Two-Minute Drill: Buckeyes Practice in Shells
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — It wasn’t a day of full hitting, but the Buckeyes certainly embraced the addition of shoulder pads during Tuesday’s practice.
Energy was up and guys were flying around the field on both sides of the ball. Defensive tackle Joel Hale even laid out a team manager, but that was hardly the biggest news of the day.
Grant Back in Action
* LB Curtis Grant returned to practice Tuesday and worked as the 1st team MLB. He missed Monday’s practice to be with his ailing grandfather.
* Fickell said the biggest thing OSU's defense was lacking last year was a leader at MLB, someone who could call the plays and get them set.
*With Grant back, Conner Crowell slid down to MLB with the second group and Luke Roberts moved outside to Will LB.
* Freshman Josh Perry was the backup to Etienne Sabino and Sam LB, while Jamal Marcus worked with the third-team defense.
* Freshman Camren Williams was playing inside at the Mike LB position with the third team. David Perkins was outside at Will LB.
Offense Coming Along
* Tom Herman said the passing game is light years ahead of where it was in the spring.
* Philly Brown said he is only seeing limited action in the "hybrid playmaker" position. Herman said it’s because they don’t like running him inside.
* FB Zach Boren had a couple of touchdown carries in the redzone drills. Looked very comfortable carrying the ball.
* RB Rod Smith got some time with the first-team offense Tuesday while Bri’onte Dunn became the feature back with the second group. Dunn had a solid offensive day, as did Warren Ball…before his two fumbles.
* WR Michael Thomas also had a solid day catching the ball. Worked mostly with the second team, but some first time.
* LT Jack Mewhort looked great in pass protection Tuesday. Even held his own in two one-on-one battles with John Simon.
* Freshman WR Frank Epitropoulos punted today. Drew Basil was the #2 punter behind Ben Buchanan.
* DE Nathan Williams participated in his first contact drill since microfracture surgery Tuesday. It was his only drill of the day, but it drew applause from his teammates.
* The rest of the time, Williams watched the D-line and worked on hitting a sled on the side.
* RB Jordan Hall was at practice in shoulder pads, but still wearing a boot on his right foot.
* WR Verlon Reed was back at practice Tuesday. He participated in drills, but did not play in the scrimmage. Had a yellow “no contact” jersey over his.
* DB Orhian Johnson was banged up, but had his ankle taped and returned to practice.
* DB Jamie Wood was shaken up at the end of practice. He started walking off slowly, but was eventually carted off.
* Fickell said Bradley Roby won't be playing two ways any time soon, but that's the confidence they love about him.
* Senior CB Travis Howard was delayed getting out there today and Doran Grant spent most of practice with the ones at corner.
* Senior Reid Fragel split time with freshman Taylor Decker at RT today. Decker had a better day in pass protection than Fragel during one-on-one drills.
* TE Jake Stoneburner spent most of the day working with the receivers.
* Adam Bellamy was not in the mix at practice Tuesday and freshman Adolphus Washington worked with the second-team defense.
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