Ohio State’s Burke says he can handle Dotson – press pros magazine

Marc Znidar

Mark Znidar comes to Press Pros Magazine after 33 and a half years at the Columbus Dispatch. From 1996 to September 2018, he led high school sports, Ohio colleges which included the Mid-American Conference, Ohio State’s next opponents in Ohio State football and baseball. In the previous three seasons, he covered the Columbus Clippers AAA baseball team. His other beats were Ohio State Basketball (1985-88), Clippers (1985-86 and 1989-93), Cincinnati Bengals (1993-95) and NASCAR (1994-2008 ). It replaced the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Ohio State women’s basketball beats. In March 2017, Znidar was inducted into the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame. Znidar was born in Cleveland and raised in Richmond Heights. He is a graduate of Cleveland St. Joseph High School and the University of Dayton. He has also worked for The Atlantic City Press, Lake County News-Herald, and Baltimore News-American. He has a daughter, Amanda, and four grandchildren.


The real freshman cornerback said training against Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson had prepared him for Penn State’s star wide receiver and most dynamic player.

Columbus, Ohio. – Jahan Dotson isn’t Superman, Batman, or even Robin, but the true Penn State senior wide receiver will in all likelihood be selected high in the 2022 NFL Draft despite not wearing a cape on game day.

A cornerback, defenseman or any other defensive player should absolutely not challenge him five days before kick-off and splash those words in the newspapers and on websites and hear them on TV and radio.

But Denzel Burke, the Ohio State main cornerback, did so late Tuesday afternoon, sitting behind a microphone inside the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

Veteran Columnist Mark Znidar writes The Buckeyes for Press Pros Magazine.com.

“He’s a pretty good receiver, but it’s nothing I can’t handle,” said Burke.

Later he smiled and said, “I like to talk a little every now and then. I always like to face you. ”

The Buckeyes, ranked fifth (6-1), will face No.20 Penn State (5-2) at 7:30 p.m. at Ohio Stadium and on ABC National TV.

This game is a big deal for Ohio State as one more loss would surely keep it from making a third consecutive college football playoff appearance.

“All it takes is one (loss) on Saturday and your season could be ruined,” head coach Ryan Day said on his statewide radio show.

Last season, Dotson, an explosive 5-foot-11, 185-pound bundle, kept the Nittany Lions in the annual Big Ten East showdown against Ohio State on his own by catching eight passes for 144 yards in a loss of 38-25.

He caught 14, 21 and 20 yard touchdown passes against Shaun Wade.

No doubt, Wade should have been the team’s cornerback – a position he played well in 2019 – but took one for the team playing at the border as the most experienced DB in the world. listing.

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Asked about Penn State’s offense this season, Day said, “Obviously, led by Dotson, someone we recruited. He’s a great player. ”

Many teams offered Dotson a scholarship and the state of Ohio was among the most aggressive in bringing him to campus for unofficial visits in April, July and November 2016 and April 2017. He is from Nazareth, Pennsylvania.

Dotson attended the Buckeyes’ summer camp in July 2017, more than a calendar year after he was offered a scholarship.

UCLA received a verbal pledge from him in September 2017, but it moved on to Penn State.

First-year defensive back Trey Burke made a strip on the Tulsa wide receiver earlier this season.

What does Burke think of the match against Dotson?

“This is something that I look forward to,” he said. “I just want to go out there with my team and get a dub (win).”

Burke’s court with the state of Ohio was short. He signed up in May 2020 and signed on December 16.

The other teams on its roster were Michigan State, Mississippi State, Louisville, Tennessee and LSU.

The Buckeyes’ sales pitch must have been exceptional as Burke was a wide-out and had never played a defensive back in high school in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was a four-star prospect ranked No.8 athlete by 247Sports.

The shift from offense to defense has been spectacular. Burke started the opener at Minnesota and has become a given in the roster. He has 16 tackles, broke six passes and returned a 23-yard interception for a touchdown against Rutgers.

“It doesn’t surprise me at all. It’s something I expected, ”he said. “This is who I am and this is what I try to accomplish in my life. I just arrived, I worked hard, I put my head down and I knew what I wanted to do. ”

Keep in mind that Indiana lost 54-7 last week to Ohio State without star quarterback Michael Penix Jr. due to a shoulder injury and lost starter Jack Tuttle to all games except three after the first touchdown due to injury.

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Still, Burke limited wide receiver Ty Fryfogle to a catch for 30 yards.

In 2020, Fryfogle burned the Buckeyes for 218 yards, including touchdowns of 63, 33 and 56 yards, on seven catches.

The problem with becoming an ace cornerback is that quarterbacks start to look away for completions. Fryfogle was targeted twice last week.

“I hope the teams start to respect me a little more,” said Burke. “At the same time, I really want them to test me.

Burke was asked what kind of adjustments he will need to make to try to cover Dotson.

Quarterback Sean Clifford is expected to be in good health and in roster on Saturday against Ohio State.

He’s up against Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson, Jaxon Smith-Njigba and so many others in training, so what can Dotson present that he hasn’t seen?

“Honestly, not too many adjustments,” Burke said. “You just go out there and trust your technique, trust what you’ve played. I keep the best in the nation (in practice) and apply what I apply to them.”

Dotson was one of the few bright spots for a Penn State offense that didn’t get the job done.

He caught 49 passes for 552 yards and six touchdowns. In a first win at Wisconsin, he had five catches for 102 yards and a touchdown. He had 10 catches for 78 yards and one score in a win over Auburn and eight catches over Indiana and Iowa.

Last season, Dotson caught 52 passes for 884 yards and eight touchdowns.

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Quarterback Sean Clifford, a Cincinnati St. Xavier High School senior, should be able to play for a second straight week, according to coach James Franklin.

Clifford has an undisclosed injury to one side and was uncomfortable in a stunning 20-18 loss to Illinois in nine overtime last week at home.

How do they get back from it?

“We have a lot of leaders in our locker room and a lot of guys who have been there before,” Dotson said. “We have a lot of guys who were on those teams and know what it’s like. We know that as we approach next week, that something was wrong the previous week, so we have to go even harder in the movie theater, on the training ground and that’s what we gonna do it because that’s the kind of guys we have in the locker room.

Ohio State knows all about having to come back. In week 2, Oregon came to town and claimed a 35-28 victory that took them from the No. 3 standings to 11.e.

After that game, Day demoted defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs and replaced him with Matt Barnes.

“He’s a hell of a trainer,” Burke said of Barnes. “He only showed me love when he walked in. He’s really good (in schematic terms) and he’s a good teacher and he knows how to get his point across.”

The Buckeyes faced teams ranging from terrible to mediocre as they beat Tulsa, Akron, Rutgers, Maryland and Indiana.

Barnes straightened up the defense by playing two safeties, resurrected the famous “ball” position with Ronnie Hickman and started with a lot of youngsters.

“Obviously we’re playing a lot better and we’re knocking teams down,” said Burke. “We are scoring a lot of points. We are here to have fun. I would say it’s us who come together as a unit and just trust the process, trust the changes and trust what our coaches give us. ”

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