Eddie George stopped by CBS Sports Radio on Thursday, doing half of his interview over the phone and the other half in studio.
New York City traffic will do that to you.
No matter. The 1995 Heisman Trophy winner was still able to discuss his alma mater.
Yes, the Ohio State Buckeyes look stacked and in prime position to repeat as national champions. But will they?
“Well, you know what? It’s tough to repeat – obviously,” George said on Gio and Jones. “And they are loaded. I was up there this past year, and they look the part. If you’re looking at second- and third-string guys and you’re like, ‘Who is that and why isn’t he starting?’ then you know your roster is loaded. Ohio State looked the part in every aspect. And the fact that they’re coming off a national championship year, life is good. But the question is now, they’ve been playing the part of the underdog with something to prove. How now do you respond with being the hunted and complacency and success? So that’s the flip side to the coin. If they can do that, they have a great chance of repeating. And the one guy that I trust in doing that and leading them is Urban Meyer – because he’s done it before at Florida.”
Braxton Miller, who was Big Ten Player of the Year in 2012 and 2013, is switching to H-back this season, which should make an already-dangerous offense virtually unguardable.
“He’s making some progress,” George said. “They’re thin at the wide receiver position (right now). They’ve had a couple of injuries, and there’s a couple of guys suspended so far. He’s going to be the playmaker. Just look for him to get the ball in space. I think what they’ve done is they’ve put him in a position and they’re making him run routes that are easy to transition to, where he doesn’t have to do a whole lot of thinking or read coverages. I think they’re bringing him along nice and slow with maybe some bubble screens, some reverses, and then he’ll mature into more of the mass progressions of a wide receiver.”
Of course, we’re still waiting to see who will throw those bubble screens to Miller. Urban Meyer is yet to name a starting quarterback and doesn’t intend to do so until kickoff Monday night in Blacksburg.
George was asked which quarterback – J.T. Barrett or Cardale Jones – will win the job.
“Man, flip a coin or do rock-paper-scissors because I don’t know,” George said. “If I knew, I would be the head coach at Ohio State.”
When pressed further, though, George said he has a hunch that Jones will get it.
“He’s a big kid with a huge arm,” George said. “He has all these intangibles you want in a quarterback. Coming off of a national championship run, he’s definitely the guy I think will take the helm, in my opinion.”
Regardless of who is named quarterback, the Buckeyes will be favored to win the Big Ten – just as long as That Team Up North doesn’t get in the way.
And no, we’re not talking about Michigan.
“The biggest competition is Michigan State, in my opinion,” George said. “They look the part. They’re a national championship-caliber football team. Everybody’s looking at Michigan, but let’s be real: Michigan State has owned them the last two years. So it’s going to come down to Michigan State and Ohio State for sure.”