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Monday, December 19, 2011

Noah Spence commits to Ohio State - Irving Impresses Cav Fans - Ohio State Names Herron Team MVP, Captain


Ohio State Names Herron Team MVP, Captain
By Brandon Castel

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Boom Herron played in only six games for the Buckeyes this season, but that did not stop the senior tailback from picking up major post-season accolades Sunday.
In front of more than 400 friends, family, players and team staff, Herron was named Ohio State’s 2011 team Most Valuable Player at the annual football team banquet in the Archie Griffin Ballroom at the Ohio Union.
Herron was also named one of Ohio State’s four permanent captains for the 2011 season, along with senior linebacker Andrew Sweat, junior defensive lineman John Simon and senior center Michael Brewster.
“This is the first year that I’ve counted the most valuable player votes and it was close in a lot of different areas,” Ohio State’s interim head coach Luke Fickell said in a statement.
“But Herron, the winner of our team MVP award, was an unbelievable example of how to handle adverse situations on and off the field. He was an example to us all.”
After leading the Buckeyes in rushing last season with 1,155 yards and 16 touchdowns, Heron was suspended the first five games of the 2011 season for his involvement in the tattoos-for-memorabilia scandal.
He was suspended an additional game by the NCAA for the overpayment he received from now-dissociated booster Bobby DiGeronimo, but returned to run for 596 yards and three touchdowns over the final six games of the season.
The Buckeyes won their first three games with Herron back in the lineup, including a 33-29 upset of Wisconsin in Columbus. Herron ran for 160 in that game, but Ohio State slumped with a three-game losing streak to close out the season.
The fact Herron was selected both as a captain and the team MVP says a lot about the way he is viewed inside Ohio State’s locker room and within the program itself.
“Playing at Ohio State has been a dream come true, and it has truly been an honor,” Herron said.
“All the memories and relationships I’ve built here are amazing. I want to thank my teammates for just being great teammates.”
It was a rough season for everyone at Ohio State, but maybe most of all for Brewster and Sweat, who had to shoulder a lot of the pressure and responsibility that would normally be spread out through a senior class.
“It is an honor that my teammates have selected me to be a captain,” Brewster said.
“I wish things could have gone better. But not one day went by where guys had their heads down. We always found a way to get things done.”
Fickell elected not to name season captains at the beginning of the year, instead asking every player on the team to assume a leadership role. The captains rotated each week throughout the season, which allowed Herron and Mike Adams to serve as game captains late in the year after they returned from their suspensions.
Brewster led the team with eight games where he served as a captain, including six of the last seven. Sweat was second on the team with seven games, while Tyler Moeller served as captain for six games. Simon was only a captain for four games during the regular season, but the history books will list him as one of Ohio State’s four captains for 2011, along with Herron, who served as a captain in four of his six games this season.

Past MVP Award Winners:

2001: Jonathan Wells
2002: Craig Krenzel & Chris Gamble
2003: Michael Jenkins
2004: Mike Nugent
2005: A.J. Hawk
2006: Troy Smith
2007: Beanie Wells
2008: Beanie Wells
2009: Kurt Coleman
2010: Dane Sanzenbacher

2011 Award Winners

Team MVP: Dan Herron (2010 Dane Sanzenbacher)

Archie Griffin Award (Outstanding Offensive Player): Braxton Miller (2010 Terrelle Pryor)

Bill Willis Award (Outstanding Defensive Player): John Simon (2010 Cam Heyward)

Bo Rein Award (Most Inspirational): Nate Ebner (2010 Sanzenbacher)

Jim Marshall Warrior Award: Tyler Moeller (Brandon Saine & Aaron Gant)

First-Year Offensive Player: Braxton Miller (2010 Corey Brown)

First-Year Defensive Player: Bradley Roby (2010 Johnathan Hankins)

Rex Kern Award (Outstanding Offensive Back): Zach Boren (2010 Boom Herron)

Paul Warfield Award (Outstanding WR): Corey Brown (2010 Sanzenbacher)

Jim Parker Award (Outstanding Offensive Lineman): Michael Brewster and Mike Adams (2010 Justin Boren & Bryant Browning)

Ike Kelley Award (Special Teams Standout): Nate Ebner (2010 Jake McQuaide)

Randy Gradishar Award (Outstanding LB): Andrew Sweat (2010 Brian Rolle & Ross Homan)

Arnie Chonko (Outstanding DB): C.J. Barnett (2010 Chimdi Chekwa & Jermale Hines)

Jack Stephenson Award (Outstanding Defensive Lineman): Johnathan Hankins (2010 Dexter Larimore)

John Galbreath Award (Academic Success): Chris Maxwell

Agonis Club Rick Meyer Award: Ryan Shazier (15 tackles vs. Penn State)







