Two-Minute Drill: OSU Media Day Updates
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS — Ohio State didn’t practice on Sunday, but the Buckeyes were at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center for the team’s fall media day.
OSU head coach Urban Meyer spoke to us for about 20-25 minutes before handing things over to the players. We got to speak to a number of guys, including most of the freshmen and some of the guys returning from injury.
Jake Stoneburner, Jack Mewhort and Bri’onte Dunn were not made available Sunday, but there were plenty of updates about all of them.
* DE Nathan Williams said he feels 90% right now and expects to play in the season-opener against Miami.
* Williams has been going through some contact drills, but no live hitting yet for him.
* Williams said last season was tough because he felt like the forgotten man. Said Coach Meyer made him feel important again. Meyer said this D-Line could be on same level as his ‘06 and ‘08 teams if Williams is healthy.
* RB Jordan Hall still in a walking boot, but said he wants to be back by the second game; won't be later than the third.
* WR Verlon Reed said he feels 95% right now. He is running and cutting, but no live hitting. Expects to be back soon and thinks he could play the hybrid No. 3 position until Hall gets back.
* WR Evan Spencer said he was “spooked” by his knee injury in practice Friday. Really happy it was only a bruise. Said he will be back out there at full-go for Monday's practice.
* Freshman OL Joey O’Connor was still walking with a limp during OSU Media Day Sunday.
* Urban Meyer said senior Jake Stoneburner is official a WR now, adding “we have two pretty good TE's in Heuerman and Vannett.”
* Meyer said he's come up with some packages on paper to get Braxton Miller and Kenny Guiton on the field together, but they don’t know it yet. “Both guys are in our best 11. Our job to get them on the field.”
* Bri’onte Dunn and Rod Smith are battling for the No. 2 RB spot. Both had good scrimmages yesterday.
* Meyer said Taylor Decker and Reid Fragel are in a battle for RT spot, but it’s not a battle of two All-Big Ten players right now. Both still learning.
* Meyer said guys are doing a “average” job of replacing Jordan Hall at hybrid spot. Said Philly Brown is the closest. Jake Stoneburner filling that role in his own way. Not exactly what they want. They don't feel comfortable handing him the ball yet.
* Freshman LB David Perkins called Camren Williams “the perfect Mike linebacker.” Said he really knows the defense and has great reaction time.
* Freshman Adolphus Washington said he reported to OSU at 295 pounds; down to 289 now. Said they plan to move him around, both inside and outside, but he is primarily backing up Big Hank inside.
* Meyer said this coming week of practice will be the "hardest week of training" they have. “This will make or break us.”
* Meyer threw the young guys right into the mix during Saturday's scrimmage to see if they could handle game-like experience. Noah Spence performed so well they took the freshman stripe off his helmet right on the field after the scrimmage.
* Meyer picked out Carlos Hyde, Andrew Norwell and Nick Vannett as the most improved guys on offense. Named Joel Hale, Christian Bryant and David Perkins as three guys who have really impressed him on D.
* Meyer said Norwell and Marcus Hall have made the biggest strides on the O-Line.
* John Simon said Spence is probably the most athletic guy on the entire defensive line. Said he had goose bumps Saturday when they took Spence's stripe off after practice.
* Simon said Spence had a tremendous scrimmage and has been working a lot with the twos over the last week. Perkins said Spence is a monster and "no one can block him."
* Spence told me the toughest lineman he has faced this fall is Jack Mewhort. Said he is strong and has a lot of tricks. Even used the eye poke against him once.
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