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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Ohio State
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  04/02/20 - Justin FieldsJr/2022, Ohio State, 6-2, 223 (DS#2 QB) + More +

  Quarterbacks always rocket to the top of the NFL Draft, and Ohio State football's Justin Fields is already considered a contender for the No. 1 overall spot in 2021. Does he need a strong 2020 season to ensure that high first-round status? Does he need a 2020 season at all? Within reason, statistical production is less important than one might think for draft prospects. Fields already possess many of the attributes NFL scouts and general managers covet most. That won't change between now and whenever he walks on stage in Cleveland in April 2021.

Physically, the onetime baseball prospect has a prototypical quarterback's frame. If anything he seems even more solid than the 6-3, 228-pound roster listing would suggest. Fields is broad-shouldered and thick. He gets a lot of credit for playing with toughness, and while that's warranted, he also dishes it out as well as he takes it from some opposing defenders. The arm strength is legitimate, but not because NFL evaluators want to see Hail Mary bombs. Fields routinely impressed with his ability to hit tight sideline windows from the far hashes in 2019. He possesses a sophisticated array of throws in an offense where Ryan Day has incorporated pro elements and looks. - Cleveland Plain Dealer


(DS#2 QB) Jr/2022 QB Justin FieldsOhio State
News Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer
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  04/02/20 - Trey SermonSr/2021, Ohio State, 6-0, 216 (DS#4 RB) + More +

  Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley expressed no bad feelings about Trey Sermon's decision to leave the Sooners as a grad transfer and eventually join Ohio State football. During a teleconference with reporters on Tuesday, Riley praised Sermon as a player and person. He said he understood why Sermon chose to pursue the transfer portal. "Trey did a tremendous job," Riley said according to The Athletic. "He was a great Sooner - really, really good teammate. "Loved the three years we had him. Hated it ended the way it did for him. The middle of last season, I know he was frustrated, and then obviously the injury was just a horrible way for it to end. Hate that it ended on a sour note for him because he did a great job here."

Sermon rushed for over 2,000 yards in his three seasons with the Sooners. About half of that total and 13 touchdowns came in Sermon's sophomore season. But he was already losing carries to Kennedy Brooks before suffering a season-ending knee injury last season. Sermon steps into a running back room at Ohio State that needed help after presumptive starter Master Teague suffered a spring-ending ankle injury. "The portal deal - listen, we get it," Riley said. "We've been the beneficiary of a lot of really good ones that have come in here and done well. You're going to lose some guys, too. I think Trey saw a situation competitively that he felt like there was going to be a better opportunity to play a little more somewhere else. I get it. I respect it. It's part of the world we live in. - Cleveland Plain Dealer


(DS#4 RB) Sr/2021 RB Trey SermonOhio State
News Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer
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  03/27/20 - Justin FieldsJr/2022, Ohio State, 6-2, 223 (DS#2 QB) + More +

  The Big Ten Conference on Friday extended its suspension of organized team activities through at least May 4 due to the coronavirus pandemic, saying it will "re-evaluate again at that time." The Big Ten had previously canceled all winter and spring competitions through the end of the academic year. It also had suspended organized team activities through April 6. The league continues to apply a moratorium to all in-person on and off-campus recruiting visits. "The Big Ten Conference will continue to use this time to work with the appropriate medical experts and institutional leadership to determine next steps relative to the COVID-19 pandemic," the league said in a news release. "The main priority of the Big Ten Conference is to ensure the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, faculty, fans and media as we continue to monitor all developing and relevant information on the COVID-19 virus." - Cleveland Plain Dealer

(DS#2 QB) Jr/2022 QB Justin FieldsOhio State
News Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer
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  03/23/20 - Justin FieldsJr/2022, Ohio State, 6-2, 223 (DS#2 QB) + More +

  The Ohio State football team may have had to cancel spring practice with the outbreak of the coronavirus, but Justin Fields is still finding ways to get better. Like every other Ohio State student, Fields was sent home for the semester, but that doesn't mean he is just sitting around the house waiting for fall camp to start. The Buckeyes' starting quarterback is spending his time away from campus working with his longtime quarterback trainer Ron Veal. Veal is a former quarterback in his own right, playing at Arizona from 1987-90 before spending a season in the Canadian Football League with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 1991.

