Ohio State Football Notebook: ‘That’s what the great ones do’

Ohio State Football Notebook Buckeyes Buckeye Football

Picking a Quarterback

There was no drama when it came to picking a starting quarterback at Ohio State this year. J.T. Barrett was the incumbent, and the only real battle was to be his backup.

When it comes to choosing a backup, however, OSU quarterbacks coach Ryan Day looks for the same things he does in a starter.

“Leadership, being able to push 10 other guys on the field down the field and score a touchdown,” Day explained. “At the end of the day that’s what you have to do. That’s what the great ones do. They come in different shapes and sizes. So Russell Wilson, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Cam Newton, Matt Ryan, they’re all shapes and sizes, they’re all different, but at the end of the day they’re all moving the team down the field to score a touchdown, so there’s a lot that goes into being a quarterback.

“Those things that come with moving the team, delivering the football, making good decisions, that has nothing to do with your height, your size, anything like that. Those are the things we talk about all the time. Obviously within their skill set we try to do the things on offense that illustrate what they can do. Usually when you have somebody young but moves the team down the field and maybe it doesn’t look pretty but he scores in the end zone, usually you’ve got one, so that’s what we’re looking for.”

Too Many Cooks?

Much has been made about Ohio State having former head coaches Greg Schiano and Kevin Wilson as the defensive and offensive coordinators, respectively. Urban Meyer has talked in the past about how he used to be hesitant to hire former head coaches because they might be a little set in their ways about how they want things to be done.

As it would turn out, however, having former head coaches on the team has been a boon because they know best what a head coach wants, and so they work to provide that.

And while Schiano and Wilson get the bulk of the attention as former head coaches, they’re not the only ones.

“I think it’s just a bunch of guys that want to do it the right way and win games,” Schiano said of OSU’s staff. “And we have more than [two former head coaches]. We have Kerry Coombs, who is one of the winningest head coaches in Ohio high school. And then you have Larry Johnson who was a head coach for a long time in high school as well.

“So you have guys who have done it, and people lose sight of that. When you’re the head coach at a big-time high school program, it’s a big job. There’s a lot of kids to manage. There’s a lot of coaches to manage. Different staff sizes, with JV and freshmen. I think everybody who has done that understands the challenges a little more because you’ve done it. I think it helps.”

A Group of Four

The situation at tight end for Ohio State during fall camp has been somewhat of a mystery. Starter Marcus Baugh was held out for a while, but he’s back from shoulder surgery. Last year’s backup — A.J. Alexander — is out for the season. Redshirt freshmen Luke Farrell and Jake Hausmann need to step up and provide help in the running game.

The situation also forced the Buckeyes to bring Rashod Berry back over from defensive end. The redshirt sophomore Berry played both tight end and defensive end in high school, and has done the same at Ohio State. While he has not yet seen the field as a tight end, that will be changing this year. He has been one of the bright spots for Kevin Wilson so far.

“He’s awesome to coach,” Wilson said. “He has a lot of energy and brings some toughness. Now he’s learning yet, so every once in a while there’s some errors that we’re working hard to clean up.”

As to how the rest of the tight end situation looks, go ahead and expect a committee for a while.

“Marcus Baugh is back healthy and doing well,” Wilson said. “Luke Farrell and Jake Hausmann have come on nicely, so I think you’re going to see a little bit of a group early. We’re going to see who that shakes out and how the group plays, and that group has to play well. Marcus is back playing solid, Rashod has got a lot of talent, a lot of explosion, I’m excited about it, we just have to manage to get them out there in a game and see how they play and move forward.”