Bob Hunter commentary | Rumblings: Top basketball prospect still considering Buckeyes

By The Columbus Dispatch  • 
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Myles Turner, a 7-foot basketball center from Bedford, Texas, who is ranked No. 2 in the ESPN 100 and No. 6 by Rivals.com, will choose from among seven schools, including Ohio State, during a recruiting special on Wednesday on ESPNU.

Turner made an official visit to Ohio State in the fall and reportedly has been lobbied hard by incoming Buckeyes freshman D’Angelo Russell, the highest ranked (No. 21, Rivals) of the school’s recruits. Turner made official visits to Duke, Oklahoma State, Kansas and Texas, and he also lists Southern Methodist and Texas A&M among his finalists.hat he really likes Ohio State coach Thad Matta “and his whole coaching staff. … They’re one of the schools that I’ve talked to the most.”

He also liked the fact that opportunity existed at center, although that window might have closed somewhat with the announcement on March 29 that 6-foot-9, 230-pound forward-center Anthony Lee, a fifth-year senior, will transfer to Ohio State from Temple.

Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer understands the constraints Ohio high schools face that keep them from allowing formal spring football practices, which are normal in most southern states.

Still, he would like to see high-school coaches afforded a few days to put their returning players through instructional, noncontact drills. Not only would it maintain tempo for the teams, it would allow college coaches a chance to evaluate prospects.

“Every other year there has been conversation,” Meyer said. “I’m surprised there’s not something more. Maybe not full spring practice, because you have weather issues. But I’m surprised that there’s not opportunity like when the other spring sports are finished to get a week in or at least two weeks in. I thought at some point they would do that.”

The primary reason given for not allowing high-school spring football is that it would take athletes away from sports such as baseball and track and field.

There is speculation about what the Seattle Seahawks plan to do with former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor now that they have acquired him from the Oakland Raiders for a seventh-round draft pick.

Some of that might have started because of what Seattle general manager John Schneider said about the trade: “Terrelle is an incredibly explosive athlete, and we’re excited for him to come in and compete.”

That could be as a backup to Russell Wilson. Pryor is similar to Wilson as far as running read-option plays. But current backup Tarvaris Jackson, who was a free agent before signing a one-year deal at $1.25 million, knows the offense and is a favorite of coaches and players.

Some think the Seahawks might try to convert Pryor, 6 feet 6 and 235 pounds, into a hybrid tight end/receiver. Seattle would like to add one. It looked earlier at former Green Bay tight end Jermichael Finley.

Former Cleveland Browns president Mike Holmgren told TheMMQB.com that he would have coached the team but was prevented from doing so.

“I really just should have coached the team, but (team owner Randy Lerner) didn’t want me to,” Holmgren said.

After the Browns posted a second straight 5-11 record, Holmgren retained coach Eric Mangini for the 2010 season. Holmgren then replaced Mangini with Pat Shurmur, who went 9-23 in two seasons.

“At that particular time, I wasn’t ready to do it again,” Holmgren said. “I thought I’d be shortchanging the organization.”

Holmgren was hired by the Browns in December 2009 and said at the time that he had no plans to coach again. He left the team when it was sold to Jimmy Haslam in 2012.

Indiana is trying to schedule a few more nonconference wins in football, and it is willing to pay $750,000 to do it.

The Indianapolis Star reported that the school paid $500,000 in buyout fees to get out of a two-year contract with South Florida in 2015 and ’16, dates that were then filled by Florida International.

Indiana will pay FIU $1 million for a game in Bloomington and then get $200,000 for making a return trip. Combined with the extra $550,000 that athletic director Fred Glass estimates Indiana will add with the seventh home game in 2015, the whole reshuffling should eventually cost about $750,000.

“I think the nonconference schedule for football last year was probably tougher than it needed to be,” Glass said. “It’s more art than science, but as I reflected on the ’13 schedule, I started looking at the schedule further out to see what we could do.”

Indiana went 5-7 in 2013, with three losses coming by 14 or fewer points.

Quarterback Andy Dalton said he is confident that the Cincinnati Bengals will extend his contract before his rookie deal expires next March. Dalton met with the media when players reported for the start of their voluntary offseason workout program.

Dalton will make nearly $1.7 million in 2014 as he closes out a four-year, $5.2 million deal he received after being drafted in the second round of the 2011 draft. He could be paid approximately $15 million per season in his next contract.

“It’s a quarterback-driven league, so quarterbacks get rewarded with a lot of money,” Dalton said. “For a lot of these quarterbacks, if you’re the quarterback of the team, you’re the face of the franchise.”

When he was asked if he believes he is the face of the franchise, he said “I do.”

Bob Hunter is a sports columnist for The Dispatch.

bhunter@dispatch.com

@dailyhunter

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