Thoughts on Ohio State’s Spring Game
By Ken Pryor
Saturday’s intrasquad spring game may have taken place in Cincinnati, but it means a lot to the entire state of Ohio. Not because what we saw from Ohio State will be the finished product in the fall, or even because it was a real game-like situation.
It meant a lot because it was the last time the Buckeyes will be on the practice field until after the summer is over. There were a lot of different things for a lot of different people to take away from the second OSU spring game under Urban Meyer.
With that in mind, here is a closer look at what Ken Pryor thought of Saturday’s spring game at Paul Brown Stadium:
* Devin Smith could have adjusted to that long pass and made the catch. He's got to have better anticipatory judgment realizing the ball was falling a tad short. He needs to "high point" that ball instead of allowing it to come all the way down to his waiting arms. That is what allowed Armani Reeves to make a play on the ball. Devin has a flair for the Big play or the "pretty" play. Now I'd like to see him make the tough play. Climb the ladder and go get some of those one-on-ones.
* Noah Spence and Adolphus Washington could be one of the greatest tandems Ohio State has ever had. If they live up to their billing, and all signs point to “yes,” they could be legitimate bookend defensive ends for the Buckeyes. What do you do as an offensive coordinator against those guys? They are already very good.
* Ohio State doesn’t have any John Simons out there, but I am really liking how the defensive front is looking.
* It is clear to me Eli Apple is all of it. I love his technique on the backpedal and turn. It seems like he doesn’t get lost out there, even at this early stage. The corner blitz was a thing of beauty. I wonder if he will be a Mike Doss type … a kid who just has a knack for the big play. Mike Thomas and Cardale Jones worked him on the back-shoulder fade for the TD, but that kid will be difficult to keep off the field.
* Braxton looks good. The happy feet are not as pronounced as they once were. He's doing a very nice job of locating and hitting the check down.
* This is the first spring game in a looooooong time where I thought Ohio State looked really proficient and competent offensively. Don't forget they are still performing minus Jordan Hall. Hall brings a level of open field quicks that Chris Fields nor Corey Brown possess.
* I’m happy guys like Fields and Cardale Jones have opted to stick around. I've always felt Fields could bring something to the table for Ohio State. Saturday he got the chance to show what he can do.
* Cardale Jones doesn't look half-bad running the read-option. Not bad at all. He throws a pretty ball, but needs more reps to develop the accuracy. It’s hard for the third string QB to get a serviceable number of reps.
* Warren Ball is bigger than I expected. I'm not sure what Gerry DiNardo is talking about. Ohio State is loaded at tailback in my opinion.
* I still say Ohio State is loaded at receiver. Michael Thomas, Devin Smith, Corey Brown, Chris Fields, Evan Spencer, Jordan Hall, with more coming in. I'd be remiss if I didn't include the tight ends here. Tom Herman nailed it though...the receiving corps has GOT to be more aggressive and competitive for the balls. They seem to have a diva mentality. Got to be monsters for those 50/50 balls.
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