By Matt McCoy
Only three practices into Spring drills at Ohio State, New Albany product Darron Lee has made quite an impression on Buckeye coach Urban Meyer. Lee is giving Meyer exactly what the coach is looking for...effort.
"I have no idea what (Lee) is doing and he has no idea probably what he's doing but I don't care," Meyer said. "I want to make sure that that culture is out there. You're not being graded on if the kid knows what he's doing right now. What you are being graded on as a unit leader and a coach is will the kid play as hard as he possibly can."
And Meyer says Lee is doing just that. The redshirt freshman has been running with the first unit at linebacker as the Buckeyes look for defensive answers after a disappointing finish to the 2013 season.
"There's never been a team, in 27 years of coaching, that I've seen that the team that didn't play the hardest didn't win that game," Meyer said. "Lack of execution and lack of technique you can overcome with incredible effort. You can't overcome lack of effort with great technique. That doesn't happen."
Lee's hustle and spirit are ingredients Meyer believes are essential to improving a defense that allowed 115 points in the last three games. It's the aggressive, no fear attitude Meyer wants.
"I've got to make sure we have a clarity of purpose and culture here at Ohio State and it's not scared of making a mistake. It's not the timid, it's a very aggressive approach to everything we do," Meyer said. "We go block punts...you know what? We're going to run into a punter every once in a while. On defense, we don't play defense the way I want it played. I want an aggressive defense not worried about things. Every once in a while you might give up a big play but that's much more appealing to me than just watching us giving up yards, giving up yards and giving up yards. I want to create issues for the offense."
In addition to Lee, Meyer singled out freshman linebacker Raekwon McMillan as a player making a positive impact. Will Lee, McMillan and the rest of the defense parlay the aggressive attitude into improved production? Time will tell...but at least they'll be playing a style Meyer wants.
To listen to Meyer's conversation with reporters click here:
Sibert Ready To Face Former Teammates
There are several storylines surrounding the Basketball Buckeyes match-up with Dayton in the NCAA tournament Thursday. Topping the list is Flyers leading scorer Jordan Sibert going head-to-head against his former teammates.
Sibert was part of Ohio State's 2010 recruiting class which included Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr. but transferred after his sophomore year, looking for more playing time. He found it in Dayton and now squares off with the Buckeyes.
"It's definitely exciting," Sibert told WHIO-TV in Dayton. "When I saw our name pop up (on selection Sunday) I was just excited to experience the (NCAA tournament) with my teammates...and then to see it was against Ohio State...it's just exciting."
Here are some of Sibert's thoughts to WHIO-TV on the match-up.