Buckeye Football Report: January 21st, 2023
First and foremost in the Buckeye Report of this week is the departure of C.J. Stroud. Stroud will very likely be the first quarterback taken in the NFL Draft this spring, so it’s no surprise he declared on Monday.
ESPN’s Greg McElroy said there was no doubt Stroud was going pro. I respect his take here but I think if Stroud was for sure gone, he would not have waited as long as he did. This was a tough decision for C.J. Stroud and in waiting till the last day to declare he was sending one last message to Ohio State about how much he loved it here.
— Phillip Riggs (@phillipriggs85) January 16, 2023
If you have some extra time and are like me and miss the Buckeyes, C.J. Stroud, and all the guys who we’ve seen play their last games in scarlet and gray here some highlights of Stroud for you to enjoy.
Who’s Got Next?
For my money, McCord is the guy. His experience and time in this offense gives him an advantage, but so far I don’t see a wrong answer to the question of who will succeed C.J. Stroud. McCord has the experience and already has a working relationship with Heisman candidate Marvin Harrison Jr. Brown has been developed by and worked with Buckeye Legend Joe Germaine in his high school days. Kienholz brings to the table what Justin Fields did and that’s a legitimate rushing threat as well as a rocket arm.
As you can see there doesn’t seem to be a wrong answer and each brings their own advantages to the table which is why I think McCord’s experience in the offense and working with Ryan Day, Brian Hartline, Justin Frye, Corey Dennis, and Kevin Wilson gives him an advantage.
New Faces in Important Places
Victor Cutler Jr.
I’m optimistic about this guy. Maybe it’s this great write up by Dan Hope. I get Jonah Jackson vibes from Cutler. Cutler played a place that hasn’t had much success winning lately (like Jackson did at Rutgers). Culter’s film is solid and this will be huge chance for Justin Frye to prove himself. Cutler also shows plenty of versatility and experience. Between Victor Cutler, Donovan Jackson, Matthew Jones, and Josh Fryar the Buckeyes offensive line should be elite again despite their losses to the NFL.
Gebbia is a good get for Ohio State like the West Virginia transfer Chris Chugunov was for Ohio State when Joe Burrow transferred in 2018 and Dwayne Haskins went pro after the same season. Chugunov was a last resort for the Buckeyes should the worst injuries happen to Haskins and then Justin Fields. Gebbia will be asked to do the same for McCord, Brown, or Kienholz. It’s likely one of these three will transfer after spring football and Gebbia will give Ohio State some needed depth.
Hubbard’s Heroics and Buckeyes in the NFL
Here’s Hubbard’s big play, the Fumble in the Jungle, with the Cincinnati Bengals’ radio call. I was cheering so loud I think they heard me on the banks of the Ohio River all the way from Butler County. I would have been happy had it been FAU Alum Trey Hendrickson but that it was a Cincinnati guy who went to Ohio State that just made the Hubbard Yard Dash that much better!
Plenty of Buckeyes will play in the NFL Playoffs this weekend. In the NFC, Nick Bosa and the 49ers will take on Noah Brown, Jonathan Hankins, Ezekiel Elliott, and Malik Hooker and the Cowboys in a match up that always had my blood going as kid who was the biggest Steve Young fan in Ohio. Nick Vannett and Wyatt Davis will have the New York Giants taking on Trey Sermon and the Philadelphia Eagles.
In the AFC, my Cincinnati Bengals will once again rely on Sam Hubbard, Eli Apple, Vonn Bell, and the field flipper Drue Chrisman to oppose the Buffalo Bills powerful offense, and Ohio State graduate Joe Burrow to do it on offense. Davon Hamilton and Luke Farrell will have Jacksonville taking on the Chiefs in Kansas City as the Jaguars look to stay alive.
In the NFC I can’t lose with a Buckeye on all four teams, and in the AFC I’ll be heavily rooting for my Bengals and the Jaguars. A win by both would bring the AFC Championship to the Queen City for the first time in 34 years.
Joel Klatt hits all the points on why Hartline is a good hire as offensive coordinator. He’s done a ridiculous job recruiting and developing the wide receivers at Ohio State. Now he’ll add the who offense to that and get to call the plays and see his horizons expand. I would be very surprised if this move doesn’t pan out well for both Hartline, Ohio State, and Buckeye Nation.
I've got a little Ohio State football news this Friday night. Safeties coach Perry Eliano said that Josh Proctor will return for the 2023 season. He participated in Senior Day, but he'll be back for a sixth year. https://t.co/1FZpjGtNZu
— Bill Rabinowitz 🗞 (@brdispatch) January 21, 2023
This is a big gain for Ohio State and for Josh Proctor. If Josh Proctor can stay healthy for a complete season he can be an All-American. In eight starts and time in 40 games Proctor has 65 tackles, 2.5 for a loss, one sack, eight passes defended, and two interceptions. Josh Proctor could add to the team from a leadership stand point as much as he could with his play and his play is stellar.
That’s all for the Buckeye Football Report for the week of January, 21st! Hopefully next week we hear about more Buckeyes advancing to the AFC and NFC Championships in the NFL and continued reasons to be excited and optimist about the 2023 season!