Since You've Been Gone
The Ohio State players who were taken in the NFL draft have been settling into their new homes. There have been new playbooks, rookie minicamps and interviews. Lots and lots of interviews.
In many of these, the Buckeyes have looked back at their time in Columbus.
What are they saying? And what’s being said about them?
Here are the highlights of the media coverage OSU’s players have received since the draft.
Roby was asked by Denver Broncos beat reporters about the injury that kept him out of the Orange Bowl matchup with Clemson.
He said it was a hyper-extended and bruised knee that sidelined him for that contest.
“I wanted to play for my school. It was my last game as a Buckeye. I wanted to end it right with the seniors I came in with,” he told The Denver Post.
A Florida native, Hyde explained to 49ers.com that the reason he didn’t want to play for the Gators coming out of high school was the playing style of their then coach…Urban Meyer.
He, like many others, was under the misapprehension that playing in a spread meant that Meyer would shy away from using a powerful running attack. When Meyer and Hyde eventually found themselves together at Ohio State, Hyde said he learned a lot.
Hyde also told the team’s website that he lobbied Meyer for the ball of the failed fourth-and-two play that helped decide OSU’s 34-24 loss to Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship. He even thought he had the coach’s okay, but Meyer eventually went with quarterback Braxton Miller carrying it instead.
Coach Meyer said when he first saw Mewhort, he thought he might make the NFL as an undrafted free agent. By the end of their time together, Meyer said he could see Mewhort as a first rounder.
As it turns out, Mewhort was a second-round selection of the Indianapolis Colts and has earned the praise of his new coach, Chuck Pagano.
Pagano described Mewhort in near mythic terms when talking to an Indianapolis radio station “A superhero,” he called him. “Mr. Incredible.”
Linsley, by his own admission, was at one time very, very unlikely to start for the Packers. The fact that, that is now a possibility is remarkable, considering that Linsley came very close to giving up football after two years at Ohio State.
He shared his story of going from hard partier to NFL hopeful with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and he talked about how he almost joined the track team before his Dad and coach Meyer convinced him to buckle down as a young man, a student and a football player.
How close did he come to specializing in the hammer throw? He said he spoke to the track coach about possibly making that change.
The changes he actually made resulted in him heading to Green Bay.
Why did Shazier end up with the Steelers? Blame the Cleveland Browns. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, their selection of Justin Gilbert was the first domino in a series that led to Shazier going 15th overall.
And make no doubt about it, Shazier was a wanted man. He was on the phone with Dallas when Pittsburgh drafted him. The Wisconsin State Journal reports the Packers were “infatuated” with the linebacker. There’s obviously been a big turnaround since the days when Shazier said he was taunted for a medical condition that left him bald as a child.
Why is that? As Ohio State defensive coordinator Luke Fickell told the Post-Gazette, “There’s no doubt that, of all the guys I’ve been around, the guy who can make the most plays, who can really change the game, it’s him. He’s by far the best playmaker.”
Fickell also had high praise for Bryant, although it was relayed second-hand by one of Bryant’s teammates with the Rams.
“I know Christian Bryant,” James Laurinaitis told the St. Louis Post Dispatch, “and talking to [Fickell]…he said when Christian went down, he thought that their defense lost their heartbeat and that he was the toughest guy, maybe, that he’s ever coached.”
Bryant’s broken fibula and fractured ankle also mean that he’s still working his way back into football shape, but he hopes to be 100 percent for OTAs.