Mark your calendars, because these are only five months away! (/sobs)
ESPN on Monday announced seven Big Ten games that’ll kick off in primetime, either on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2, this upcoming season. Not surprisingly, six of the seven feature either Ohio State or Michigan. The list:
Oct. 8: Michigan at Rutgers (7 p.m. or 8 p.m. ET)
Oct. 15: Ohio State at Wisconsin (8 p.m. ET)
Oct. 22: Ohio State at Penn State (8 p.m. ET)
Oct. 29: Northwestern at Ohio State (5:30 p.m. ET)
Oct. 29: Nebraska at Wisconsin (7 p.m. ET)
Nov. 5: Nebraska at Ohio State (8 p.m. ET)
Nov. 12: Michigan at Iowa (7 p.m. or 8 p.m. ET)
Noticeably absent from this list is Michigan State, though the Big Ten has a deal with Fox, too, meaning the Spartans will almost certainly play in primetime at some point this season. Plus, Ohio State and Michigan equal ratings, no matter how good either team is (and both are expected to be pretty good this season, of course).
Forget about going shirtless at a satellite camp or a sleepover or climbing up a tree or any of the like; this is what you call a recruiting pitch.
During the course of the three-day NFL draft, a dozen former Ohio State Buckeyes were drafted. While OSU failed to break its own record for most picks in a single draft, the 12 selections in the first four rounds were the most ever.
And, not surprisingly, those players are going to get paid.
According to PennLive.com‘s David Jones, those players will sign contracts that could be worth a total of $120 million. Tim May of the Columbus Dispatch has the number pegged slightly lower at $111,462,707. Either way, that’s a lot of cash — and a lot dollar signs for Urban Meyer to flout in front of potential recruits.
Of course, not all of that money is guaranteed, although the guaranteed dollars involved aren’t too shabby either. From the Dispatch:
Just the signing bonuses alone, which range from Bosa’s projected $17,017,226 to Jones’ $383,393, have an expected total of $60,526,660. Unless a player does something to cause his contract to be voided, signing bonuses are theirs to keep.
Regardless of how you spin it, former Buckeyes did quite well financially the last couple of days. And, as Jones alludes to when it comes to James Franklin and Penn State specifically and the Big Ten in general, Meyer and the Buckeyes are in an entirely different zip code than the rest of the conference — a fact that will no doubt come up on the vast expanses of the recruiting trail.
The good news for Franklin and Penn State: They had three of those 11. The bad news for them and everyone else in the league: Urban Meyer is probably preparing a recruiting flyer right now with a 9-figure dollar amount printed in big bold numbers.
In the run-up to the Notre Dame-Ohio State Fiesta Bowl following the 2015 regular season, many a pundit pounded the pulpit on the plethora of potential next-level players* who would litter the field that night. At least in this instance, said pundits absolutely nailed it.
As the dust has settled in Chicago and the 2016 NFL draft has been put to bed, the tally is official: a whopping 19 Buckeyes and Fighting Irish players who took part in or were on the roster for OSU’s 16-point win in the desert were selected in the seven rounds of the annual selection meeting.
The Buckeyes, who entered Day 3 with a record 10 players drafted the first two days, finished with 12 players plucked by various NFL clubs. While that total is impressive, it falls just short of the record of 14 set by… the 2004 Buckeyes.
They did, though, set one record on the day, and at their own expense.
The Irish, meanwhile — and if you can calculate at a third-grade level — saw seven players selected in the draft. While it was a good haul, it was tied fourth, along with Alabama and Florida, behind OSU’s 12, Clemson’s nine and UCLA’s eight.
There were nine schools that had five players each drafted: Arkansas, Georgia, LSU, Michigan State, Ole Miss, Penn State, Stanford, TCU and West Virginia.
(*Alarmed at a little alliteration?)
As NFL teams are busy adding former college football players, one program at this level is busy turning one of its current players into a former one.
Earlier today, 247Sports.com reported that Kamonte Carter had been dismissed from the Nittany Lions for violating unspecified team rules. A short while later, the football program confirmed the development.
And, according to the school, the redshirt freshman defensive tackle was on the receiving end of James Franklin‘s boot more than a week ago.
“Kam Carter was informed on April 21 that he is no longer a member of the Penn State football team for a violation of team rules,” the university said in a statement. “We appreciate Kam’s contributions to the program and wish him success in the future.”
Carter was a four-star member of the Nittany Lions’ 2015 recruiting class, rated as the No. 5 player at any position in the state of Maryland and the No. 238 player overall in 247Sports.com‘s composite rankings. The 6-4, 305-pound lineman took a redshirt as a true freshman.
The Centre Daily Times writes that Carter “was expected to see some time in the defensive line rotation this fall as a backup.”
An off-field incident will preclude any additional on-field participation for Brent Wilkerson, at least when it comes to Penn State.
In February, Wilkerson (pictured, left) was involved in an incident that ultimately resulted in the tight end being charged with one count each of indecent assault and harassment. Five weeks after an initial suspension, Wilkerson has been dismissed from the Nittany Lions football program.
“We appreciate Brent’s contributions to the program and wish him success in the future,” a very brief statement from the university read. The 21-year-old senior was officially dismissed for violating unspecified team rules, but unofficially an incident in mid-February involving a female friend paved the way for the forced parting of ways as 247Sports.com detailed.
According to police documents, the woman drove Wilkerson and his friend home from the bars early that morning. He then fell asleep on the woman’s bed. She awoke later to find Wilkerson making unwanted advances. She reported the incident to police the next day. Wilkerson later told police that his actions were wrong. “After a couple ‘No’s’ I should have left after the first ‘No,’” he said, according to documents.
In 2015, Wilkerson caught six passes for 39 yards. For his career, the 6-3, 247-pound tight end has 57 yards and a touchdowns on eight receptions.