Ohio could lose up to 16 starting positions if juniors leave

Submitted by michelin on December 22nd, 2011 at 8:15 PM

Beyond the 6 departing senior starters at Ohio, 10 more starting positions could be lost if juniors declare for the NFL or transfer to another school (which they can now do without penalty, due to the bowl ban).   Apparently, John Simon is considered a candidate for the NFL jump.  I am not sure about the others.  

My questions are:

What effect will the bowl ban and coaching changes have on their decisions?   

Are other schools contacting these juniors to assess their interest in leaving?

In addition, I wonder how many Ohio players were getting illegal payments under the table.  No doubt there are more than the NCAA has so far acknowledged, since a key informant refused to talk and implicate the other players. Moreover, if these players were getting payments and the payments stop due to the increased scrutiny, will these players bolt?  Will they worry what other details about them will gradually leak out (eg if ESPN wins the lawsuit and gets access to Smith and Tressel emails)?


Starting Junior Players

54 John Simon (6-2, 270, Jr.)

53 Garrett Goebel (6-3, 290, RJr.)

32 Storm Klein (6-2, 230, Jr.)

6 Etienne Sabino (6-3, 242, RJr.)

7 Travis Howard (6-1, 190, Jr.)

44 Zach Boren (6-0, 252, Jr.)

11 Jake Stoneburner (6-5, 245, RJr.)


17 Ben Buchanan (6-0, 180, RJr.)

7 Jordan Hall (5-9, 195, Jr.)

7 Jordan Hall (5-9, 195, Jr.)


ADDITION: as suggested by a poster below (Vivz), RS Soph players also are eligible to leave.  So, if we include three starters, who are RS So, the total losses for Ohio could, in theory, rise to 19 starting positions.  (see discussion below regarding how many ACTUAL losses are likely



93 Adam Bellamy (6-4, 302, RSo.)

4 C.J. Barnett (6-0, 190, RSo.)


74 Jack Mewhort (6-6, 303, RSo.)







December 22nd, 2011 at 8:44 PM ^

if it would be a violation to actively poach the Ohio juniors.  Regardless of the NCAA questions, it is an interesting moral dilemma.

Would it be unfair for other teams to take advantage of Ohio--a school that has itself taken advantage of the other teams, that had been following the rules?


December 22nd, 2011 at 10:46 PM ^


it's still the same wavier. You guys just weren't able to hire a coach in a timely manner after Lloyd retired. So I ask you... who's fault is it that Michigan wasn't able to hire a coach until after the recruiting period?

OSU’s because they were able to hire a coach in November instead of December.


Michigan's administration for conducting one of the most frenzied coaching searches in recent memory.

Also, Meyer has only used Fickell, Vrabel, and Drayton to do his recruiting... all members of the previous staff. Tom Herman is still coaching Iowa State for their bowl game and Everett Withers was just hire yesterday (also coaching UNC for their bowl game).

For those wishing to downvote this, please tell me where I was not rational? Overall, I just feel like this whole two coaching staff has been blown way out of proportion.


December 22nd, 2011 at 11:02 PM ^

I think it gets complained about a lot around here.  I know that it won't sit well with people what I'm about to say, but Illinois and UCLA have been granted the same waiver.  You just don't hear people complaining about that because well....they're Illinois and UCLA.

UCLA link -


Illinois link -



And to those that say they are getting this benefit from cheating, they did fire Tressel.  I personally feel that they got a deserving punishment as a program.  If they still had Tressel and he was allowed to coach while Meyer recruited - then I would have a problem.

Also, I gave you an upvote because you did post in a rational manner.  I appreciate that and thank you for being respectful.  I can only offer you the same respect.


December 23rd, 2011 at 12:49 AM ^


I appreciate the sentiment. I'll try to answer people below all in a single post so I don't take up too much room.

@death by trident - Thanks again. Yes, this wavier really isn't anything unique. In the past 6 years the NCAA has granted 11 of the same waivers, 2 of them to teams on probation (not including OSU). The NCAA doesn't release which schools get them, but we do know the UCLA, Illinois, Miami, and Michigan were four of them.

@Wolvrin704 - from my experience Rivals reports the coach who had first contact with the recruit, in this case Dick Tressel. I'll admit I'm assuming that the contact was pretty early in the recruiting process when Dick still had a future on the staff. However, I do know that all reports currently indicate that Meyer, Fickell, Drayton, and recently Vrabel are the coaches that are hitting the recruiting trail hard for OSU.

@BigBlue02 & APBlue - The NCAA doesn't grant this wavier based on the current violation state of the school. It is usually given to a team that underwent unexpected coaching change, invited to a bowl game, or recently hired a new coach: to which OSU fits all three criteria. They do this so the outgoing coaching staff is not obligated to recruit for a school they won't be working for soon. The fact that Tressel lied to the NCAA doesn't change the reality that OSU needs a new coaching staff. Anyways, the current recruiters for OSU are still members from the current staff so Urban really even using the wavier at this point (essentially the wavier only applies to himself).
It sounds like you're suggesting that OSU should have waited until after their bowl game to fire their current staff, AND then hire their new one... something no school (to my knowledge) has ever done.


December 23rd, 2011 at 9:58 AM ^

That's what people are objecting to. Not that the NCAA broke any rules by issuing the waiver...that it's RIDICULOUS to grant waivers to teams that got in this place not because a coach naturally retired or was fired for losing, but to schools that aren't doing normal things, but need to hire a coach because they need a new coach because the LAST ONE CHEATED. It's rewarding the school for cheating.

