Sports Today: Ohio State spring game, Bengals to honor history plus local links galore

April 14, 2017
  • By Marcus Hartman
Ohio State’s Craig Fada, left, and Chris Worley compete in a drill in front of Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes after the spring game on Saturday, April 16, 2016, at Ohio Stadium in Columbus. David Jablonski/Staff

Are you ready for some football? 

The calendar says April, but we are loaded up with gridiron topics today. 

The Ohio State spring game is tomorrow, and that will give us one big opportunity to see what everyone has been talking about since the beginning of March. 

That is not a figure of speech. 

Since the start of spring practice, we’ve had a lot of great interviews with Buckeyes coaches and players who have had great things to say about many of their counterparts, but the chances to actually view what they’re doing are limited. Such is life on the college football beat. 

This is also a big weekend for recruiting as Ohio State figures to be hosting a plethora of major prospects, including some from our corner of the state. 

RELATED: Latest recruiting roundup finds Alabama, Tennessee, Pittsburgh coming for Southwest Ohio’s stars 

One of the biggest names planning to be there belongs to Jackson Carman. 

The five-star offensive tackle from Fairfield threw some recruiting gurus for a loop when he came back from a visit to Clemson calling the Tigers his new No. 1, but he threw fans of the Buckeyes a bone on Twitter last night

Urban Meyer is no doubt planning to roll out the red carpet for Carman and many others. 

Meanwhile, the Bengals announced last night they will host a workout for area prospects next week at Paul Brown Stadium

Among those planning to work out are former Ohio State receivers Dontre Wilson and Corey Smith. 

Local high schoolers Jacob Bennett (Bowling Green/Lebanon), Zach Edwards (Cincinnati/Middletown), Austin Gearing (Miami/Fenwick), Brandon Neal (Thomas More/Lakota West), Marcus Oliver (Indiana/Hamilton) and Joe Spencer (Illinois/Mason)... 

The 2017 season will be the 50th for the Bengals, and they are planning to kick it off in style next week with a media event at PBS. 

Owner Mike Brown and former Cincinnati stars Bob Johnson and Bob Trumpy are expected to speak, and the team will unveil a special anniversary logo. 

I am among the group of people who thinks the team has not done enough to celebrate its rich history — the successful 1970s and ‘80s are obscured by the disastrous 1990s, no doubt — so I’m very interesting to see what they have in store for this season… 

The NFL draft is two weeks away, and the fever is starting to hit around here (despite the hats). 

I’ve already suggested a potential plan for upgrading the offense, but has anyone stopped to consider how Jeremy Hill is feeling about the prospect of a highly regarded running back being selected? 


Certainly have to respect that competitive attitude… 

The Reds came home and saw their four-game winning streak snapped by the Brewers. 

Bronson Arroyo allowed five runs in six innings, but his ERA actually improved to 9.90. 

How long will this experiment last? That is an interesting question, especially with Cody Reed and Robert Stephenson in the bullpen. 

Stephenson bounced back from a bad first appearance by throwing two scoreless innings in Milwaukee on Wednesday and told reporters in Cincinnati yesterday he felt better with a more regular throwing schedule in place. 

Manager Bryan Price said Arroyo “deserves to have some starts under his belt.”… 

Ohio State basketball is in a six-year decline, and one of the reasons is Thad Matta has signed more David Bells than Carlton Braggs lately. 

Bell was regarded as a project when the Garfield Heights center committed four years ago while Bragg was a five-star prospect at Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph last year who ultimately signed with Kansas. 

Now Bragg is back on the market after a rocky first year in Lawrence, and there’s an oddly worded report he “is interested in talking with” Matta. 

Meanwhile, Bell has transferred to Jacksonville University, which apparently exists. 

Hopefully both players end up in environments where they can thrive… 

Local gems: B.J. Toal, a two-time state champion wrestler at Troy Christian, died at the age of 23 yesterday… Dayton center Saicha Grant-Allen was taken by the Los Angeles Sparks in the third round of the WNBA draft last night. Ohio State guard/forward Shayla Cooper went in the second round to the Connecticut Sun… Jay Morrison has more on the newest Wright State Raiders basketball signee... Miami University is interested in building a new basketball facility and renovating Millett Hall… A new season of racing starts at Eldora Speedway this weekend.