Marcelys Jones couldn't wait to tweet this week that Alabama had offered him a scholarship. The same went for Marshon Lattimore, and both let the world know that their teammate Erick Smith had been offered, as well.
Marcelys Jones couldn't wait to tweet this week that Alabama had offered him a scholarship. The same went for Marshon Lattimore, and both let the world know that their teammate Erick Smith had been offered, as well. The news wasn't that Alabama had made offers to three more football prospects; it was that all play for Cleveland Glenville, a talent pipeline to Ohio State for more than a decade. Jones, an offensive lineman, was the first player to commit to the Ohio State 2014 recruiting class on Dec. 25. Lattimore, an all-purpose athlete, and Smith, a safety, hold offers from the Buckeyes.
It's not the first time Alabama coach Nick Saban has stepped into Ohio State territory - the Tide signed linebacker Trey DePriest out of Springfield two years ago - but now Saban and Urban Meyer might be running into each other in the halls of Glenville.
"I think the battle is engaged," veteran recruiting analyst Bill Kurelic said. "There is no question Urban Meyer and Nick Saban see their programs vying for the national championship in the next few years to come … and just because Glenville is considered an OSU pipeline doesn't mean Saban and his coaches are going to back off if they see players there they think can help them win, just like Ohio State."
Columbus mayor Michael Coleman is one 35 mayors who was sent a letter from the U.S. Olympic Committee this week, asking that their cities consider playing host to the 2024 Olympic Games. Columbus was the only Ohio city to receive a letter.
The USOC sent the letters to the mayors of the 25 largest cities and 10 others to gauge interest in bringing the Summer Games to the U.S. for the first time since Atlanta in 1996. Salt Lake City was host of the Winter Games in 2002.
New York finished fourth in international bidding for the 2012 Summer Games, which went to London. Chicago was eliminated in the first round in voting for the 2016 Games, which were awarded to Rio de Janeiro.
Los Angeles, Dallas and Tulsa, Okla., are among the cities that have expressed interest.
When the Crew signed Agustin Viana, he was expected to play more at left back rather than central midfield, where he would likely help the team more. But the coaching staff likes what it has seen so far from Major League Soccer journeyman Tyson Wahl, another offseason acquisition, at left back, and there are those who think he might prove to be an everyday player. Wahl has been in MLS for seven seasons but has played in more than 20 games only once. The Crew is his fifth MLS club.
Viana, a Uruguayan who was born in Chicago, excels at ball possession and ball movement, and if he can stay at the midfield position, the Crew should be better at getting the ball up the wings and attacking than in the past.
The New York Rangers aren't giving anything up about an injury to former Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash, but there are reports that he might be suffering from post-concussion symptoms after receiving a blow to the head from Boston's Milan Lucic on Feb. 12. Nash played two days later and again three days after that, although he wasn't feeling well. When a reporter asked coach John Tortorella why Nash needed to rest against Washington the following Sunday, his answer indicated that he wasn't happy to be without the Rangers' leading scorer.
"None of your business," Tortorella snapped.
Nash didn't accompany the team for last night's game at Ottawa, and there's no word on when he might return. He has three goals and nine assists in 14 games.
Mike Furrey, a Hilliard native who walked on the Ohio State football team in 1995, transferred to Northern Iowa in 1997 and ended up having a productive eight-year NFL career for the St. Louis Rams, Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns as a receiver and safety, resigned as coach of NAIA Kentucky Christian to join Marshall as receivers coach.
Furrey led the Rams with four interceptions in 2005 and also led the NFC with 98 catches for the Lions in 2006. He retired from the NFL in 2010 after suffering a career-ending concussion during the Washington Redskins' training camp.
At Kentucky Christian, Furrey led the Knights to a 4-7 record in 2011 and 7-4 in 2012, when the team won five of its last six games. At Marshall, he will work under Doc Holliday, a former Meyer assistant at Florida. Current Ohio State receivers coach Zach Smith got his start at Marshall under Holliday in 2010.
With the Cleveland Browns switching to a 3-4 defense under new coordinator Ray Horton, the team seems likely to use the No. 6 overall pick in the draft on Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones if he is available. Versatile linebackers are of special value in the new system, and Jones can come off the edge and make big plays. With the Browns expected to blitz, Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner would also be a good pick . Pairing him with Joe Haden is an enticing prospect.
But Jones and Milliner could be gone by then, and even if they aren't, the Browns have other issues, most notably at quarterback. Some draft analysts believe there are no quarterbacks this year that merit a pick that high, so addressing that problem might mean a trade.
The Cincinnati Reds assign spring training lockers by numbers, so it was chance that three players who came to Cincinnati from the Cleveland Indians over the winter have their lockers next to one another. Jack Hannahan (No. 9) is next to Jason Donald (16), who is next to Shin-Soo Choo (17).
"We've been getting a hard time from everybody else," Hannahan joked.
Bob Hunter is a sports columnist for The Dispatch.