Beware the local kid who gets away.
If you’re looking for part of the reason for Michigan State’s success against Ohio State, the Spartans’ roster should give a clue.
This year, like most, Michigan State is laden with Ohio natives. Twenty-six Spartans are from Ohio. Ten are starters, including the punter and kicker. Offensive tackle Luke Campbell is from Lewis Center and linebacker Chris Frey is from Upper Arlington.
Typically, these are players that Ohio State didn’t pursue heavily as the Buckeyes’ recruiting approach has gone even more national under Urban Meyer. To play at Ohio Stadium against the Buckeyes is something they’ve no doubt circled on their calendars.
“There’s a little added enthusiasm, I would say, to have an opportunity to go back home and play,” Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said. “I think that’s normal. So maybe they get ready a little bit (more), and it’s channeled down from players who’ve played here before. It’s no different when we play in this state against our rival here.”
Dantonio himself is a Zanesville native and former Ohio State defensive coordinator.
Meyer credited Michigan State for their recruiting acumen in Ohio.
“They do a great job of identifying the guy who's maybe a little under the radar and developing them,” he said on his radio call-in show.
Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson has been nominated for the Broyles Award, which is given to the top assistant coach in college football.
Meyer said the nomination is well-deserved. Johnson has recruited and developed a unit that is regarded as the backbone of the team.
“He makes the comment that he just doesn't coach people, he invests in them,” Meyer said. “You can see the investment, and players appreciate that.”
Meyer said that the Buckeyes are being careful with left tackle Jamarco Jones in practice this week. He left the Iowa game briefly after he got his leg rolled up on a play in the second quarter. Jones said Wednesday he was fine, and he is expected to play against Michigan State. … Freshman Brendon White, who has bounced back and forth from safety to wide receiver, is back on defense this week, Meyer said. He was in uniform as a wide receiver last week because the Buckeyes were short-handed at that position with Parris Campbell out. Campbell will return this week.