Well, I have emerged from my cave after what may have been the hardest basketball season I have ever endured. And you know, I couldn't have picked a better time. The weather is getting nicer, the women are wearing less clothing, and spring football is in full swing.
Really quick sidenote. You may have to deal with my articles for a while. Apparently, Cinci and Sam got bored one day in June and decided to make a bet that one could impregnate their wife before the other could. The result? Both had babies within days of eachother this last week. Who won? Neither. They both have kids now. They both lose. Suckers (just kidding--kind of). So be prepared for a ton of opinion stuff for the next few days because that is what I do. And again, my opinion is better than most so go ahead and claim it as yours and become the smartest friend in your group.
Back to football, (man, doesn't that sound great to hear?) I am EXTREMELY optimistic about OSU's team this year. That may come back to bite me in the ass but seriously, this team is ridiculously athletic and talented and only getting better each day. I know a lot of OSU fans, particularly the older ones, don't like former head coach, Pat Jones. That is mainly due to him never really having much positive to say about the football program in recent history. But even he was impressed by the entire squad (especially Brandon Weeden) went he visited a spring practice two weeks ago. That's really saying something.
Anyway, enough gushing. Let's get to the meat. Click the jump to the check out the position battles I am most looking forward to seeing this spring and going into summer.
The Defensive Tackles
Let's just get right into it. It's the one group that every OSU fan wants to see a huge improvement in. Shane Jarka and Chris Donaldson have graduated so that immediately leaves the two starting spots open for competition. So who does that leave?
Nigel Nicholas got a lot of playing time last season but honestly, he is a bit undersized. I'd like to see him used primarily in speed packages and on third down.
Christian Littlehead seems to be the knight in shining armor right now. From everything the coaches have said, this kid is legit. He is a redshirt freshman but he is a whopping 330 pounds. Big boy. But he moves fast and has great handwork (giggle).
Two other guys, Diamonte Wheeler and Anthony Rogers are redshirt freshmen as well and will be fighting for spots in the two deep. Right now, they are going to work their asses off before the freshman class comes in because...
James Castleman. Stolen from the desert dwellers in Lubbock, this kid can flat out play. He will arrive in the summer and I guarantee he will push those in front of him immediately.
So basically the line will be extremely young and inexperienced but will have tons of talent. Where does that put them in comparison to last year? A little better mainly due to the depth. With that said, don't expect domination this year.
Salivation is the right word in this instance. These guys are stupid good and deep. let's go through the list quickly.
Justin Blackmon, Josh Cooper, Hubert Anyiam, Michael Harrison, Isaiah Anderson, Tracy Moore, Colton Chelf, Kevin Johnson...the list keeps going. And Brandon Weeden throwing. Anybody else just go camping in their pants? Pitch a tent? I'm talking about an erection, people.
Obviously JB gets the immediate starting spot but then it gets a little tricky.
Anyiam is coming back from an injury and looks absolutely ripped. He wants his starting spot back. Hopefully his hands have improved as well.
Josh Cooper is Mr. Reliable. Great route runner, catches anything in arms reach. He spent a lot of last year lining up on the edge. I wonder if he will move to the slot this year with the budding talent around him.
Michael Harrison is the guy that seems to be the next breakout star. Big, physical and likely to line up behind Blackmon. As long as he continues to push himself, I don't see a reason why he can't become JB Part 2.
Tracy Moore is a guy that I'm really curious about. Before last year he said he was dedicating himself completely to football and it didn't really show on the field. This spring, though, he looks like a totally different specimen. He's trimmed a lot of fat and just looks more athletic overall. Hopefully he can be the big inside receiver everyone was hoping he would be.
Overall, the receivers are just thick with talent. Who gets the most playing time is a matter of who works the hardest in spring and summer. As long as they keep pushing eachother, though, I don't think it will matter. Every school in the Big 12 will have fits trying to prepare for these guys.
More to come as this week continues. Next I plan to break down some individual players that I am excited to see. In the meantime, give me some feedback. Which position battles are you most excited to see this spring?