After the game, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer threw some praise toward Darnold.
We knew going into the game, obviously, he’s going to be a top-five pick, Meyer said. He’s every bit of it. I was watching him warm up and going, ‘whoa.’ If you let that young man with those receivers just stand back and throw, you’re not going to stop them.
James and his teammates started the birthday celebration early with an off-day excursion Thursday through several vineyards in Napa, California. He said he would have some friends and family join him in Salt Lake City but wouldn’t bring in the full crew because the Cavaliers will be flying back to Cleveland after Saturday’s game.
His mother, Gloria, will give him a birthday card as she does every year, and he will add it to his collection. He said he saves them all.
My mom is like the Hallmark wizard in our family, James said. She’s always been on time and or target with the cards. She’s pretty cool.
James was asked what his favorite birthday was.
I don’t know, to be honest, he said. Eighteen is always cool. You have this false notion that you’re a grown man, and you turn 18, and you’re actually not. But you have this false notion. I turned 18 during my senior year, and I was like, ‘Manhood now, I’m ready.’ I was nowhere near ready for that.
Eighteen was good; 21 was cool. People had known my story for so long. There was always certain clubs and stuff I used to go to, and they were like, ‘Come on, bro, we know you’re not 21. We cannot let you in here and mess up our liquor license.’ So 21 was pretty cool too, especially when I went to Vegas, because I was playing USA Basketball so much.
I never said I could swim, Jackson said of what to expect for his lake jump. There will be some people down there to rescue me pretty quickly. So we’ll make it fun. It’s for the right reason. Again, I don’t take light to things that I say that I put out there. I like to back them up. I haven’t been able to.
Jackson said he would make the lake jump a charitable event, with all proceeds going to the Hue Jackson Foundation, an organization fighting human trafficking in Cleveland.
Rodriguez issued a statement Tuesday night saying he found out about his firing by email. In the statement, he admitted to having an extramarital affair with someone not affiliated with the university, but Rodriguez denied any allegations of harassment. He also said the former employee threatened a $7.5 million lawsuit against him.
The University initiated a thorough outside investigation. I fully cooperated with the investigation, including voluntarily taking and passing a polygraph, Rodriguez said. The University determined that there was no truth to her accusations and found me innocent of any wrongdoing.