Ohio State Announces Dates for Spring Game, Practice
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Fans anxious for their first glimpse of Urban Meyer’s new offense at Ohio State should circle April 21 on their 2012 calendars.
That will be the day of the first Scarlet and Gray Spring Game under the new head coach, an Ohio State spokesperson announced Tuesday.
The University also announced that Meyer will begin his first spring practice on March 28, which is a Wednesday.
The game itself, which concludes Ohio State’s annual spring practice, will kick off at 1:30 p.m. EST at Ohio Stadium the weekend before the start of the 2012 NFL Draft.
There could be a record turnout for Meyer’s coaching debut in Columbus.
The University of Alabama set the original spring game attendance record for college football when 92,310 fans packed into Bryant-Denny Stadium for Nick Saban's coaching debut back in 2007.
Ohio State would break that record just two short years later on April 25, 2009, as 95,722 Buckeye fans filled the Horseshoe on a beautiful 80-degree day in Columbus. That attendance mark could reach six digits if the weather permits for Meyer’s unveiling.
After a disappointing 2011 season, Ohio State fans will be hoping to catch a glimpse of Meyer’s high-powered offense in the spring game, but offensive coordinator Tom Herman says they won’t give the players more than they can handle.
“Here’s our base philosophy, now what can we do and what can we be successful doing. How do the pieces of the puzzle fit and gel together,” Herman said of installing the new offense.
“Then maybe you adapt and say maybe we need to slow down, or we’re ready to keep moving forward. It’s a fluid process through spring practice, but you start with the nuts and bolts and then start broadening from there.”
Attendance dropped to 44,276 for last year’s spring game, which would turn out to be the final Ohio State game ever coached by Jim Tressel. It came less than two months after Tressel’s press conference in which he admitted to receiving emails from Chris Cicero warning him about potential violations committed by his players.
Tressel was originally suspended for two games, and then five, before Ohio State finally decided to force his resignation on Memorial Day, just over a month after last year’s spring game.
That led to a 6-7 season under interim head coach Luke Fickell, and, ultimately, to the hiring of Urban Meyer in November. Meyer will likely have a new way of doing things when it comes to the spring game format, which was altered last year because of the low numbers on Ohio State’s offensive line.
Among those early enrollees who should be in action for the Buckeyes in this year’s spring game are quarterback Cardale Jones, running back Bri’onte Dunn, receiver Mike Thomas, offensive lineman Jacoby Boren and defensive end Se’Von Pittman, along with linebackers Josh Perry and Luke Robert.
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