Posted on: May 2, 2011 12:11 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
The longest offseason in recent Ohio State memory just got a tiniest bit longer.
According to 247Sports affiliate Bucknuts, redshirt sophomore linebacker Dorian Bell has been suspended for the duration of the 2011 season "for a third violation of the same team rule." Bell had already missed last year's Sugar Bowl victory through suspension and would have missed the season opener against Akron, but will now join head coach Jim Tressel and the "Buckeye Five" on the sidelines for the both the first five games of 2011 and longer.
Bell's suspension won't be quite as damaging as those to Tressel or Terrelle Pryor -- he has nine career total tackles -- but it's not exactly like losing the second-string waterboy, either. Bell had enjoyed a strong spring, putting himself into the mix to potentially start at one outside linebacker position and all-but sealing himself a spot in the regular playing rotation. A former five-star recruit out of Monroeville (Pa.), Bell seemed like a strong candidate to have a breakout season.
That breakout would have been a huge help to his team, too, who saw multi-year linebacker starters Brian Rolle and Ross Homan both drafted Saturday; the unit could use both the depth and star potential Bell represented.
But unless Bell is reinstated, it looks like that Depth and potential will have to wait until 2012 at the earliest.
Posted on: October 19, 2010 11:33 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:44 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
Jim Tressel announced at his news conference today that Ohio State has lost its most important linebacker for a good chunk of the rest of the season. Ross Homan, a senior three-year starter from Coldwater, Ohio, suffered a foot injury in the Buckeyes' game against Wisconsin. According to Tressel, that'll put Homan out for "a couple weeks."
How much this matters to Ohio State depends largely on how long the injury lingers. Assuming "couple" means at least "multiple," Homan's going to miss this week's game against Purdue and next week's trip to Minnesota. Not to assume victory for OSU or anything, but ... yes, OK, we're assuming exactly that. A bye week awaits after that, then the Buckeyes host Penn State. Even if Homan can't go for PSU, that's four weeks to recover, which certainly seems reasonable, and Ohio State shouldn't miss Homan very much in those three games against relatively toothless offenses.
However, if Homan's foot injury lingers (as foot injuries too often do), a fifth week missed might be a problem: that's when the Buckeyes travel to Iowa. Homan was clutch in Ohio State's win over the Hawkeyes last season, when he registered eight tackles and an interception. That was good enough for Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, and Ohio State could surely use a similar performance this year.
At the very least, though, if Homan's foot problems leave him out long enough to miss the Iowa game or the Michigan game the week afterwards, the retooled Ohio State linebacking corps should be up to full speed with that amount of time to adjust. If the Wisconsin game is any indication, strongside linebacker Andrew Sweat will move to Homan's spot, while sophomore Jon Newsome will replace Sweat.
So, no: Ohio State's season is not automatically ruined, and it's not terribly likely that the Buckeyes' win-loss record will be adversely affected by the loss of Homan either.