As a fellow Georgia native, he has worked with a handful of the best quarterbacks the state has to offer including Fields and Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Fields and Lawrence have each worked with Veal since their high school days, and it was Veal who first put the two on the same football field to train in 2017. That would be one of the few times the two would share a field before meeting in the Fiesta Bowl last season despite their homes being only 20 miles from each other. The two quarterbacks come into the 2020 season as the favorites to win the Heisman Trophy, and their teams could potentially be No. 1 and No. 2 in the preseason Associated Press Top 25 Poll. - Cleveland Plain Dealer


(DS#2 QB) Jr/2022 QB Justin FieldsOhio State
News Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer
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  03/23/20 - Trey SermonSr/2021, Ohio State, 6-0, 216 (DS#4 RB) + More +

  New Ohio State running back Trey Sermon has already shown what he is capable of in Ohio Stadium. With Oklahoma driving to extend its lead late in the first half of its 2017 visit to Columbus, Sermon took a direct snap while lined up next to Baker Mayfield. After firing through one of the few big holes available in the first 30 minutes, Sermon absorbed an open-field hit from Damon Arnette and kept his legs churning for a couple more yards. On the game's next play, when the Buckeyes took away Mayfield's primary targets and forced him out of the pocket on first-and-goal, Sermon emerged from the backfield to catch a check-down and take it into the end zone.

Sermon, the graduate transfer who announced Sunday he will transfer to Ohio State for the 2020 season, has proven he can produce in multiple ways for a Power 5 Conference offense. He brings immediate stability to a Buckeye backfield already thin on experience prior to Master Teague's spring-ending Achilles injury. Ohio State also provides Sermon something he needs - an opportunity to be a true lead back and the framework to showcase his talents at a higher level. Sermon, a freshman on that 2017 Sooners team that won 31-16 at Ohio Stadium, has rushed for over 2,000 yards and 22 touchdowns in his career. Much of that came in 2018, when he rushed for 947 yards and 13 touchdowns and helped Oklahoma reach the College Football Playoff semifinals. - Cleveland Plain Dealer


(DS#4 RB) Sr/2021 RB Trey SermonOhio State
News Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer
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  03/22/20 - Robert LandersrSr/2020, Ohio State, 6-1, 285 (DS#44 DT) + More +

  Landers hoped to be invited to the NFL combine in February but wasn't. He has been training for Ohio State's pro day on Wednesday, but that has been canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. His engaging personality would no doubt impress NFL teams in interviews, but visits between players and pro personnel aren't happening, either. It's not an easy time for players like him who are running out of time and ways to make an impression on NFL teams. "It's kind of put a roadblock in my path for the NFL draft," Landers said Saturday. "Right now, I'm doing what I can to keep working and grinding and taking it day by day, to keep counting my blessings." Landers' original plan was to train with OSU defensive line coach Larry Johnson on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and at his old high school, Huber Heights Wayne, and with the school's track coach, on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Then Ohio State closed its athletic facilities, as did Wayne. Landers, who's living in Springfield with his mother and 9-month-old daughter, Jordyn, then went to a local gym. That also has been shut down. "My resources are becoming more and more limited, but I'm trying to find a way to still get my work in," Landers said. It isn't easy. He doesn't have weights in his home. It's the first time since before high school that he has been unable to lift. So Landers is doing what he can in his backyard. "I'm still working on muscle endurance," he said. "The way I've transferred my workouts is high volume, high reps, high sets. It might be pushups or types of pullups. "You can't really simulate a game or a practice or a pro day when you're in the house, but you've got to do what you've got to do." - Columbus Dispatch


(DS#44 DT) rSr/2020 DT Robert LandersOhio State
News Source: Columbus Dispatch
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  03/22/20 - Trey SermonSr/2021, Ohio State, 6-0, 216 (DS#4 RB) + More +

  Running back Trey Sermon, who is leaving Oklahoma as a graduate transfer, committed to Ohio State on Sunday. Sermon will be immediately eligible for his final season of eligibility in 2020. The addition bolsters the Buckeyes' depth at running back, which took a hit during spring practice earlier this month when Master Teague, their leading returning rusher, injured an Achilles' tendon. J.K. Dobbins, last season's top rusher, left for the NFL.

