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2012 OSU Freshmen

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2012 OSU Freshmen

Unread postby danwismar » Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:18 pm

Probably the biggest surprise to me about the 2012 season was the minimal contributions asked of, and received from the 2012 freshman class. I wanted to find out what you guys thought about it. A few thoughts...

Arguably the only player in the entire (4th or 5th-rated nationally) recruiting class to have made a significant contribution in 2012 was Noah Spence...and even he only played in about half the games, and only for a few plays in each game he played. Schutt and Washington played very sparingly, although they both looked good when they did play, as did Spence, generally speaking.

Injuries were a factor...Devan Bogard and Najee Murray were both lost to knee injuries/surgeries, and Armani Reeves was down for a time as well. But there is no indication that any of the three would have received any playing time from scrimmage in the absence of their injuries. Marcus and Perkins made periodic splashes on special teams...Josh Perry got some playing time against UM. Cam Williams was invisible.

Bri'onte Dunn got a brief shot when Hyde and Hall were both hurt, but again, it was very limited. Mike Thomas never got a chance to deliver on his Spring Game promise.

All in all, it appears that Meyer followed the axiom that you don't win games playing freshmen...and it's hard to argue with 12-0. It's just that I really expected more from the class in the aggregate, and was surprised as the season went along and they were nowhere to be seen, especially in a season with little at stake other than preparing for the future (although that obviously changed somewhat as the season progressed with the zero in the loss column)

I realize they didn't have the blowouts that normally allow for freshmen to see the field...and in the case of the offensive line, it was just plain lucky that the starting five stayed healthy, played every game, and improved as the season went on...and we never really had to find out about Boren, Dodson, Decker and Elflein.

I'd appreciate your comments....
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Re: 2012 OSU Freshmen

Unread postby e0y2e3 » Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:07 pm

I don't know, while the Freshman had trouble getting on the field many were in the two-deep (granted the LB two-deep was fake). And in all honesty, do you remember what the special teams coverage units looked like when Reeves, Bogard and Murry were all down? Uhg.

I think Urban loves those three and they were simply blocked by guys he loved more (his obsession with Orian just got weird).

The only disappointments would be Dunn getting himself so far into the dog house he wasn't even considered worth of a random ass touch at the end of games (though Smith becoming ROD EFFIN SMITH played a roll) and the LBs. Christ on a stick Marcus was an absolute DEMON on coverage units but the guy wouldn't know a read or playbook if it smacked him in the face (understandable converting from down/pass-rushing DE). Perkins is fast and was great on special teams but is another athlete trying to learn a new position and struggling (he didn't exactly have a position in hs). Cam, well, that confuses the hell out of me. Don't get me wrong, Boren was a beast, but Cam not even earning a rep was bad.

One thing to note about this class, most of the early on campus guys were early Fickel signees that don't really have a future on the team aside from backing people up(Roberts, the greek WR kid, Powell). Pittman, Dunn, Decker and Perry were the only real big names to get in early and two of them got shots (IMO, Perry had a HUGE advantage over the other LBs getting in early, especially raw peeps like Perkins and Marcus).

This is one of the reasons I am concerned about neither Zeke nor Jalin coming in early last year, there is a very direct correlation between beinga an Urban recruit (or Josh Perry who is kinda freaky athletic), coming in early and getting a shot. The O and D playbooks are, uhm, complex.

Michael Thomas, well, I think he was fine when he got his shots and Fick does deserve big ups for finding him sitting there with Cardale (who apparently saved his spot on the team this year) at Fork Union.
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Re: 2012 OSU Freshmen

Unread postby furls » Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:29 pm

I got some pretty strong feelings on this one. Unfortunately it needs to be a like a 400 word post and I only have time for 50 words. I will summarize by saying that I am not the least bit surprised about the lack of run for the frosh this year at any position besides MLB.
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Re: 2012 OSU Freshmen

Unread postby danwismar » Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:49 pm

It was obvious preseason that nobody was likely to contribute on offense. Decker, Dunn and Thomas were the only real possibilities...but I really did think they would try out the linebackers, based on the situation there, and I thought the D-line guys would see more (and earlier) playing time.
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Re: 2012 OSU Freshmen

Unread postby furls » Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:58 pm

I have a little more time to add to my post.

