Spring Football Observations and Updates — Practice No. 3

COLUMBUS — Ohio State returned to the practice field on Tuesday morning for spring ball practice No. 3 after taking a week off for Spring Break.

The Ohio State media was invited to watch the first 30 minutes of practice at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Here are some observations as well as updates from head coach Ryan Day.

The Buckeyes opened practice with their punt period and that was followed by a period emphasizing ball security. Ohio State was in pads for the first time this spring.

Cameron Brown was participating in the defensive back drills after only participating in punt coverage work during the first practice.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Cameron Martinez, and Julian Fleming continued to take reps at punt returner.

Mitchell Melton worked out with the defensive line unit and Cade Stover worked with the linebackers once again.

Josh Proctor and Tyler Friday were not participating in their unit drills on Tuesday.

Ryan Day Updates

+ He is proud of Harry Miller. That was something that kept him up at night but he is glad he could help. Miller wants to still be a part of the program and make an impact and they are giving it time to figure that out. “He certainly has a lot to give.” Day said one of his jobs as a college football coach is to find ways to try to help people. He is proud that Miller was comfortable enough to walk into his office and have that conversation. It was a big decision for him. “He is part of our family.”

+ In the LEO position in the defense, Day said they haven’t been diving into that as much. They are just installing the base defense and now they’ll dive into specifics and some players will emerge. The base package is four-down. “I’m excited to see where it goes.”

+ The plan is to have C.J. Stroud and Cardale Jones throw with Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave at Pro Day on Wednesday. Stroud wants to be there to help them and support his teammates. He wants to put on a good show. It’s a good opportunity for him to go through it so that he is more comfortable the next time.

+ On Devin Brown’s progress, Day said it’s a good room. He is getting his feet wet and is learning. Kyle McCord is a lot more veteran and C.J. Stroud has a lot more game experience. They are gelling.

+ On having a tight end on the field, Day said they have to have the physicality of a tight end in the game because it opens the run game. Mitch Rossi gives them the fullback, H-back type and they like that.

+ On his impressions of the offensive line, Day said he doesn’t have a ton of early impressions other than that they are trying to understand Coach Frye and the way he does things and build camaraderie. He is a great teacher and technician and they have enjoyed that. But they just put the pads on in this practice and they will correct a lot from that. Paris Johnson Jr. is at left tackle. It’s also time for the younger players to step up.

+ On matching up against the defense and Jim Knowles, Day said it’s more about teaching as opposed to winning the drill. That’s the veteran coach in him and he understands the big picture. They are focused on learning at a high level.

+ On taking an offensive lineman and moving him to tight end, Day said they are looking at that. They did it some last year. It doesn’t give them much in the pass game but it helps the run game.

+ On handing off to the receivers more, Day said they have to be strong and thick to be able to run around the tackles. It’s something they can do to spread out the field, but they have to be smart about it.

+ On having more safeties on the field, Day said they are all competing and the coaches are trying to figure out where players fit best and there are a few players still out this spring. But the players out there have a lot of reps under their belt from last year. “We have a long way to go but at least these guys have played in games.”

+ Before practice the coaches go through a list with the training staff of the players that are available and they are either limited, out, or full-go. He follows that.

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