In three seasons with the Sooners, Sermon rushed for 2,076 yards and 22 touchdowns, averaging 6.1 yards per carry. He also caught 36 passes for 391 yards and three touchdowns. But he never emerged as the primary running back for Oklahoma as Kennedy Brooks led the team in carries in each of the previous two seasons. Sermon also suffered a season-ending injury last November. He previously visited Ohio State in 2016 during his recruitment out of Marietta, Georgia. - Columbus Dispatch


(DS#4 RB) Sr/2021 RB Trey SermonOhio State
News Source: Columbus Dispatch
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  03/14/20 - Trey SermonSr/2021, Ohio State, 6-0, 216 (DS#4 RB) + More +

  Oklahoma running back Trey Sermon was entering his senior season. He rushed 54 times for 395 yards last season in limited action due to an injury, and was set to miss the spring for that reason. He ran for 972 yards as a sophomore and 744 as a freshman. OU's running back depth beyond Sermon is Kennedy Brooks, who led all backs in rushing in 2019, T.J Pledger, Rhamondre Stevenson, Marcus Major and incoming freshman Seth McGowan. Entering the transfer portal does not guarantee a player will depart from the team, but indicates the player is interested in other teams and may be contacted. - Norman Transcript

(DS#4 RB) Sr/2021 RB Trey SermonOhio State
News Source: Norman Transcript
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  03/12/20 - Justin FieldsJr/2022, Ohio State, 6-2, 223 (DS#2 QB) + More +

  Ohio State's spring football game, which was originally scheduled for April 11 at Ohio Stadium, has been canceled amid concerns over the coronavirus, the university announced Wednesday night. The decision was made in the aftermath of recommendations from Gov. Mike DeWine, who has called for sporting events in the state to be held with limited spectator and plans to issue a public health order later this week. Attendance at other home Ohio State sporting events for the rest of the academic year was also to be limited to student-athletes, immediate family members, coaches and staff, essential event management, operational and facility staff and credentialed media members. Five events were scheduled to be held on campus this weekend, including the baseball team's home opening series, a women's gymnastics meet on Saturday and a men's lacrosse game on Sunday. No annual event in the spring has drawn bigger crowds to campus than the spring football game, which saw 61,102 fans in attendance last year and often packed more than half of the stadium. The school said it will provide refunds for fans who purchased tickets, which had been on sale since last month. - Cleveland Plain Dealer

(DS#2 QB) Jr/2022 QB Justin FieldsOhio State
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  03/09/20 - Shaun WaderJr/2022, Ohio State, 6-0, 194 (DS#1 CB) + More +

  Four assistant football coaches at Ohio State will be paid at least $1 million this year, according to salary figures released by the school Monday. That will mark the first time four assistants on one staff have made seven figures, according to the USA Today database of coach's salaries. The database shows there were 24 assistants making at least $1 million nationwide in 2019, including Ohio State co-defensive coordinator Greg Mattison. The total salaries of Ohio State assistants on coach Ryan Day's staff will be just under $8 million for 2020, plus bonuses based on team performance. Day just got a three-year extension and raise that will pay him $6 million plus bonuses in 2020. The highest-paid assistant will be Kerry Coombs, a former Ohio State assistant who returned from a stint with the Tennessee Titans to be co-defensive coordinator. His base salary will be $1.4 million. - AP College Football

(DS#1 CB) rJr/2022 CB Shaun WadeOhio State
News Source: AP College Football
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  03/07/20 - Jaylen HarrisSr/2021, Ohio State, 6-4, 215 (DS#999 WR) + More +

  For a few Ohio State football seniors, this spring represents the final chance for a breakthrough. One of those seniors earned early praise from offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson. Wide receiver Jaylen Harris played only 89 snaps in 2019, but that represented a career high. The Cleveland Heights grad caught one pass - bringing his career receptions total to five - in addition to his extensive special teams work. With sophomore Garrett Wilson potentially sliding inside to slot receiver - and incoming freshman Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Mookie Cooper slated for roles there as well - the opportunity for a rotation spot on the outside could open up.