I wasn't expecting a ton out of this year's class, just looking down the lineup there are some gaps, but I didn't really see a ton of opportunity.

QB: Obviously this position was secured.
RB: Hyde and Hall had the leg up, Dunn turned heads early, but you had to figure that it was going to be an uphill climb for him.
WR: There was opportunity here going into the season, but who was going to be the freshman players? Mike Thomas maybe. I liked his spring game, but Thomas is a possession receiver and that is what he flashed.
OL: Decker got beat out by Fragel. I honestly thought Decker would win the battle, but Fragel really imprroved and was a great player.
TE: That position was settled.

Defense:

DL: Hankins, Goebel and Simon had 3 of the 4 spots locked up. I thought there was room for a frosh at end, but Williams came back and played effectively. Schutt impressed me a lot this year, I thought he was the most game ready freshman DL. Washington's offseason weight was not good and pushed him inside, he was out of position. Spence is not big enough yet. He flashed, but doesn't have the strength to make the plays yet.

LB: There wasn't supposed to be immediately opportunity here. Grant was supposed to be the guy at MLB, but he wasn't it. I was really disappointed that tOSU did not have a single game ready MLB out of the 5 they signed last year. Marcus is a DE learning LB, Perkins is a RB learning LB, Williams is a drag down tackler (needs some time in the weight room), Roberts is an "effort" guy and Perry is just outgrowing the position.

Secondary: There really weren't any spots in the secondary except maybe Johnson's as the nickel back. That said, I was a bit disappointed that Reeves could not displace Adam Griffin.

I didn't see a lot of opportunity for the class of 2012 to jump in take reps, that said, there are a lot of chances for 2012 and 2013 next year as the Bucks retool the entire defense and seek playmakers on O. I like 2013 on O and 2012 to step up on D.
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Re: 2012 OSU Freshmen

Unread postby furls » Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:01 pm

danwismar wrote:It was obvious preseason that nobody was likely to contribute on offense. Decker, Dunn and Thomas were the only real possibilities...but I really did think they would try out the linebackers, based on the situation there, and I thought the D-line guys would see more (and earlier) playing time.


I think the games were just too close, and Meyer is no dummy. He knows that the 2012 season is not a throw away. He needed a good 2012 (10-2 or better) to show that the team was going to reassert its dominance in the league and compete for championships to really get out ahead on 2014 and finish 2013. The buzz in recruiting circles is pretty strong after the 12-0 season.
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: 2012 OSU Freshmen

Unread postby fairvis » Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:34 pm

Dunn looked good early, but again, with the emergence of Hyde as a true bell cow and Rod Smith running with purpose and authority (when he held onto the ball)... he became buried.

I wasn't all that surprised that Thomas didn't contribute more then he did. He seems to me like another Chris Fields, and when Stoney went wide with Philly, Smith, Fields, and Spencer, that was pretty much going to be it. Spencer's another guy in that same mode, so it'll be interesting to see how they work next year with 5 out of their top 6 returning and some potential burners coming in.

Vannett did have a couple of nice grabs over the course of the year (9 grabs for 123 yards, making him the #5 pass catcher for the Bucks). About the same total production as Heureman. Actually, looking through this, it's amazing how much Philly and Smith dominated receptions (90 out of a total of 161).

Decker did come in a few times when Fragel went down. I didn't notice it on the field, however. But it was Illinois. Jeez, and Fragel's the only lineman that's out this year.

Aside: Wow, the O is loaded for next year, only losing their RT and 3rd-leading pass catcher (if Hall's redshirt is approved- if not, they also lose their third leading rusher).

I am concerned with the lack of playmaking ability at LB, but Crowell looked lost the times he was in. Reeves would've probably eventually topped Adam Griffin, if he hadn't been out for the year. Spence, Washington, and Schutt will be making some noise in the future. This will be an interesting D to watch in the spring game this year, as they may get completely overrun with the experience returning on offense.
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