This Week In Ohio State: 3/23-3/29

By March 23, 2020 (12:00 pm)Patrick Mayhorn, Sports
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Welcome to “This Week In Ohio State,” a new weekly feature at Buckeye Sports Bulletin. As a modified, online-only version of “From The Pages Of BSB,” “This Week In Ohio State” will take a look at the happenings of OSU sports in five year intervals, using our deep archive of in-depth reporting.

ONE YEAR AGO

March 26, 2019: New Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields had his black stripe removed from his helmet, making him officially a member of the team following Ohio State’s sixth spring practice. He was the first scholarship player to have his stripe removed.

“First off, I want to thank all y’all boys out here for getting me better every day,” Fields told his teammates. “I also want to thank my unit. Matt (Baldwin), Coach (Mike) Yurcich, Coach Niko (Palazeti) and all the weight coaches for just getting me better every day.”

FIVE YEARS AGO

March 25, 2015: Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller found himself in some hot water, after he posted a picture to Instagram on March 25 of himself and a trainer sitting at a table that contained a bundle of AdvoCare products, with a caption promoting those products.

In the post, Miller included his personal AdvoCare page, which usually implies payment for promotion. The NCAA allowed players to serve as AdvoCare distributors, but did not allow them to endorse products. The post sparked a brief investigation, but Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer told reporters March 30 there was “no issue” regarding a potential NCAA violation.

Miller deleted the post and removed the link to his AdvoCare page.

10 YEARS AGO

March 26, 2010: Guards Evan Turner and William Buford had big decisions to make following Ohio State’s 76-73 defeat against Tennessee in the Midwest Regional semifinals of the NCAA Tournament.

Shortly after the loss, Turner, the NCAA player of the year, was asked about the chances of him returning to Columbus.

“I can’t give a percentage right now,” he said. “This (the loss) is just sticking in my head. I really don’t want to go out like that. I don’t even know.”

For Buford, the choice was simple.

“(Evan) knows I’m coming back,” Buford said. “That’s up to him if he wants to do that. It’s his future (but) he knows I’m coming back.”

He also included a bit of his usual charm when asked if people had been getting in his ear about the draft.

“Probably, but I only listen to me. I’ve got my own mind.”

15 YEARS AGO

March 23, 2005: Super recruit Daequan Cook, a highly skilled 6-4 junior, announced that he would be attending Ohio State during a press conference from his high school, Dayton Dunbar. He cited visits to campus and head coach Thad Matta’s vision for the future as two major components for his early commitment.

“The decision I made was for me and my family and friends as far as me getting an education and my family getting to see me play,” Cook said. “And I choose to go to Ohio State.”

Cook was rated as the No. 3 junior in the country, and his pledge was a bit of a landmark for the program. He was Ohio State’s first consensus top-10 commitment since Jim Jackson in 1988.

20 YEARS AGO

March 25, 2000: Highly-regarded freshman and top Buckeye recruit LeBron James helped lead Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary to a Division III state title. James, a super-smooth 6-4 forward stood out as the best player on the floor, despite the presence of senior Maverick Carter and junior Aly Samabaly, the team’s more experienced stars.

James had 25 points and nine rebounds in the championship game win over Jamestown Greeneview, and hit 10 of 12 shots.

“He’s not a freshman, really,” St. Vincent-St. Mary coach Keith Dambrot said of James. “When I was an assistant at Eastern Michigam we had Grant Long, who’s still in the NBA. We had Carl and Charles Thomas, who went to the NBA.

“He has the ability to play at that level.”

25 YEARS AGO

March 25, 1995: Ohio State hosted three big men in Robert Traylor, Jermaine Tate and Bayonne Taty on official visits. Tate entered the visit shortly after an in-home visit with Ohio State head coach Randy Ayers.

“It was pretty good,” Tate told BSB. “He’s a pretty nice person. I feel comfortable with him.”

Following the firing of Wisconsin coach Stan Van Gundy, Tate was down to Louisville and Ohio State vying for his signature. Meanwhile, Traylor appeared to be favoring Michigan, though he declined that.

“People are saying that but it’s not true,” Traylor said. “They’re probably just trying to figure it out on their own.”

30 YEARS AGO

March 27, 1990: Ohio State head coach John Cooper spoke to media after the beginning of his third spring practice in Columbus. Surrounding the practice was a surprising amount of enthusiasm, despite no obvious choice for a starting quarterback and a completely rebuilt offensive line.

In fact, Cooper thought that a Big Ten Championship was well within the realm of possibility for his team, and that these were the crucial first steps.

“I think we’re getting better, but that doesn’t mean in any way, shape or form that we’re where we want to be,” Cooper said. “I think the time has come for us to start challenging some of these big boys. I look back at last year and I think it was a pretty ordinary season. We didn’t lose any games that we shouldn’t have lost, but I’m also not sure that we won any we shouldn’t have won.

“This is an important spring for us. We have to get a lot of work done. I think we’ve got to get a lot tougher mentally than we have been. Mental toughness is something we’re looking for this spring.

“We have too many players who, for whatever reason, find ways to miss a practice or miss a game. Players have to be dependable. We need more Scottie Grahams out there, guys like Dan Beatty who are out there every day working to get better.”

35 YEARS AGO

March 29, 1985: Head coach Earle Bruce was looking to replace four of five offensive linemen entering the 1985 spring camp, along with three players along the defensive line.

“Obviously, the people with the most experience are Rory Graves (6-6, 270, Jr.) who was a starter for us and I think the next person would be Bob Maggs (6-5, 272, So.),” Bruce said of the offensive line.

“I wish we had four or five of Bob Maggs. He’s very versatile. He can play tackle, guard or center. That’s about as versatile as you can get.”