For the entirety of spring football, the Buckeyes went with Jerome Baker, Chris Worley, and Dante Booker as the ones at linebacker. Other players were sprinkled in here and there, but for the most part, it was those three players working with the first unit.
Despite that fact, linebackers coach Billy Davis wasn’t ready to put together a depth chart after the spring because there is still plenty that could change.
“Those guys are the ones that were running together the most, but it’s not in stone,” he said. “There’s competition happening and it’s alive.”
Why doesn’t he want to lay out a pecking order currently?
“I hate to go there because there’s so much competition left and there’s some good linebackers here,” he said. “They really are competing hard, it’s close. So, I don’t want to put an order up because I’ve told them, ‘The best three or four are going to play and we’ll find roles for you. Your job is to get as good as you can get and be a valuable asset to this team and we’ll figure out how to get you on the field.'”
The emphasis on the deep passing game has been talked about more maybe than any other item for the Buckeyes this spring. That emphasis bore fruit in the spring game as the Ohio State quarterbacks hit on a number of passes down the field against the OSU secondary.
Why was the offense so successful?
“I think there were times where there were coverage breakdowns that have to be improved,” cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs said. “I don’t think there’s any question about that. There were some wide-open plays where there were just some mental mistakes. Turning a back loose on a wheel route, those kinds of things that were really rookie mistakes that were great lessons. There’s no question there were some things the offense did specifically to take advantage of the stuff we were doing, and they were successful.”
When Urban Meyer brought Ryan Day to Ohio State to be the new quarterbacks coach, it wasn’t just because of what Day teaches, but also because of what Day has learned.
Prior to being hired, Day spent the previous three seasons in the NFL as Chip Kelly’s quarterbacks coach. Before that, Day was with former Meyer assistant Steve Addazio, and before that, he was a grad assistant at Florida under Meyer himself. It was a timeline featuring coaches that Meyer was familiar with, which also suited the Buckeyes’ needs perfectly.
Because of his background, Day has taken plenty from each of the coaches he has worked under.
“There is a lot of ways to skin a cat,” he said. “I have been really fortunate that way, to be around some great coaches. Obviously, Coach Meyer is one of them. Chip is another one. You go through the guys that I have been exposed to, I have been really lucky that way. That is what you have to do. You have to take a little bit here and there.”