Ohio State Buckeyes: LeBron James

Ohio State's big win wows recruits 

October, 27, 2013
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Ohio State’s history-making 63-14 win over Penn State on Saturday didn’t go unnoticed by some of the top recruits who were visiting on campus.

[+] EnlargeSolomon Thomas
Tom Hauck for Student SportsSolomon Thomas was one of many prospects who were impressed by Ohio State on Saturday.
Here’s a sampling of quotes we tracked down following the game:

“The atmosphere was amazing [and they have] great fans. I’ll remember how physical the defense was and the interaction between the players and coaches.” -- ESPN 300 defensive end Solomon Thomas (Coppell, Texas/Coppell), No. 31 in the nation.

“It was crazy. I thought it was great to see the fans stay even with the blowout, and how well the team played together, and how the coaches coached them up.” -- ESPN Junior 300 defensive tackle Shy Tuttle (Lexington, N.C./North Davidson), No. 21 in the nation.

“The crowd and atmosphere were both amazing. The coaches were super energetic. I’ll probably remember how disciplined the players were.” -- ESPN Junior 300 cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick (Jersey City, N.J./St. Peter’s Prep), No. 38 in the nation.

“The atmosphere was one that you will never forget. I have never been a part of something as big as that event. The amount of support from the fans was great. I will most likely remember meeting with Coach [Urban] Meyer this morning and meeting Braxton Miller last night after he game.” -- ESPN Junior 300 quarterback Brandon Wimbush (Jersey City, N.J./St. Peter’s Prep), No. 74 in the nation.

“The atmosphere was crazy. It threw Penn State off [its] game. The best part was being there and seeing the fans doing their part to help with the win. The moment I will remember the most is Ohio State getting three turnovers in the first half. That was the game-changer right there.” -- ESPN Junior 300 outside linebacker Anthony McKee (Columbus/Walnut Ridge), No. 193 in the nation.

The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: Lost in the shuffle of the news at USC was that Ohio State made a major impression with key targets visiting for the Wisconsin game; whoever is hired at UConn will inherit a difficult situation but with upside possibilities; junior college receiver D'haquille Williams remains committed to Auburn but is looking at others.

 

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Five things: Ohio State-Wisconsin

September, 28, 2013
9/28/13
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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The race for the Big Ten championship kicks into high gear at the Horseshoe with No. 4 Ohio State hosting No. 23 Wisconsin (8 p.m., ABC) a game with so much intrigue, even the sideline will be worth watching.

Braxton's back: The brightest spotlight of all be on Ohio State's star quarterback, with Braxton Miller expected to be back in the starting lineup after missing the last two games and nearly all of a third with a sprained knee. Kenny Guiton has been nothing short of spectacular in his place, but Miller is the centerpiece of Urban Meyer's spread offense and should finally allow the Buckeyes to open up their attack after keeping it largely buttoned up leading into Big Ten play. Meyer has considered playing both Miller and Guiton and has experience managing two quarterbacks, dating to his days with Chris Leak and Tim Tebow at Florida. But if his starter is fully healthy, he's not likely to come off the field.

Key returners on defense, too: Miller commands the most attention, but the Buckeyes should also be as close to full strength on defense as they've been so far this season. Defensive end Adolphus Washington is expected to return from a nagging groin injury that has kept him on the shelf for the last two games, and tackle Michael Bennett also has been cleared after sitting out last week's blowout over Florida A&M with a stinger. Getting those starters back up front should be invaluable for the Buckeyes as they face what could be their stiffest test of the season: Wisconsin's power rushing attack.

Horsepower: There might not be a better collection of rushing talent on one field all season than what Wisconsin and Ohio State can put on display for a prime-time, national audience. James White and Melvin Gordon have been the more productive combo so far this season leading the Badgers, and the explosive ability of Gordon will certainly provide a test for the Buckeyes in the front seven. But with Carlos Hyde back after his three-game suspension, his partnership with Jordan Hall could provide a one-two punch that figures to be every bit as effective as White and Gordon, and there could be some bragging rights on the line in a head-to-head fight to determine the best backfield.

Bright lights, big stage: Bradley Roby has made it no secret that playing in big games in front of huge crowds, under the lights and with televisions tuned in to watch the Buckeyes, was a significant factor in his decision to return for another season. Opportunities for the redshirt junior cornerback to show his stuff don't get much much better than this, and Roby showed last year with two interceptions in similar circumstances at night against Nebraska that he doesn't shrink from the moment. When the Badgers turn to their passing game, Roby no doubtwill be looking to make something happen for the Buckeyes.

Pulling out the stops: As if an expected crowd of around 106,000 fans encouraged to "Scarlet Out the 'Shoe," the choice to wear rivalry uniforms or Meyer's praise of budding rivals Wisconsin as the "king" of the Big Ten didn't make it obvious how seriously the Buckeyes are taking this weekend as a showcase for the program, they pushed it over the top by confirming Friday that one of the most recognizable athletes in the world would be cheering them on from the sideline. LeBron James added yet another layer of hype to this critical division clash, and it also figures to impress a swarm of recruits on hand to experience what should be a wild atmosphere.

LeBron expected on Buckeyes' sideline

September, 27, 2013
9/27/13
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LeBron JamesAP Photo/Jay LaPreteLeBron James brought along Dwyane Wade to the Duke-Ohio State basketball game in Columbus in 2011. James is expected to be on the Buckeyes' sideline for Saturday's game against Wisconsin.

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The royalty theme has been taken to another level.

After publicly calling Wisconsin the current "king" of the Big Ten early in the week, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer has trumped that by welcoming another "King" to his sideline on Saturday night as the programs collide in a critical meeting of conference favorites.

The rivalry, the stakes and the recent history with the No. 23 Badgers were already enough to build the buzz for the divisional showdown, but now LeBron James has been thrown in the mix as a confirmed guest of the No. 3 Buckeyes, potentially throwing even more fuel on the fire with an NBA superstar in their corner.

"Give me all kinds of LeBrons," Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said this summer. "He’s a great role model. The way he articulates, his look, the way he treats people, the focus -- those leadership videos we use, his face is plastered all over them.

"First of all, the guys all admire him. The head coach really, really admires him."

Meyer even once tried to recruit James to play football for him, at that time not realizing who he was or how bright the future was for the four-time NBA most valuable player.

And aside from that tie to Meyer, James is also an outspoken Buckeyes fan after growing up in Ohio and even has a locker in the newly renovated basketball complex that displays his line of shoes and the clothing the team wears.

Ohio State already had plans in place for a "Scarlet Out" for the anticipated crowd of around 106,000 while the team will be wearing special rivalry uniforms, which made it clear well before kickoff how much importance the program is placing on a chance to showcase itself on a national stage.

And in case all that stuff didn't have the Buckeyes fired up, Meyer calling the Badgers the reigning "king of the Big Ten" certainly got their attention as well.

"I mean, we know we’re the kings," cornerback Bradley Roby said. "We’re not worried about anybody else. Simple as that."

Ohio State has a chance to reclaim that crown on Saturday, and it will have the support of basketball royalty and a proven champion on its sideline.

Ohio State offers 2016 SF VJ King 

September, 24, 2012
9/24/12
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He’s a freshman at a high school with a very famous basketball graduate and he’s already picked up an offer from Ohio State without ever playing a second in high school.

His name is VJ King (Akron, Ohio/St. Vincent-St. Mary) and he’s making waves in the basketball circuit.

An athletic official at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School confirmed the offer Monday for the 6-foot-6, 180-pound small forward out of the class of 2016.

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