Two-Minute Drill: Big Ten Media Day Coaches Press Conferences

INDIANAPOLIS — On Friday at the 2021 Big Ten Media Days, the head coaches from Rutgers, Michigan State, Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin, Purdue, and Ohio State addressed the media individually at the podium.

This post will be updated throughout the day with the highlights from each head coach.

Greg Schiano, Rutgers

+ Being at Rutgers is a dream come true.

+ He is excited about the way recruiting is going. They have a great staff and he believes Rutgers being in the Big Ten and in the New York metropolitan area help show players how great it is. “Why would you not want to be here?”

+ It was a great experience working with Urban Meyer. He stole some ideas from Meyer and learned about the intensity it requires.

+ “We belong in the Big Ten.” Schiano said that is going to become more apparent each year.

Mel Tucker, Michigan State

+ “We have gained ground in our program.” The objective in the offseason was to aggregate marginal gains in the entire football program. “Everyone just get a little bit better and do your job a little bit better… you add that up and that’s how you get better fast and that’s what we have to do. I feel the momentum in our program.”

+ They are focused on the process and not the outcomes.

+ “We got a lot to prove.” There is a sense of urgency in the program. They are focused on meat and potatoes, not a lot of French pastry. It is a working program and there is a certain brand of football that is expected at Michigan State.

+ Being the head coach at Michigan State has been his dream since 1997.

+ On learning from Nick Saban and Barry Alvarez, Tucker said he learned how to build a program,  how to coach, and how to recruit. Tucker said he was a sponge when it came to learning from Saban.

Kirk Ferentz, Iowa

+ “I don’t know how good we’ll be this year but I really like our football team.”

+ They are focused on building depth at every position.

+ Having to play two nationally ranked teams right off the bat in the first two games of the season is something that is on their minds. They know they have to be ready.

+ On Jim Lachey’s son and Iowa tight end Luke Lachey, Ferentz said Lachey is a guy they are really excited about. He has done a great job of developing quickly and plays a position where they don’t have a lot of depth. He has a great opportunity ahead of him and they will be counting on him.

+ On conference realignments, Ferentz shared a story from the 1990s and said “never say never to anything in college football.”

Tom Allen, Indiana

+ They currently have the most depth on this team than any other in his time at Indiana.

+ He liked jumping right into the season with a Big Ten game. “I love the way that it creates a sense of urgency with your team.”

+ On the game against Ohio State last year, Allen said their word for this season is “chase.” Ohio State is the golden standard and Indiana is trying to chase them. The locker room speech after that loss was the biggest moment of the season.

+ In his opinion, the Big Ten and the SEC have separated themselves.

Paul Chryst, Wisconsin

+ “Never thought I’d say this, but excited to be at Media Days.”

+ They need to be more consistent offensively. That falls on everybody in the program to make it happen and become a more consistent team.

Jeff Brohm, Purdue

+ “We’re close. We’ve been in a lot of close games.”

+ They want to have an aggressive approach on defense, take chances, and make plays. “Play offense on defense.” Brohm wants to get involved on the defensive side of the ball more this season and have a lot of voices in the room.

Ryan Day, Ohio State

+ Spring was very important for the team. The young guys missed over 1000 snaps this past year.

+ Fundamentals were emphasized in the spring and during the summer they worked on the leadership of the team.

+ Chris Olave stayed back in Columbus because he is in the process of getting his second COVID-19 vaccine.

+ On being back in Lucas Oil Stadium, Day said to get to this point they have to figure out a way to win the first game otherwise it doesn’t matter. They have to stay in the moment.

+ “I feel good about the team. I feel good that we have some veteran groups but there is also some inexperience.” They have to address youth at quarterback and linebacker. They have good depth on offense and in the secondary.

+  The young guys played well in the playoffs this past year. They are young but they have built some depth.

+ “This will be a really hard preseason for us.”

+ They missed routine and routine games last year.

+ The majority of the team is vaccinated. There are risks with everything. They have left it up to the players but educated them. “I feel like we are in a pretty good place.”

+ On the interior offensive line, Day said it will be a battle. Harry Miller comes back and has changed his body, had surgery on his shoulder and looks good. Paris Johnson Jr. wants to play guard right now which will help with his versatility in the future. But there are a lot of guys. If they all deserve to play, we will roll those guys. “We have to find the best five and go from there.”

+ On naming a starting quarterback and delaying potential NIL opportunities, Day said NIL opportunities will happen but their focus should be on development. “If they’re worried about starting and money then they’re worried about the wrong things.”

+ On keeping the players hungry and maintaining egos, Day said it starts with recruiting the right people and recruiting in an honest manner. “We tell them there is nothing guaranteed.” The right players want it that way and want it hard — that is why they come to Ohio State.

+ A lot of freshman will be playing this year.

+ On the two recruits from this recruiting cycle, Day said the defensive line is very competitive. Larry Johnson likes to roll guys. They are going to play and he hopes they play a lot.

+ On the transfer portal, Day said players leaving is inevitable but recruiting in the right way is the best way to manage it. “It’s not always perfect but it’s our philosophy.”