), Boise State (107), Auburn (104) and Marshall (103).

 

Ohio State’s low numbers weren’t just reflected in starts, but also in bodies. The Buckeyes had to replace four starters along the line, three of whom were multi-year starters and are now in the NFL: Michael Jordan is starting for the Cincinnati Bengals and Isaiah Prince and Demetrius Knox are with the Miami Dolphins and Seattle Seahawks, respectively.

 

Fourth-year Ohio State offensive line coach Greg Studrawa knows a thing or two about offensive linemen because he’s coached a few in a career that includes 21 years as an o-line coach and an All-American in three consecutive years at Ohio State.

 

“Stud” worked his players through the 15 practices this spring and 25 more this fall before selecting a unit that, so far, has been very good. How good? All five starters have earned team “champion” honors for outstanding play in each of the first two games of the season. The line features:

 

§  LT Thayer Munford (from Cincinnati), a true junior who was a 12-game starter as a sophomore in 2017;

§  LG Jonah Jackson (Media, Pa.), the 16-game Rutgers transfer who has honorable mention all-Big Ten in 2018;

§  C Josh Myers (Miamisburg, Ohio), a third-year sophomore who had played 57 snaps on offense last season at an Ohio State position that has produced back-to-back Rimington Trophy winners in Pat Elflein (2016) and Billy Price (2017) and three consecutive All-Americans;

§  RG Wyatt Davis (Bellflower, Calif.), another third-year sophomore who started twice last year – against Northwestern in the Big Ten title game and vs. Washington in the Rose Bowl – after Knox was injured; and

§  RT Brandon Bowen (Draper, Utah), a fifth-year senior who started the first six games of the 2017 season but then was injured, missed all of 2018 and has worked his way back long and hard to be a major part of the action once again.

 

These five lineman have a collective per game grade of 82 percent with 37 combined knockdown blocks. Jackson leads with 12 knockdowns, including nine in the opener vs. Florida Atlantic.

 

Not a bad start for the new unit.

 

Behind the starters is a corps of five more who worked hard this fall and, in some cases, came close to earning the starting nod. There’s fifth-year senior LT Joshua Alabi, junior RG Gavin Cupp, who had a terrific spring and fall, and three freshmen: red-shirts at LG, Matthew Jones, and RT, Nicholas Petit-Frere, and true freshman C Harry Miller.

 

That’s depth. And that’s depth for the long haul.

 

#GoBucks

 

THE PEOPLE. THE TRADITION. THE EXCELLENCE.

 

FEATURE STORY WRITTEN BY Jerry Emig & Mike Basford; COURTESY OSU ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

 

Sports Spotlight: Jeffrey Okudah loves new OSU defense; allows players to play comfortable

JEFFREY OKUDAH POSTGAME MEDIA GATHERING FOLLOWING CINCINNATI GAME

Jeffrey Okudah OSU DB Postgame Cincinnati Game 9 7 2019

 

Jeffrey Okudah OSU DB talks highly of new defense with the media after Saturday's game (megasportsnews.com photo)

Last year’s Ohio State defense was the worst in school history all across the board. But just like new co-defensive coordinator Gregg Mattison has said in news conferences, “They were still 13-1, won the Big Ten East Division, won the Big Ten title and won the Rose Bowl. So they must’ve been good enough to make plays when they needed them.”

After last season with graduation and defections to the NFL, fans were wondering if more of the same was in store for 2019.

When you look on paper, the Buckeyes still have a great core of players on defense led by DE Chase Young, NT Robert Landers, DT Davon Hamilton, LB Malik Harrison, FS Jordan Fuller, CB Damon Arnette Jr. and Jeffrey Okudah.

The new defense seems to be working under Mattison and Jeff Hafley, the other defensive coordinator.

Okudah, who most scouts, broadcasters and media think will be the next Buckeyes DB going to the NFL, has a goal to be one of college football’s top cornerbacks in 2019.

The 6’1, 200 pound, junior from Grand Prairie, Texas, a suburb of Arlington, says that this new defense allows plays to flow comfortable and make plays to the football.

Saturday in its 42-0 win at over over the Cincinnati Bearcats, the defense showed that comfortable, attacking style to the ball, by forcing two turnovers inside its 5-yard line, one stopping a touchdown. The entire unit looks like they have been reborn.

Okudah in the UC game had 4 tackles, 3 solo. He and the rest of the defensive backfield kept the Cincinnati wide receivers in check all day. Although, sophomore wide receiver Alec Pierce was able to shake loose for 93 yards on 4 catches. And the team’s best target, Josiah Deguara, was held to 3 catches for 46 yards. He is usually counted on for more yards and catches in a game.


What’s Happening this week in NFL100, Week 2

NFL “100 GREATEST” SERIES DEBUTS ON FRIDAY, MORE LOCAL FAN CELEBRATIONS

NEW YORK, NY – The National Football League is continuing its centennial celebration with local team Fantennial Weekends, the opening of a centennial exhibit in New York City’s Paley Center for Media, and the premiere of the “NFL 100 Greatest” series on NFL Network.

