Two-Minute Drill: Fickell, LBs Talk After Practice
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Buckeyes wrapped up their first week of spring practice with another day inside the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Thursday.
They won’t be back on the practice field until March 19 because of spring break, but defensive coordinator Luke Fickell and some of his linebackers met with the media to discuss the defense after practice.
Looking for Leadership
* Fickell said he hasn’t really had time to think too much about the guys who are gone from last year.
* Fickell said he is already seeing good leadership this spring from guys like Brad Roby, Christian Bryant, CJ Barnett and Corey "Pittsburgh" Brown.
* Curtis Grant said the one thing he learned from watching Zach Boren last year was to play with confidence and passion every snap, every day.
* Grant said he also learned that from John Simon. “If he can give everything he's got every day, why can't I?”
* Grant said he feels like he understands the defense a lot better now. Credited Etienne Sabino with teaching him a lot last year.
On Ryan Shazier…
* Shazier said he is not full go yet after surgery for a sports hernia. Said he won't practice for a couple more weeks.
* Shazier said he first remembered feeling the injury last year against Nebraska. Played through it but decided to get surgery this offseason.
* Buckeyes won't practice again until March 19, but Shazier wasn't sure whether he would be full-go by then or not.
On Curtis Grant…
* Grant said he was angry when he lost his starting job last fall, but realizes now it was because he got complacent.
* Fickell said it's always bad when a guy feels like he's "next in line" or when there isn't strong competition for a spot like MLB.
* Grant said he has been a natural leader all his life. Guys always looked up to him and followed him, but when he got college that flipped.
* Grant said he went home after the Michigan game and started thinking about what he was going to do get on the field.
* Fickell said it's not as easy as just telling Grant to stop thinking and play fast. "You might go 4-6 seconds in the wrong direction."
* Grant said he senses the high expectations because he was a 5-star, but doesn't feel the pressure. "I love pressure."
* Grant knows this is a huge spring for him. Said if you're not playing your junior year, there's no guarantee you'll get another chance.
On the other guys…
* Fickell said Grant was getting first-team reps this week, but Josh Perry, David Perkins, Camren Williams and Luke Roberts are also in the mix.
* Perry said he's playing Mike LB this spring, but also getting reps at Sam LB and even at 'Star.'
* Fickell also said DB Tyvis Powell earned the right to play with the first team during the offseason. Said he saw a different guy.
* Fickell said whether they play nickel or base, "we will get the best 11 guys on the field." Will be determined by personnel.
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