Sloopy, The Sky is Falling…
Or maybe not.
In an up and down season, things just keep getting stranger and stranger.
Brandon Saine: World’s Fastest Fullback. “Tressel said Tuesday that Saine is "evolving" into a fullback, and also will see some time at the slot position.”
Yes, that’s right. The kid who set a state record in the 100m is now transitioning to fullback, a position that only Woody Hayes could love.
From a post I made at BuckeyePlanet:
Who says we don't have team speed? Jim Tressel doesn't want to give up the good old I-Formation, so now we have the fastest fullback in the nation! I see it as a way to possibly get Saine 'more looks' outside of the tailback position. He can always get sent out wide...or something.
I can't see it as a promotion (especially with the possibility of Beanie staying and the freshman coming in). I think Brandon needs to go pop in tape of last year's Youngstown State and Washington games and get some confidence back. He looked deadly.
Owen Schmidt tore off big runs because he had a lot of space and hit holes, occassionally knock over a few guys. There just hasn't been any 'open space' to work for anybody on this team outside of Beanie sometimes (and Pryor, but less so).
But nothing is set in stone. A lot of guys move around (maybe not RB to FB) and Brandon is only a sophomore.
I think this is a positive development in respect to how Saine has performed so far in his sophomore slump. Many fans have been saying for a while that he is most dangerous with a ton of room to run, so a few more misdirections or plays from the slot can’t hurt.
RB to FB, WR to FCS?
From change of position to a possible change of teams, Ray Small has been suspended for the Saturday's Northwestern game and the next week at Illinois. Ken Small, Ray’s father, has stated that the dispute is personal and a transfer to a FCS (1-AA) team is likely.
Going from the “Next Ted Ginn” to the “Next Eugene Clifford” (yea, I went there) is not easy, but lack of production, on and off the field, has plagued Ray Small. Rumors, missing class or team meetings coupled with a brief freshman season, a lackluster sophomore season, and whatever is going on this season will likely spell the end of this Buckeye receiver.
Small was ranked as one of the top receivers coming out of high school, a few spots back of Percy Harvin.
Maybe Ray just needs a positive influence in his life, and you might want to sign his father up for that too. After admitting he wanted to have his son fake a injury to get a medical redshirt and transfer, he continues with a litany of items that are known to get you in the Tressel dog house:
"He had some parking tickets [driving a car with unregistered plates], he was late to class, he might have had a bad grade—college stuff, things that go on in daily life for college kids," Ken Small said. "They take everything he does and doesn't do off the field and they take it apart…We see it as a family that they are intentionally blowing his whole career.”
Ouch. I don’t want to stick up for anyone in this case, but this whole situation made me think back to ESPN’s witch-hunt after the Maurice Clarett Saga. A young man by the name of Sammy Maldonado, a Cooper recruit, found himself (for whatever reasons) in Tressel’s doghouse. Back then ESPN went as far as to incriminatingly say “Within a year, Maldonado would be roadkill, unwanted by the team he played for and unable to play for anyone else”.
Throughout the story, ESPN mentions that even the family knew he was trouble, when they told John Cooper “you're getting a very good football player, but you're also getting a pain in the ass.”
ESPN continued to throw blame (and caution) to the wind, as they state the school and character issues Maldonado experienced at Maryland, saying Coach Ralph Friedgen said “You're not good enough to play here; go to Umass.”
I’m not passing judgement on anyone, but we’ve learned this far into Tressel’s tenure that he and “pain in the ass” don’t mesh.