Ohio State Buckeyes: Najee Murray

Najee Murray granted release from OSU

August, 23, 2013
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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- An indefinite suspension had Najee Murray's career at Ohio State on hold.

Now it's over permanently.

The sophomore defensive back asked for and was granted his release from the Buckeyes, according to multiple reports, allowing him to transfer without restrictions after an off-the-field incident had left him facing punishment from coach Urban Meyer.

Meyer had termed it a "training camp issue" when announcing the discipline for Murray earlier this month, and never game a timetable for when the cornerback might be able to return or specifics of the violation.

Regardless of the circumstances, the parties have mutually agreed to part ways now, which should allow Murray to seek more playing time and opens up another scholarship for the Buckeyes, who have no depth concerns in the secondary this season with at least six cornerbacks in position to contribute.

Murray, a three-star recruit from Steubenville, Ohio, was credited with three tackles in five games as a true freshman last season, a campaign that was cut short by surgery to repair an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

Ohio State 2014 Spotlight: S Smith 

May, 21, 2013
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Throughout the next few months, BuckeyeNation will look further into those juniors offered by Ohio State.

We’ll give as much detail as we can and go behind the scenes to see why these Class of 2014 standouts are so attractive to the Buckeyes.

Next on the list of safeties is Erick Smith, who comes from a school that has sent 19 athletes on to Ohio State -- with a 20th waiting in the wings -- since 2002.

Vitals: Smith (Cleveland/Glenville) is 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds.

Throughout the next few months, BuckeyeNation will look further into those juniors offered by Ohio State.

We’ll give as much detail as we can and go behind the scenes to see why these Class of 2014 standouts are so attractive to the Buckeyes.

Next on the list of safety is standout Quincy Wilson, who led his school to a Class 3A state championship in Florida.

Vitals: Wilson (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./University School) is 6-foot-1 and 197 pounds.


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Visit No. 5 was special to Derek Kief (Cincinnati/La Salle).

He’s seen a spring practice before. In fact, he knows quite a bit about Ohio State, having seen the Buckeyes play three times last season during unofficial visits.

But this unofficial visit came for the first time as someone offered by Ohio State.


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It wasn’t your typical unofficial visit. Then again, it wasn’t supposed to be.

Outside linebacker Kyle Berger (Cleveland/St. Ignatius), who has blown up on the recruiting scene of late, took a trip to Columbus, Ohio on Saturday to see the other side of Ohio State.


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Spring forward: Safety breakdown

February, 27, 2013
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With national signing day in the books, the next big date on the Ohio State calendar as it continues working toward an encore for an undefeated season in 2013 is spring practice. Before those workouts begin, BuckeyeNation will take a look at each position to see where the roster is at -- and where it's going.

[+] EnlargeChristian Bryant
Greg Bartram/US PresswireChristian Bryant will return as a starting safety in 2013.
SAFETIES

  • Who's back: The Buckeyes will lead from the back, with both experience and leadership expected to provide a trickle-down effect for the defense with Christian Bryant and C.J. Barnett returning for one more season together as the starting tandem at safety. Ohio State even has a veteran waiting in line to come off the bench and potentially help in the nickel package with senior Corey Brown providing yet another old hand as the program reloads in front of the secondary. There will be six new starters in the front seven and one more at cornerback, but the Buckeyes are as stable as they possibly could be at the back of the defense with Bryant and Barnett poised to close their careers on a high note.
  • New face: The huge target the Buckeyes officially landed on national signing day won't be around to add depth or potentially crack into the rotation until fall practice, though there's already plenty of buzz building about what Vonn Bell could provide in the secondary when he arrives. The athletic, 6-foot-1, 190-pounder should be walking into a situation without the pressure that can come from having to contribute a whole lot right away thanks to the presence of those talented seniors -- though coach Urban Meyer will likely be counting on them to get Bell up to speed as well.
  • Projected spring depth chart: Bryant and Barnett will be back in their familiar spots, with Brown currently the favorite to be the first man up in the nickel package and a valuable option in reserve. The Buckeyes were bitterly disappointed to watch rising sophomore Devan Bogard's first season with the program end with a knee injury last fall, but he figures to be in the mix for work at some point, and classmates Tyvis Powell and Najee Murray could offer something as well.
  • Numbers game: Barnett was slowed by a nagging ankle injury for part of the season, but when he and Bryant were on the field together, the production was hard to miss. The two combined for 127 tackles, three takedowns for a loss, three interceptions, 21 passes defended, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. Barnett missed three games and took some time to shake the rust off after that as well, but there's plenty of evidence of how effective those two safeties can be in the back end.
  • One to watch: The clock is ticking for Brown, and there will be more competition for his job heading into fall camp,with Bell leading the charge. The Buckeyes already have some sophomores on campus capable of pushing the veteran for playing time, and Brown will certainly need to make an impression with his existing knowledge of the defense and a higher level of consistency than he's shown in his few opportunities to contribute over the last couple years. Departed senior Orhian Johnson proved how important it was to have a reliable upperclassman ready to complement Bryant and Barnett, and co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Everett Withers will be watching closely to see if he's got another one he can count on when the season rolls around.
  • He said it: "I've been doing this a long time, but this group with the young men that are [already] here in [cornerbacks] Eli Apple and Cam Burrows and the guys we just added to that group -- if the development goes as we think it will go, we feel like this is a very talented group which should be able to help Ohio State do special things." -- Withers on signing day
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Ohio State will be short one more veteran defensive starter than expected.

Already with a hole to fill at linebacker after losing Etienne Sabino to a broken bone in his leg, the Buckeyes will be without another senior on the defensive line thanks to a concussion for Nathan Williams.

According to a school spokesman, Williams didn't travel with the team and also didn't work in practice all week as the Buckeyes prepared for tonight's visit to Indiana.

The pass rush had been strengthened over the last couple games as Williams chipped off some remaining rust after last year's microfracture knee surgery, with bookend John Simon also shaking off nagging injuries. But to keep that momentum rolling, Ohio State likely will need another recovering lineman to chip in along with a true freshman -- Michael Bennett or Noah Spence, respectively.

Other updates from Ohio State:
  • Najee Murray: The freshman defensive back and special teams contributor is out for the season after having knee surgery to repair his anterior cruciate ligament.
  • Armani Reeves: Another freshman in the secondary and on special teams didn't travel due to a health concern, with Reeves dealing with an ankle sprain.
  • Verlon Reed: The wide receiver changed numbers and will wear No. 8 moving forward.
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A full year later, Nathan Williams is ready to return.

The Ohio State defensive lineman received his medical clearance to play earlier in the week as he attempts to come back from microfracture surgery. As he ran off the practice field on Wednesday evening, he looked ready for action.

How much action Williams might see still hasn't been exactly determined by the coaching staff. But Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer is planning on using the senior in some capacity on Saturday against Miami (Ohio), the first live action Williams will have seen since leaving the season opener last season with pain in his knee.

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