And your last paragraph...What?  Didn't in your previous post you just say Michigan did exactly that?  Frankly, your method seems to encourage people to fire their staff as soon as possible, or have interim coaches for full seasons whenever necessarily, which doesn't seem like it's in the best interest of the student-athlete, or college football.

The NCAA is also know for giving wrist slaps for cheating. It doesn't mean just because they've done it in the past it makes it right now.  The fact is, OSU gets to have an advantage because they were caught cheating; and that's counterintuitive. But so is the NCAA.


December 22nd, 2011 at 11:59 PM ^

I will downvote you because you didn't even mention the fact that the reason you had to hire a coach is because your prior coach was fired for cheating, not because he retired and continued to have a job with the athletic department. That is the part that you, as well as most who don't see this as a big deal, are missing. You are being given an advantage because you got caught cheating and had to fire your coach. That is the problem.


December 23rd, 2011 at 12:14 AM ^

I'm not down-voting you.  However, your argument loses all credibility when you fail to acknowledge that the only reason that you're in this position is because your coach was caught cheating.  Jim Tressel had four chances to fess up and tell the truth, that these five players were ineligible, yet he chose to cover it up.  

If he hadn't been exposed, would you have extra coaches recruiting today?  Of course you wouldn't.  The only reason you do is because your coach cheated.  



December 23rd, 2011 at 2:07 AM ^

I could be wrong, but some teams might get around that by calling the player's high school coach. I remember reading that after the departure of RR, Denard's high school coach was said to have received many calls from unnamed college teams. That could set some groundwork to see if there is interest for anyone to transfer until a player is allowed to talk to a team directly. Course a player could also go the Cam Newton route...

Zone Left

December 22nd, 2011 at 8:22 PM ^

Looking at that list, only Simon and Stoneburner seem like the only two with really strong NFL futures, but maybe I'm missing a couple. Klein may be a really solid NFL player, but I don't feel like he's a really high-level player.


December 22nd, 2011 at 8:23 PM ^

C'mon man, you're counting specialists, one of whom you're counting twice. Not to mention that other than Simon, hard to see many or any of these guys going anywhere.


December 22nd, 2011 at 8:27 PM ^

My bet would be that the only transfer problems OSU will have are depth positions. At USC, it wasn't starters who were leaving, it was the second, third, fourth guy on the depth chart. They'll have a smaller margin of error for injuries and recruiting, but that's about it; there won't be a mass exodus of starters.


December 22nd, 2011 at 8:31 PM ^

I'm writing a diary right now about the returning starters of 2012 opponents and I include juniors who I think will leave for the draft based on projections here: http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/prospectrankings. Based on Rivals depth chart and the NFL draft prospect rankings, I project 5 Ohio starters leaving on offense, none on defense, and no juniors ranked high enough to leave, not even John Simon. And your numbers include Jordan Hall twice, and also include the punter.

Based on other opponents' returning starters, it's looking like Ohio will be our toughest game next year and then Alabama.


December 22nd, 2011 at 8:39 PM ^

I did say 16 starting POSITIONS, not players.  Also, I wrote the post in part to make others aware that schools could poach Ohio juniors.  Due to the bowl ban, even those not going to the NFL could still go elsewhere.

That said, I appreciate your opinion about the NFL prospects.


December 22nd, 2011 at 8:47 PM ^


and starters as the same thing. Still though, I think it's kind of wishful thinking to think that 8 juniors will all transfer. They have one more year left, and if they finish it out in Columbus they'll be adored as long as they live. I don't really think that any could be motivated enough to leave unless they're unlikely to play again, which is doubtful as they're currently starters.

swan flu

December 22nd, 2011 at 8:41 PM ^

From our perspective... wouldn't it be better if they all stayed?  OSU can't go to a bowl game or the B1G Championship game.  So since next year is essentially a wash, wouldn't you want to limit their underclassmen experience?


I guess my point is who cares?


December 22nd, 2011 at 8:47 PM ^

This is an interesting point. To an extent, Ohio might be better off getting some play time for the underclassmen in a year when they can't go on to the postseason. Hard to see them using that logic though. I'm sure that they will put the best 11 players out on the filed at al times.

Then again, Urban is one odd duck . . . 


December 22nd, 2011 at 8:58 PM ^

but redshirt sophmores are also draft eligible even though it is pretty rare. I don't think they have anyone that is in this group (or even close)


December 22nd, 2011 at 9:24 PM ^

I have added the 3 RS Sophs to the list in the OP.   Clearly, I do not believe either that all these players will leave--or even most of them.  I just wanted to get out in the open the names of the player who COULD defect.


Blue boy johnson

December 22nd, 2011 at 9:04 PM ^

Based on the Michigan game, all those juniors should be back, they were all non factors, even made to look silly at times, as Michigan marched the ball up and down the field via the ground game or passing.


December 22nd, 2011 at 11:34 PM ^

and apparently "knocked off" and "knocked up" are the same thing too.

But let's be serious here, people. Everyone knows that it isn't the case that CRAIG JAMES KILLED FIVE HOOKERS WHILE AT SMU. It'd be ludicrous and irresponsible to claim that CRAIG JAMES KILLED FIVE HOOKERS WHILE AT SMU.