With workouts at the NFL Scouting Combine wrapping up Monday in Indianapolis, there was still no shortage of storylines involving Ohio State football even after a busy weekend.
Here are five:
1. The worst Ohio State news of the weekend involved cornerback Kendall Sheffield.
A five-star recruit coming out of Texas, the 5-foot-11, 193-pound defensive back had a chance to distinguish himself at the combine after an inconsistent college career.
That never materialized as a result of an injury during the bench press on Sunday.
He told Kimberly Jones of NFL Network he had partially torn a pectoral muscle but said he would not need surgery.
That marks two years in a row an Ohio State player tore a pec during the bench press at the combine.
Center Billy Price suffered a partial tear that eventually required surgery to fix, but he was still a first-round pick of the Bengals in the draft in April.
A Big Ten indoor track champion, Sheffield was considered a strong candidate to post the fastest 40-yard dash time at this year’s combine.
2. Nick Bosa tells NFL teams, “Don’t forget about ‘Dre’.”
While Bosa was the center of attention during interviews and workouts because he is considered the potential No. 1 overall pick, he had a strong endorsement for fellow Ohio State defensive lineman Dre’Mont Jones.
“He’s the best (interior) pass rusher in the draft, I think,” Bosa said. “I watched him every day at practice. You just don’t see interior guys with the hips and hands that he has. I’ve been talking him up really good to a bunch of teams because he’s my best friend. People have been asking ‘Who would you bring to war? Who would you bring if you’ve got to pick one person from Ohio State?’ And that’s easily him.”
The 6-3, 281-pound Jones did not do much to stand out during workouts at the combine, but it isn’t likely that swayed Bosa’s opinion.
“Again, just go back to the tape,” Bosa said when asked what round Jones might be picked. “You can’t look at his bench press, his 40, just go back and watch the tape, it will all speak for itself.”
3. Dwayne Haskins’ development makes Mike Weber feel like a proud papa.
Haskins, Ohio State’s record-setting quarterback, arrived in Indianapolis with aspirations of becoming the face of an NFL franchise, but Weber recalled a different appearance three years ago when Haskins arrived from Potomac, Md.
“It’s like having a kid,” Weber said with a laugh before going into greater detail about the four-star recruit who would have to sit for two seasons behind J.T. Barrett.
“When he first got here he was a little chunky, chubby, disinterested,” the running back elaborated. "A guy who could just throw the ball. I think J.T. Barrett did a great job of showing him how to lead and showing him the ropes of how to take care of his business on and off the field.
“Everyone in the building knew he was going to be a great quarterback. He just had to put the things together to become a great quarterback, and he did that right in front of our eyes. It was amazing to see. He deserves everything he’s getting.”
4. Apparently not all Michael Jordans got the basketball genes.
Of course someone was going to ask Ohio State’s All-American center about sharing a name with the NBA’s all-time greatest player.
“It’s definitely hard to live up to those expectations because I’m terrible at basketball and my name is Michael Jordan,” said the 6-6, 312-pound Canton, Mich., native. “So the kids are going to make fun of me for that. Growing up with a name like Michael Jordan, everyone expects you to play basketball. And me being tall? Everybody
wanted me to play basketball, but I love football.”
He reported being a good rebounder but said handling the ball was another matter.
5. The lure of home is strong — to a point.
Buckeyes who were asked about playing pro football close to where they grew up sounded open to the idea.
“It definitely would be cool to stay in Ohio,” Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s High School product Parris Campbell said when asked about playing for the Browns. "I'd be an hour up the road. So it would definitely be cool, but any team that takes a chance on me, I'd be honored to go for sure.”
Ditto fellow receiver Terry McLaurin, who starred at Indianapolis Cathedral.
“Any organization would be great,” McLaurin said. “Obviously, I grew up a Colts fan so that would be awesome as well. I’m very familiar with their organization. I’ve met with them multiple times at the Senior Bowl and a couple times here. They’re probably going to invite me to their local day as well. I’ve become very familiar with their staff. I’m just looking for the opportunity wherever I go, but being from here, that would be special.”
Haskins, who grew up in New Jersey before going to high school in Maryland, expressed his approval of ending up with either the New York Giants (who actually play in New Jersey) or the Washington Redskins, but Weber might have had the most telling response to the question about staying close to home.
The running back spoke proudly of being a Detroit native, but he also kept it real when asked about what might be next.
“I was a huge Lions fan growing up, but I gotta be an everybody fan now,” he said with a grin.
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