This Week in NFL100: September 9-15

Friday, September 13

  • “NFL 100 Greatest” series premieres on NFL Network at 8:00pm ET, beginning with Parts 1 & 2 of “100 Greatest Plays.” NFL Films will count down numbers 100 through 31 of the greatest plays in NFL history with Legends, coaches and current players sharing what made each moment one for the ages.
  • New York Giants Fantennial: Kickoff party starting at 6:30pm ET at MetLife Stadium with players also hosting dinner for 500 local high school players and coaches. Event is open to the public.
  • Pittsburgh Steelers Fantennial: Football game and pep rally at Blackhawk High School stadium featuring Steeler Legends.
  • Tennessee Titans Fantennial: Friday Night Lights football game at Ensworth High School with players and coaching staff onsite at 8pm CT, Legends to take part in coin toss.

Saturday, September 14

  • The Paley Center for Media in New York City opens “A Century of Football: Celebrating the NFL’s 100th Season,” an expansive exhibit marking the NFL’s centennial season. The exhibit, which is free to the public and runs through October 27, will feature screenings, experiences and memorabilia, including all 53 Super Bowl rings, the Vince Lombardi trophy and items from the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
  • New York Giants Fantennial: MetLife Stadium hosts three high school football games: St. Anthony’s (visitor) vs Delbarton (home) at 11am ET, Iona Prep (visitor) vs Pope John XXIII (home) at 2pm ET, and Cardinal Hayes (visitor) vs St. Joseph’s (home) at 5pm ET. The Giants will have Legends present at this event.
  • Pittsburgh Steelers Fantennial: Team hosts celebration for the public on Art Rooney Avenue at 2pm ET, including a Steelers car show, on-stage entertainment, photo ops, kid play area and Legend meet-and-greets.
  • Tennessee Titans Fantennial: Former Titans players visit Jim Warren Park at 10am CT for Super Bowl tickets giveaway, autograph signing, cheerleaders and drumline on-site.

Sunday, September 15

  • Greatest Moment in Team History: Giants, Steelers and Titans reveal the greatest moment in team history (as voted on by the fans) during Sunday’s game of their Fantennial Weekend.
  • New York Giants Fantennial: Giants Legends sign memorabilia at MetLife Stadium plaza with captains of the winning high school football teams standing with players during the pregame
  • Pittsburgh Steelers Fantennial: Recognition of high school football teams and Legends during pregame, coin toss, and various fan giveaways.
  • Tennessee Titans Fantennial: Pregame tailgate for Titans alumni and local high school football team.  Meet-and-greet with Eddie George as part of the Titans Experience of a Lifetime.
  • Peyton’s Places Episode 10, “Game Wreckers,” airs on ESPN+. Peyton Manning meets up with Texans All-Pro defensive end J.J. Watt, one of the game’s best defenders, to explore the level of physical toughness required to be successful on the field.

Looking Ahead: September 16-22

  • Fantennial Weekends hosted by several clubs:
    • The Los Angeles Chargers: Lawndale High School vs. Crenshaw High School game on September 20. Chargers fan fest at the Grove on September 21. 100th Celebration on September 22 highlighting the Chargers legacy.
    • Minnesota Vikings: Prep Spotlight game on September 20. Free facility tours, free admission to the Vikings Museum, and other activities on September 21. Legends Weekend and a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Vikings team on September 22.
    • Philadelphia Eagles: Friday Night Showdown featuring Radnor High School vs. Garnet Valley High School. Eagles Fantennial Festival on September 21 and Eagles Fantennial Game on September 22.
    • Seattle Seahawks: Bellevue vs. Garfield at Bellevue High School on September 20. Fantennial event with Seahawks Legends Meet & Greet on September 21. Super Bowl ticket giveaway winner announcement on September 22.
    • Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Bloomingdale vs. Plant High School on September 20. Biggest Beach Bash in the Tampa Bay area celebrating the NFL 100 on September 21. Ring of Honor pregame and halftime celebration on September 22.
  • September 17 – Club Huddle hosted by the Los Angeles Rams
  • September 18 – “A Lifetime of Sundays” at the Paley Center
  • September 20 – 100 Greatest Plays Part 3 at 8:00pm ET and Part 4 at 9:00pm ET
  • September 21 – Club Huddle hosted by the Minnesota Vikings as part of their Fantennial Weekend
  • September 22 – Club Huddle hosted by the Indianapolis Colts

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NFL COMMUNICATIONS; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

 

Kids can have a chance to win ultimate celebration of NFL’s 100th season in ‘Play 60′

KIDS CAN “PLAY 60″ FOR A CHANCE TO WIN THE ULTIMATE CELEBRATION OF THE NFL’S 100TH SEASON

Winner of NFL PLAY 60 Super Bowl Contest Presented by Danimals® Will Help ‘Kick Off’ Super Bowl LIV

The NFL PLAY 60 Super Bowl Contest presented by Danimals®, gives kids ages 6-12 the chance to win the ultimate Super Bowl LIV gameday experience and be named the official NFL PLAY 60 Super Kid. With a commitment to getting active for 60 minutes a day, the NFL PLAY 60 Super Kid will earn the opportunity to ‘kick off’ Super Bowl LIV and the ultimate celebration of the NFL’s 100​th season by handing the game ball to an official on the field at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida on Feb. 2, 2020.

