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Class of 2011

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Class of 2011

Unread postby furls » Sun Aug 21, 2011 6:32 pm

I cannot overstate how excited I am about hearing how the true Fr are pushing for PT. I cannot remember the last OSU player that has suddenly emerged as a junior and gone on to star. The buzz about OSU's best players usually begins in the camp entering their first year.

This year there is so much buzz about the class of 2011. It is everywhere and it is across a wide variety of positions. Here is a quick rundown (I am aware that these could be articles, but I prefer more of a dialog than a soapbox). These are a bunch of articles that I thought about writing, but just dont' feel like editing them.

Michael Bennett: You would never know it from recent history, but it is pretty unusual for true freshman to get a lot of PT on the DL. Heyward did it. Simon did it. Big Hank did it. Now Michael Bennett is going to do it. During spring practice there was a ton of talk about early enrolling frosh Joel Hale, Michael Bennett has made us all forget about him. Bennett is versatile, strong and smart. He flew under the RADAR a bit last year as C'ville used him largely as a guard (where he dominated). He will play a lot this year and probably force Hale into a redshirt.

Devin Smith: Smith is already the best athlete OSU has at WR. He has great hands, ball skills and has not found an allstar game that he could not dominate (2TDs and 100yds receiving the Big 33 last year).

Evan Spencer: As good as Smith has looked in camp, Spencer has turned more heads during camp. Spencer runs great routes and has great hands. If you didn't know better you would swear that he has been trained to be a Buckeye since he was a baby (his dad is former Buckeye star Tim Spencer).

Doran Grant: Already in the two deep at corner and he is my pick to replace Howard after he bolts for the NFL this year. He is as good as everyone thought (unanimous top 5 CB by all agencies).

Ryan Shazier: The #2 of our 3 2011 LB recruits may end up a starter by years end depending on how others do. He has been ultra impressive since enrolling early and flashes athleticism that I have never seen at OSU at OLB. He is as athletic as a safety with the skill set of a LB, only problem is that he weighs about as much as a safety. If he was 10lbs heavier I think he could be our WLB this year, pushing Sweat to MLB.

Curtis Grant: He has been as good as you would think the #2 recruit in the country would be. Fortunately for Buckeyes fans (unfortunately for Grant), Shazier has just been better. The future is bright indeed and both are locks to start next year.

Braxton Miller: Oh yeah, I seriously almost forgot to mention him because it feels like we have been talking about him for four years (oh yeah we have, his hype started his freshman year). He as good or better than expected. He is far ahead of the TP learning curve for freshman QBs and there are those that think he is already a better passer. He is a pass first dual threat QB much like Troy Smith his senior year and he has been good enough to effectively end all discussion of Graham or Guiton playing any meaningful snaps this year.

Jeff Heuerman: Heuerman was pretty lightly regarded coming out of HS (3*), but he has been blowing up since enrolling early. He is clearly the first choice to replace Stoneburner and Fragel in the coming months. He is first off the bench if they split Stoneburner out and he has been very good. He led the jersey scrimmage with 5 receptions and he is an excellent blocker as well. He will play this year, and if there is an injury with the TE's or the young WRs don't step up, we will see a lot of him.

I thought the 2008 Class was great, I thought the 2009 class was better, but you never really know how good a class is going to be until they start their first camp. Neither class ('08 or '09) have come close to putting out this kind of buzz in their first camp. So even if OSU has a substandard (by OSU standards) class of 2012, which is a distinct possibility, the strength of the '11 class will carry the day.
Coming from a Wolverine, we're the football equivalent of a formerly abused wife of a meth addict who just remarried the safe nice guy. We're just glad we have someone who's aware that it's a rivalry and that tackling on defense is integral. Baby steps.

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Re: Class of 2011

Unread postby Cerebral_DownTime » Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:37 pm

How good is Braxton's arm considered, like what would be the comparison?
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Re: Class of 2011

Unread postby furls » Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:53 pm

I would say my general impression, Dan can correct this, is that his arm is better than Pryor's (has better touch too) but not quite as good as Troy Smith's. Many people forget that Smith had an absolute cannon. During the 2007 NFL combine he led all participants in MPH.
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Re: Class of 2011

Unread postby Cerebral_DownTime » Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:01 pm

I can't wait to see the kid behind center against real competition.
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Re: Class of 2011

Unread postby danwismar » Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:16 pm

Pryor could throw the ball 80 yards, but he never had the ability to throw accurate darts at short to intermediate distances that Miller has now, as a true freshman. Braxton has plenty of raw arm strength too, but it's the ability to keep plays alive with his feet, all while he's still thinking pass, and looking downfield, that sets him apart from TP and maybe even Troy. He throws as well on the run as he does from the pocket. Seemed like once Pryor had to evade a rush and the called play broke down, he was usually thinking run, not throw.

They will roll Miller out a lot, because he is lightning quick out of the pocket into the flat. Pryor would glide out of the pocket, but Braxton is there in a flash, setting up to throw...or run. Saturday, he scrambled out of the pocket, down inside the 20 in the Red Zone, juked a few guys, but when he was confronted on the sideline at about the five with two defenders he couldn't fake out, he dropped his shoulder and took two hard hits driving down to the 2. The very next series, the coaches had put the black, no-tackle jersey on him. They will definitely want to limit the shots he takes. He's 20-25 pounds lighter/smaller than Pryor, at about 210-215.

If anything he was a little too hesitant to pull the trigger on Saturday...holding onto the ball maybe too long trying to make something happen with his elusiveness. He got some oohs and ahhs from the observers, including the staid media corps, but a few times it didn't end well. The upside is he didn't make the ill-advised throw and turn the ball over, but he won't last 13 games with a steady diet of that stuff. And he was very rough at times...he looks like a freshman a lot. Go figure. But it's going to be fun.
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Re: Class of 2011

Unread postby Cerebral_DownTime » Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:36 pm

Injury is my concern, I know he was banged up at Wayne. I just don't want to see him get Katzenmoyered Sept 3rd can't get here soon enough.
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Re: Class of 2011

Unread postby furls » Mon Aug 22, 2011 12:45 am

I watched him on TV a couple of times last year and he was impressive. TP can throw the ball a mile it just requires him to abandon all mechanics and chuck it. I think Miller has a better arm while still maintaining some semblance of mechanics. No doubt that if TP sells out an chucks it, he will toss the ball further, but he struggled throwing the difficult tosses (and easy ones) from the pocket. He can heave with the best of them though (FYI, I am no Pryor hater).

Miller is going to be special on and off the field. Guys have been commenting on how the kid has no ego in a manner that implies the guy he is replacing did. Stories are now starting to leak out about Pryor as a teammate and they are not particularly flattering. You have to wonder if the team will have better chemistry without him.
Coming from a Wolverine, we're the football equivalent of a formerly abused wife of a meth addict who just remarried the safe nice guy. We're just glad we have someone who's aware that it's a rivalry and that tackling on defense is integral. Baby steps.

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