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LGHL Taylor Decker explains how playing basketball in high school has helped him on the football...

Brett Ludwiczak

Taylor Decker explains how playing basketball in high school has helped him on the football field
Brett Ludwiczak
via our friends at Land-Grant Holy Land
Visit their fantastic blog and read the full article (and so much more) here


Not only did basketball helped the offensive tackle's footwork, but it also helped him get leverage on the football field.

"Probably the main thing basketball would help you with is footwork. Not that defending in basketball is like pass-blocking, but you kind of are mirroring the guy and to be able to react to what any other guys is doing with foot movement. Then when you are posting up, you have to get leverage."

- Ohio State tackle Taylor Decker via Stephen Czarda, Redskins.com

While he might not be quite like Jimmy Graham and Antonio Gates in terms of a basketball background, Taylor Decker has seen some of what he learned while playing high school basketball translate to the football field. When playing basketball you need quick feet, which Decker will certainly need when he moves on to the NFL. If his time at Ohio State is any indication, Decker should do just fine at the next level. Decker not only was named the Big Ten's Offensive Lineman of the Year last season, but he was also named an AP first team All-American.

Basketball isn't the only thing that has helped Decker become a projected first round draft pick next Thursday, the tackle credits the competition he has faced in practice while he was at Ohio State. Decker was able to be tested by the likes of Joey Bosa, Adolphus Washington, Michael Bennett, and others during his time in Columbus. Decker especially credits being able to work against Bosa the last few years, because of how complete of a player Bosa is. There has been some talk about whichever NFL team that drafts him switching his position from left tackle, where he played at Ohio State, to right tackle, Decker just wants to make an impact for the team he's drafted by, no matter where that is on the offensive line.

"It's a really special place right now. There's a lot of momentum at Ohio State. We can't lose it because we've lost some good players."

- Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer via Bill Rabinowitz, The Columbus Dispatch

Not like there is every really a truly quiet time for Urban Meyer, aside from a golf outing he has been on in Florida the last few days with Jack Nicklaus. Recently the Ohio State head coach has had quite a busy spell. Not only did Meyer take part in an Ohio state high school coaches clinic recently, which was followed by the spring game on Saturday, but this week has players being evaluated by the coaches, followed by meetings with players' parents on Saturday. Add in the 2016 NFL Draft starting next Thursday, where Meyer will see plenty of his former Ohio State players find out where they'll start their NFL careers.

This offseason is taking on a little different feel from normal for Meyer and the rest of his staff, mostly because they have to focus on replacing 16 starters from last year's team. Because of the amount of youth the Buckeyes have this year, Meyer is pulling his assistants off the recruiting trail the next five Fridays, so that the coaches can spend a little extra time with the young players.

Even with the high number of starters to replace this year, Meyer feels the Ohio State program has a lot of momentum heading into this year. While there are plenty of positional battles to still be decided, some of the depth chart is starting to take shape. Yesterday Meyer announced that Jamarco Jones would be the starter at left tackle, while Isaiah Prince is getting closer to earning the right tackle job. On defense there has been plenty of players stating their case for some of the open spots, and the competitions will continue into preseason practices. It's easy to see why Meyer is so excited about his Ohio State team following the spring game.

"We were super tight. I would put my father-son relationship against anyone's. He taught me how to be a man."

- Former Ohio State safety Nate Ebner via Stan Grossfeld, The Boston Globe

After earning a Super Bowl ring during his time with the New England Patriots, now former Ohio State safety Nate Ebner is hoping to help the United States rugby team earn a gold medal at the Olympics this summer in Rio de Janeiro. After signing a two-year contract with the Patriots in early March, Ebner was granted a leave of absence by the team as he tries to make the rugby sevens squad. Instead of playing football during high school, Ebner spent his time playing rugby. Even during his first few years at Ohio State, Ebner was an All-American while playing club rugby, but decided to try his hand at football since he couldn't travel internationally with USA Rugby.

As he was growing up, Ebner's love for rugby was formed at a young age because his dad played the sport. As the years went on the pair became best friends, working together, training together, and playing rugby together. Then at just 19 years old, the younger Ebner lost his best friend when his father passed away following the injuries he suffered during a robbery attempt.

After his father's death, Ebner dropped out of Ohio State and had a hard time processing what happened. But after some words of motivation from his mother, Ebner returned to school and has used motivation from his father to help him realize his dreams. Not only has "Finish strong" been a rallying point for Ebner, but it was also used by the 2009 Ohio State team he was a part of. To this day, Ebner wears a wristband that says "Finish strong" on it, and it is helping him to work as hard as he can as he tries to be a part of the United State Olympic Team.

"We have formalized the agreement with the family. We took the next step, which was going ahead and seeking the registration, just like we did with Urban."

- Rick Van Brimmer, Ohio State's director of trademark and licensing services, on the university trademarking "Woody Hayes" via Evan Weese, Columbus Business First

It has been 29 years since the legendary coach has passed away, but Ohio State is on the verge of acquiring a trademark for "Woody Hayes". For years the coach's name has been licensed with permission from his late wife and son, but there hasn't been an official license from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Federal trademark registration would allow the university to better combat copyright infringement.

Currently Ohio State makes 12 percent on royalties of Buckeyes-related merchandise, and in the agreement with the Hayes' family, an extra four percent of royalties are directed to scholarships in his name. Last fiscal year over $120,000 of Woody Hayes-related merchandise was sold, with $14,500 going to the university, and $4,822 going to scholarships. The biggest year recently of sales of Hayes-related memorabilia came in 2004 when a Woody Hayes bobblehead was released, and accounted for $150,700 in wholesale revenue.


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