Noah Spence commits to Ohio State
For the last several months, Noah Spence's plan was to make an announcement at the Under Armour All-American Game. And up until three weeks ago, Ohio State wasn't going to be one of the hats on the table.
On Sunday, during an official visit to Ohio State, though, Spence, a five-star defensive end ranked No. 4 overall nationally, committed to the Buckeyes -- the program's third ESPNU 150 commit in just a week.
"It just felt right -- the family atmosphere, the great coaches," Spence said shortly after leaving the Ohio State campus. "The players want to win and the coaches want to win, and they're trying to build something that I want to be a part of. ...
"I wanted to get it out the way. It felt right, so, you know, why not?"
Before the season, Spence (Harrisburg, Pa./Bishop McDevitt) named a top seven, and Ohio State wasn't on the list. Penn State was the favorite to land him, but the child sex-abuse scandal at the university jumbled Spence's leaderboard as new teams began to enter the fold.
Still, Ohio State didn't become a factor until Urban Meyer was named coach on Nov. 28, and Meyer got in touch with Spence shortly after he was hired. Spence had never visited Ohio State before this weekend.
"I wasn't really into them a lot," Spence said. "As I got to learn about the staff and what they're trying to do and how close it is to my home, it felt like a fit."
Throughout his recruitment, Spence maintained whichever school he chose had to feel like a second home; Spence is one of nine sons to Greg and Helen Spence. During his official visit, Spence said it was the non-football discussions with the Buckeyes staff that sold him.
"Everyone was talking about their own families and everything like regular people," Spence said. "Everything wasn't about football. That made me feel comfortable. ...
"It wasn't so much what (the coaches) were saying. It was the players who pretty much matched with what the coaches were saying. It wasn't like it was fake or anything."
As with ESPNU 150 defensive lineman Se'Von Pittman and Tommy Schutt, who committed Dec. 12, the Buckeyes staff alleviated any fears Spence had about looming NCAA sanctions.
"We believe everything will work out fine," Greg Spence said. "There won't be any long-term repercussions."
From the beginning, Spence was never a fan of the recruiting process and routinely avoided calls from college coaches during his senior season, and he said he is relieved the process has come to a close as he doesn't believe he will make any other visits.
"I can see where I'm going to be at for the next four years," Spence said. "I'll always have my family at McDevitt, but now I'll be building a new family and help a new family out."
Spence is the Buckeyes' first five-star commitment and 19th overall. Since Nov. 17, the Buckeyes have landed four ESPNU 150 prospects, beginning with Adolphus Washington and ending this week with Pittman, Schutt and Spence.



Irving Impresses Cav Fans

CLEVELAND, Ohio - Kyrie Irving made a strong impression on Cleveland fans during the Cavaliers' free scrimmage at Quicken Loans Arena on Sunday.
Irving received the loudest ovation during player introductions and the No. 1 overall draft pick from Duke was cheered throughout the scrimmage.
"It was a great feeling to be out there," he said. "When I pulled up into the parking garage, a lot of nerves were going. It was a lot of fun to finally play at the Q and be out there with my teammates."
Cleveland fans are counting on Irving to be the centerpiece in the Cavaliers' rebuilding project after the departure of LeBron James. Cleveland won 19 games last season.
Irving, whose Gold team defeated the Wine team 67-57 in the scrimmage that lasted three quarters, quickly provided a couple of highlights. Less than a minute into the game, he threw an alley-oop pass to Omri Casspi for a dunk. He then drove past Ramon Sessions and scored on a left-handed layup.
Irving added two more alley-oop passes that resulted in dunks and picked off a pass at midcourt and drove in for a dunk of his own. He finished with 14 points, nine assists, six rebounds and five turnovers in 31 minutes.
"I'm focused on getting better every day," Irving said. "I'm trying to fit into this team as best as I can. That's the most important thing right now."
Three of Irving's assists were on alley-oop passes, which brought the crowd to its feet.
"I've been doing those lob passes ever since I can remember, even in the eighth grade when no one could dunk," he said. "I've been practicing that my whole life. I don't think there's an art to it. It's a basketball play."
Cleveland coach Byron Scott hasn't committed to Irving as his starting point guard in the season opener against Toronto on Dec. 26. Irving came off the bench in Friday's preseason opener against Detroit and scored 21 points in 27 minutes.
The door for Irving to start opened last week when the Cavaliers waived Baron Davis under the NBA's new amnesty rule. The Cavaliers host the Pistons in the final preseason game Tuesday. Scott has said he won't make his decision until the opener, but Irving is expected to start.
Tristan Thompson, the No. 4 pick in the draft, scored 12 points and had six rebounds in 26 minutes.

NOTES: Casspi, who had been sidelined with a sore knee, scored nine points in 17 minutes. He's expected to be the starting small forward. ... Former Cavaliers C Zydrunas Ilgauskas was in attendance. He retired after playing last season with Miami. Ilgauskas would like to stay in basketball in some capacity. "I'm not sure what I'm going to do," he said. "It's been a long time since I've been home at this time of the year. This is kind of new to me." ... G Manny Harris (foot) will likely be out for two weeks. ... The Cavaliers waived F's Kyle Goldcamp and Tyrell Biggs.

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