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25-years ago, Len Bias did this.

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Beanie Wells to enter NFL draft. Does he have what it takes?

Man, I love the Buckeyes. They've been buried by the national media over the past few years so much that I hesitate to even talk negatively about them. The many positives about Jim Tressell's program have been overlooked recently, with the talking heads instead focusing on the big-game losses, the Maurice Clarett fiasco and the general incompetence of the Big 10. Hell, every time the 2002 National Championship has been mentioned the last year or so there seems to be this perception that the interference call "gave" Ohio State the game. Not true. The Buckeyes earned that win by outplaying, outcoaching, and outhitting Miami, plain and simple. I watched a replay of the game just the other day. It couldn't be clearer.

With all that being said, let's talk about Chris "Beanie" Wells and his declaration to enter the NFL draft today. I gotta tell you, I have a ton of questions as to whether he's going to make it. Now before you start going crazy, hear me out. There's obviously no doubt the guy has the tools, body, and athleticism to be a big-time NFL back. He never runs out of bounds and has a jackhammer stiff arm that has stoned some of the best linebackers and defensive backs around. All that, however, makes it even harder to watch when he gets up makes one of his all too familiar flights to the sideline.

Seriously, has anybody taken more plays off than Beanie in the Tressel era at OSU? By taking plays off I don't mean he's lazy or loafs when he's actually on the field. I mean he literally leaves the game to go sit on the bench. That cat has gotten up from more hits limping and wincing than Dwyane Wade. The difference is Wade stays in the game. Beanie? Nah, not so much.

Beanie's history of injuries in the last 3-years has left Buckeye fans frustrated and asking questions. The latest, his concussion in the Fiesta Bowl versus Texas, was especially infuriating. After he left the game he went to the bench and took a seat. After the phalanx of trainers (he must know them and their extended families very well) hovered over him for a bit, several players walked over to him, ostensibly asking if he was going back in. No such luck, but later on he was seen walking around the sideline laughing and seemingly enjoying himself. Maybe I'm old school, but that's hard for me to understand. It's the last game for a ton of Ohio State's seniors, and oh yeah, a chance for Ohio State to win the game and regain some national respect. Still, Chris Wells couldn't even go in for a play and show that he was at the very least giving it a try.


This caps off a career that was fraught with many scenes exactly like this one, from the mysterious toe injury (did we EVER get a clear explanantion as to what was wrong?) to the countless other times he got up from a tackle and headed straight for the trainers. Yeah, yeah, I know, he's one of OSU's all-time leading rushers and that's all well and good. Still, one has to wonder what might have been had he been able to play hurt and gut it out more often.

Which brings me back to the NFL draft. If Beanie had so much trouble getting hurt in the college game, how in the world will he be able to handle the grueling 16-game schedule and the hard-hitting athletes of the NFL? The nicks and bruises he's feeling on Sunday mornings are nothing compared to what he'll feel on Mondays next year.

Seriously, I hope I'm wrong. Like I said, he has everything it takes physically to be a great NFL back. He's clearly big, strong, and fast enough. But . . . is he tough enough? I guess we shall see.


  1. I think Beanie was a Top 10 pick in the draft at halftime Monday, & slid at least 10-12 slots in the 2nd half by sitting out. For example, who needs another LaDanian Tomlinson when you can get a Darren Sproles with a lower pick?

  2. You could hear a collective sigh from Buckeye fans when he went to the bench in the second half. Frustrating to say the least.

  3. I wonder what really happened to him in the Texas game. The coverage was so bad, I don't remember ever seeing a play/the play during which he was injured. I do remember seeing him get up from a long run, make a quick grab at his hamstring, and wince. After that play, not so much from Beanie. I have to wonder if he tweaked his hammie, worried about his pro dollars, and said, "no mas."

  4. i used to work at the akron beacon journal when he was in high school. beat writer said he had a reputation for faking an injury when he got hit hard enough....

  5. I think it said a lot about his priorities when he had his toe injury early in the season. I forget who OSU was playing, but, on the play where Wells was injured, he just dropped the ball. It was right next to him on the ground, but he made NO attempt to recover it, as he sat grabbing at his foot. The other team recovered his fumble. It didn't make any difference given the opponent, but I was taken with his total disinterest in going after the ball. His ENTIRE focus was on the pain in his foot.

  6. Hey, there is no jokes when it comes to concussions. If medical staff thinks you have suffered one, then its time to sit. No need to risk your brain and subsequent mental health on a game. Broken bones and stuff can heal over time; dementia is permanent.

  7. Beanie will have a hard time staying healthy in the NFL.

    That being said, he has to go now anyway. He doesn't want to use up his whole punchcard of hits on the college level, especially with the NFL CBA on the table soon.

    Here's wishing him luck. When he was on the field for the Bucks, he was a dominant top level player. Unfortunately, we are left with that image of him on the sidelines and the taste of another Ginn-like disapointing end to his college career for what should have been a Hiesman and National Championship winner.

    Bring on Boom Herron and Brandon Saine!

  8. Great comment. I couldn't agree more.

  9. With Beanie's size and speed, he should have won two Heisman trophies with the Bucks. Say what you will about Maurice Clarett (am I actually gonna praise him?) but Mo gutted it out through his injuries and won games for OSU. He completely changed the game when he came back in against Michigan. Beanie has been pampered too long - ala Justin's comments above.

    Sorry Justin, sometimes you just gotta play through it. This isn't soccer man.


Man, that chick beside me is smokin'.

Imagine waking up and seeing this on ESPN. I look like I'm having a stroke back there. Good Lord.

Imagine waking up and seeing this on ESPN. I look like I'm having a stroke back there. Good Lord.

3:30 AM, after the Louisville game.

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