Beginning today, Sept. 12, parents and legal guardians of kids ages 6 to 12 can submit a video of their child answering why they should be this year’s NFL PLAY 60 Super Kid at NFLRUSH.com/SuperKid.

The winner will receive a one-of-a-kind Super Bowl LIV gameday experience and will have the opportunity to participate in other exclusive Super Bowl week events, including: NFL Experience – the epicenter for fans in Miami during Super Bowl week, Super Bowl Opening Night Fueled by Gatorade and NFL Honors.

The 13th annual NFL PLAY 60 Super Bowl Contest presented by Danimals® is part of NFL PLAY 60, which encourages kids across the country to get active for 60 minutes a day.

For more information on the NFL PLAY 60 Super Bowl Contest presented by Danimals® or to enter the contest, visit NFLrush.com/SuperKid.  No purchase necessary to enter or win. Contest submission period ends on Oct. 23.  Kids can also get involved in NFL PLAY 60 in-school programming and learn ways to rally communities to get active and healthy at nfl.com/PLAY60.

#             #           #

About NFL PLAY 60:

NFL PLAY 60: NFL PLAY 60 is the League’s national youth health and wellness campaign to encourage kids to get physically active for at least 60 minutes a day. Since PLAY 60 launched in 2007, the NFL has committed more than $352 million to youth health and fitness through PLAY 60 programming, grants and media time for public service announcements. The NFL and its clubs have supported programs in over 73,000 schools and constructed more than 265 youth fitness zones nationwide—giving more than 38 million children an opportunity to boost their physical activity levels. Visit NFL.com/PLAY60 for more information.

About Danimals®:

Danimals® Kids’ Yogurt & Smoothies provide parents with easy, fun and nutritious choices that kids like. At Danimals®, we believe having fun should be the simplest thing in the world and giving your kids the products they love should be an easy choice. Danimals® is a good source of Calcium and Vitamin D, contains no artificial colors or flavors and no high fructose corn syrup and is a great tasting snack for kids. Danimals® Smoothies and nonfat yogurts are now Non-GMO Project verified! Danimals® can be found in the dairy aisle of food stores nationwide.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Jordyn White, NFL; COURTESY NFLmedia.com


NFL increases Partnership with East-West Shrine Game

 

 

Aims to Increase Development Opportunities for Coaches and Draft-Eligible Players

The NFL today announced several enhancements to its partnership with Shriners Hospitals for Children in preparation for the 2020 East-West Shrine Bowl All-Star Game. The strengthened initiatives are designed to continue growing the game through the development of personnel and increasing engagement with players through all levels of their athletic life cycle.

NFL clubs will continue to select deserving assistant coaches for the annual East-West Shrine Bowl for the opportunity to showcase their skills. At the end of the regular season, clubs nominate active assistant coaches to be reviewed by a panel of NFL Football Operations staff, East-West Shrine Bowl leadership and two members of the NFL’s General Managers Advisory Committee. The final two to be chosen as head coaches then select their 12-person staffs from among the other NFL assistant coaches nominated.

To further aid in the development of future coordinators and head coaches, these representatives will have the opportunity to participate in a panel session and learn from former NFL head coaches and general managers while in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Additionally, the NFL and East-West Shrine Bowl will partner on highlighting innovative concepts to further evolve the game.

“The NFL is pleased to enhance the East-West Shrine Bowl partnership because it is more than just about the game,” said TROY VINCENT, NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations and 2019 East-West Shrine Bowl Hall of Fame Inductee. “The entire experience reflects football’s range of values from developing players, coaches, officials, and football staff to serving the children and honoring the caregivers of Shriners Hospital.”

The East-West Shrine Bowl, formerly known as East-West Shrine Game, is the nation’s oldest all-star game for college seniors aspiring to play in the NFL. 77 Pro Football Hall of Famers have played in the East-West Shrine Bowl, and more than 300 past participants are on 2019 NFL Week 1 rosters.

“The relationship between the East-West Shrine Bowl and the NFL is key to the growth of our game, not only for the hundreds of student-athletes who move on to professional careers, but also to highlight the professional development for coaches, referees, and player personnel staff as they rise through the NFL ranks,” said BOB ROLLER, Executive Director of the East-West Shrine Bowl.

The league will continue to provide game officials and football operations internship opportunities during the week leading up to the East-West Shrine Bowl game. NFL Legends captains will again serve as mentors for players throughout the week and be present on the sidelines on gameday.

The 95th annual East-West Shrine Bowl, which features some of college football’s best prospects, will kick off at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, January 18, in St. Petersburg, Florida and be televised live on NFL Network.

Since 1925, the East-West Shrine Bowl has benefited Shriners Hospitals for Children and its mission to provide advanced care for children with specialized medical needs. Locations in the United States, Canada and Mexico provide advanced care for children with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate, regardless of the family’s ability to pay.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Taylor Kielpinski-Rogers, NFL; Mel Bower, East-West Shrine Bowl; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

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