"Jaylen Harris has had his best offseason," Wilson said. "Really matured, been steady, worked hard, been the frontline, been a leader that group. Kind of nice to see him kick up, and there's some young guys behind him." Harris and fellow senior Elijah Gardiner both worked with the first team in Monday's practice. Such honors are occasionally bestowed on seniors early in practice, and presumptive starter Chris Olave was limited by injury. - Cleveland Plain Dealer


(DS#999 WR) Sr/2021 WR Jaylen HarrisOhio State
News Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer
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  03/07/20 - Amir RiepSr/2021, Ohio State, 5-11, 195 (DS#999 FS) + More +

  Former Ohio State football players Amir Riep and Jahsen Wint formally entered not guilty pleas to felony charges of rape and kidnapping in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas on Friday. Both men posted surety bonds at the arraignment: $100,000 for Riep and $75,000 for Wint. Attorneys for both men said they expect a judge to be assigned to the case Monday. Riep and Wint's attorneys also confirmed Ohio State University assessed both an interim suspension, pending the student conduct investigation process. Per the student code of conduct, those suspensions occur when "the student's presence on university premises or at a university-related or registered student organization activity poses a significant risk of substantial harm to the safety or security of themselves, others, or to property." An Ohio State spokesperson confirmed that both Riep and Wint remain enrolled at the university. A Franklin County Grand Jury indicted both Riep and Wint on Feb. 21 on two charges of rape and one charge of kidnapping. If convicted of all three felonies, both men face up to 33 years in prison and registration as sex offenders. - Cleveland Plain Dealer

(DS#999 FS) Sr/2021 FS Amir RiepOhio State
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  03/05/20 - Master Teague IIIrSo/2023, Ohio State, 5-11, 220 (DS#2 RB) + More +

  In 2018, Ohio State linebacker Tuf Borland injured his Achilles' tendon during spring football practice. In 2019, linebacker Justin Hilliard did the same thing. Now it looks as if another OSU player has suffered a similar injury. Ohio State would not confirm that running back Master Teague III injured his Achilles during Monday's first spring practice, but sources indicated to The Dispatch that he had. The football program's policy is not to detail injuries, citing privacy concerns. OSU did announce that Teague would miss the rest of spring practice. If it is an Achilles injury, Teague will face a long rehab that could cause him to miss at least the start of the 2020 season.

"It's tough, but if you're going to tear an Achilles, this is the best place to do it," Hilliard said Wednesday. "I'm not going to speak on Master's injury. I honestly don't know anything about his injury specifically, but just speaking off my experience and Tuf's experience, we both made it back by week 2 of the season." Hilliard and Borland described rehab from an Achilles injury as arduous. "An Achilles is probably the hardest thing you could ever go through," Borland said. "If you can get through that, you can get through anything. We're all there for Master, whatever it is. We support him and we'll be there for him." - Columbus Dispatch


(DS#2 RB) rSo/2023 RB Master Teague IIIOhio State
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  03/04/20 - Master Teague IIIrSo/2023, Ohio State, 5-11, 220 (DS#2 RB) + More +

  As Ohio State coach Ryan Day had a news conference Monday after the start of spring practice, he noted the lack of depth at running back. Only two scholarship tailbacks participated in the opening workout. "We're one injury away from a little bit of a crisis," Day said. That point arrived the next day. Master Teague III, the Buckeyes' leading returning rusher who is widely viewed as the heir apparent to J.K. Dobbins, was ruled unavailable for the rest of spring practice because of an undisclosed injury, a spokesman confirmed to The Dispatch. The absence leaves the Buckeyes with only one healthy scholarship running back in Steele Chambers, a redshirt freshman, for the remaining 14 spring practices, including the spring game. - Columbus Dispatch

(DS#2 RB) rSo/2023 RB Master Teague IIIOhio State
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  02/25/20 - Justin FieldsJr/2022, Ohio State, 6-2, 223 (DS#2 QB) + More +

  Ryan Day, who led Ohio State to a 13-1 record and a College Football Playoff appearance in his first year as head coach, is being rewarded with a three-year contract extension and a raise, the university said Tuesday. The 40-year-old Day is now under contract through the 2026 season. Day, who made a base salary of $4.5 million plus bonuses in 2019, will be paid $6 million for the 2020-21 season, the university said. He'll make $6.5 million for the 2021 season and $7.6 million for 2022. His salary for 2023-26 will be decided later.

Day wasn't even in the top 20 of the country's highest paid football coaches in 2019, but the raises are expected to move him up the list gradually. Clemson's Dabo Sweeney was the highest-paid coach last season at more than $9.2 million. The university noted excellent academic progress of players under Day. Ohio State had a program-record 23 college graduates on its 2019 playoff semifinals roster, and 39 players were academic All-Big Ten Conference honorees last fall for having GPAs of 3.00 or above. - AP College Football


(DS#2 QB) Jr/2022 QB Justin FieldsOhio State
News Source: AP College Football
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