The ramifications of Braxton Miller’s season-ending injury on the Ohio State recruiting front are intriguing if the quarterback follows through on his vow to return next season.
With one quarterback already pledged to the 2015 class, Joe Burrow of Athens, the Buckeyes are still in the chase for Torrance Gibson of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., considered one of the top dual-threat QBs in 2015. Some might think such a hot prospect would aim to go to a school where immediate playing time is assured, but Gibson took another angle.
“He told me he would enjoy being mentored by Braxton Miller,” Bucknuts recruiting analyst Bill Kurelic said.
Of course, the other scenario that coach Urban Meyer, offensive coordinator Tom Herman and other assistants will have to juggle on the quarterback recruiting front is the business of Miller’s successor in 2014. Redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett gained the nod this week, with third-year sophomore Cardale Jones also in contention heading into the season opener on Aug. 30 against Navy.
The Crew this week sent an email invitation to supporters titled “A New Crew, Our Club, Our Future” to announce Oct. 8 as the date of its “re-branding.”
The details we have learned so far are that the team name and colors are not changing, but the logo is. The new logo will feature Columbus, it will incorporate the skyline and the number “96” (to reflect 1996, the year the team was founded), and it will be a circle.
The Ohio State men’s golf team that won the 1979 NCAA championship will be recognized Sept. 13 at halftime of the Buckeyes’ football game against Kent State.
The team will celebrate the 35th anniversary of its accomplishment at a dinner the previous night and a tailgate party before the football game. Those attending the reunion, according to former coach Jim Brown, include former All-Americans John Cook, Joey Sindelar, Mark Balen and Rick Borg.
Ohio’s two gubernatorial candidates disagreed on whether Cleveland Indians mascot Chief Wahoo should be banished in a Dispatch Q&A last week designed to allow voters to better know both candidates. So Cleveland.com asked its readers what they thought should happen to the grinning “chief.”
As of yesterday afternoon, 71.9 percent of more than 5,550 voters said the team should keep both the name Indians and Wahoo, with 18.2 percent voting to keep the team name but not the chief and 8.4 saying to get rid of both the name and the mascot.
In The Dispatch Q&A conducted by public affairs editor Darrel Rowland, Democrat Ed FitzGerald said, “Yes,” the team should get rid of Wahoo, and Republican Gov. John Kasich answered, “Of course not.”
Ohio Machine president and general manager John Algie did not hesitate when asked what he would like to see happen with Major League Lacrosse.
“It’s something everyone is completely aware of, but we need full-time players and coaches,” Algie said. “But I don’t expect to see that overnight. The finances aren’t there yet. But every year we’re chipping away at that a little more.”
Major League Lacrosse reached an agreement with the LXM Pro Tour in February allowing players on that circuit to play in MLL, as well.
“That’s the next stage in the evolution of the sport,” Algie said, “and maybe it’s a step toward players and coaches living in our markets, training and practicing year round together.”
Damien Harris, the Berea, Ky., running back who is ranked as the No. 4 overall prospect in 2015 by Rivals.com, is accustomed to the sales jobs he receives from recruiters, but an Ohio State fan got his attention in a different way.
Harris told the Louisville Courier-Journal about how he, his coach and some teammates were traveling home from Lexington, Ky., on Interstate 75 when they were surprised to see a van swerve near their vehicle.
“We were kind of like, ‘What is this guy doing?’ ” Harris told the newspaper. He said a man in the van rolled down a window and began shouting OSU’s “O-HI-O” cheer at him.
Harris said he has no idea how the man recognized him in traffic, but it’s just a sign of the craziness he sees regularly. He originally committed to Michigan but reopened the recruitment in January. He now says he is down to five options — Ohio State, Alabama, Florida, Texas A&M and Kentucky — and plans to make a decision on Dec. 13.
In an interview with RealGM.com, Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving admitted that despite being the NBA rookie of the year and an all-star, he hasn’t been a leader. That’s one reason he’s looking forward to playing with LeBron James and the other veterans the team has acquired.
“I’ve just been a kid trying to figure it out,” Irving said. “There’s no perfect way to be a leader, and coming in as a 19-year-old kid and having everything bearing on your shoulders, there are a lot of ups and downs.”
Irving added that he’s “more than excited” to be part of a group that can teach him how to be a true professional.
“I’m not saying that the veterans that we had weren’t professionals themselves, but we didn’t have enough,” Irving said. “Given the right and wrong things to do in the league, I’ve had to learn on my own. Now, we have guys who’ve been in the league for years, guys who’ve won championships and have had to give a piece of their game for the greater good of the team.”
Bob Hunter is a sports columnist for The Dispatch.