This past Wednesday, Urban Meyer brought in former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice to speak to the team about opportunities lost and thinking before you act. Rice held a very captive audience as the team heard first-hand how everything can change with one action.
On Thursday, the media spoke with Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano, who coached Rice at Rutgers. Schiano was asked about his former player and what he had to say.
"Ray did an excellent job speaking to the team and I knew he would," Schiano said. "When you coach guys and those are your guys, they’re like your sons. He made an awful, horrible mistake. A horrible night and it crushed him and people who love him. But what he’s done is he’s tried to take a really, really bad, bad thing and try to teach others from it. An easy thing for him to do would be to just run off and hide. He’s gotten a lot of money from playing pro football, but he’s not that kind of guy. He’s trying to say, ‘Hey look, this was bad. I did a really bad thing. This is how I got there. Don’t you guys go down that path.' I thought it was an excellent talk."
Before inviting him to Columbus, however, the coaching staff talked it over.
"We talked about it," Schiano said. "You know, ‘Do you think he’d be good?’ I know he had spoken to several other schools and it turned out being a really good thing."
Based on what the players had to say afterward, the message certainly hit its mark.
"I think it was a great conversation," senior captain Tyquan Lewis said. "The message delivered was very inspirational. It taught us a lot. You can lose it all in one day. Everybody has a purpose. That message, it hit home. It was very deep. It’s a walking testimony. You can learn a lot from that. It takes a deep person and deep thought and consideration to even do things like that. Being at the highest platform and then coming back and sharing your story with someone, it takes a lot of courage."
Always one of the more popular topics when talking
to players early in a camp is how the true freshmen are doing with
their first exposure to Ohio State football practices. On Thursday,
quarterback J.T. Barrett was asked how Tate "Chuck" Martell is doing after his
first two practice sessions.
"My man Chuck, he’s a funny guy," Barrett said
laughing. "My man Chuck, I wish you could ask him how his first two days
went. It’s not Bishop Gorman, that’s for sure."
J.T. Barrett saw no need for a Chuck roast...
A reporter then mentioned that maybe they could bring
Martell out and find out how things are going, but Barrett didn't think that was a very good
"Nah, I’m not going to do him like
that," he smiled. "He’d probably cry or something. I was messing with
him. Certain things that we talk about, something as little as that he’s
shorter than I am so there’s certain plays where you have to get tall
in order to make the throw, and I was like ‘You didn’t have a Jalyn
Holmes or Sam Hubbard running at you, 6-5, 270,' and I was like ‘They're
gonna blast you if we don’t get out of there.’
he’s getting better. I think he’s starting to adjust to it because when
you come in you come in from high school and you were the big fish in
the small pond and now you’re the guppy in the big pond, he’s adjusting
to it and I think he’s going to be all right."
Thursday was the first opportunity for the media to speak with new Ohio State offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson since he was hired. It was also the first opportunity to speak with him since he and Indiana parted ways due to a "philosophical difference" which saw accusations of player mistreatment aimed at Wilson.
Asked if there was anything that Wilson wanted to say about his departure, he chose to focus on the positives.
"I think the athletic department, the athletic director and those guys made their decision," he said. "We just go back to how much we loved being there and loved the players. We didn’t have a chance to see those guys off. We did a great job recruiting and developing those guys. We were a team that battled and played. We had a lot of academic success. A great deal of off-the-field success.
"I’ve gotten a phenomenal amount of messages. I got a message from a kid the other night who’s going through a situation that just said, ‘Hey man, I appreciate everything you did. You made me as tough nails. I love you.’ And at the same time you move on. You wish those guys well because they’re your guys and it was great times. It was great for our family, but now we’re here. And you’re blessed to be at one of the great programs with great players and great leadership.
"I know a lot about Columbus. It will be a great town to continue to live. We enjoyed our six years and raised some kids and some kids are going to college there, but now we’ll move over here and get moving. Again, loved our time, but we’re excited about moving forward as well."