Welcome to my semi-weekly column where I share various thoughts about the state of the Ohio State football program, discussing things I know, things I think, and things that have me wondering. The full piece is posted on our Huddle message board for premium subscribers. You can read a snippet here and then follow the link to the rest of the post on our message board. For subscribers only.
I know that even though Ronnie Hickman led the team in tackles last year, he’s perfectly happy with having Tommy Eichenberg lead the team this year. How do I know? I asked him. His response: “I think that’s how it’s supposed to be, so yeah, I am okay with that.”
I think we saw Ronnie Hickman wear down a bit last year. That shouldn’t be a problem this year. Last season, you almost always saw Hickman around the ball, but this year he doesn’t need to be because other players are available to make the tackles. He doesn’t even lead the safeties in tackles. Amazingly, that belongs to Lathan Ransom with 17 tackles in three games.
I wonder how much Sonny Styles has impacted the Kourt Williams plans. I laughed at the thought of Styles starting a game this year or even having a major impact, and even though he hasn’t really had a “major impact,” being in the game on the first series against Wisconsin is significant to me. He was essentially three snaps away from starting. I still don’t see him being a center fielder, but that’s not what the Buckeyes are under Jim Knowles. They just need two left fielders, and it sounds like he can manage that eventually.
I know that Sonny Styles is ahead of the game because when you talk about a 6-foot-4 and 222-pound safety, the thing that has gotten him on the field so quickly is how well he understands his role and this defense. For as freakish as he is athletically, he’s even more so freakish as a football student. It’s not normal. None of this is normal.
I think we are also seeing what a fully healthy Josh Proctor looks like. The Wisconsin game was the first game since his injury that he truly felt like himself. He’s just playing now. Running around, having fun, making plays. Proctor was very good against Wisconsin. I’m looking forward to seeing him play the pass more in future games. He still has that ballhawk in him.
You can find the rest of this piece on our Huddle message board.