Urban Meyer sits down for his first call-in show of the year on the Ohio State IMG Sports Network in a few minutes. Meyer will preview the matchup against the Indiana Hoosiers and provide some insight into how camp went for his Buckeyes. He will also answer a few phone calls. Refresh for live updates of what Meyer had to say.
Kevin Wilson Updates
+ Wilson joined the show for the final segment. “Time to play.”
+ This was a long camp with no two-a-days. They did a great job of throwing some off days in to keep things fresh. It was a great practice group. Defense is unbelievably competitive.
+ It takes a little bit of time to pick up the Ohio State offense and the terminology. They didn’t do a lot of scripting in practice, which forced Wilson to be better prepared and not just reading off of a play sheet.
+ Learning something new is invigorating, but he’s always been an adapter as a coach.
+ It’s nice to have an experienced quarterback, as well as Ryan Day, who spent three years under Chip Kelly in the NFL. Together, this is a more advanced passing game with a more advanced quarterback.
+ The receiver unit has been the most improved on offense, and the offensive line is the second most improved. He helps out on the offensive line during practice and sometimes Wilson takes the tackles and Studrawa takes the guards.
+ Branden Bowen is still the third tackle. Billy Price is the best center he’s ever been around. The backup tight end is dependent upon the plays and what they’re trying to do. If that group comes along, the more dynamic the offense will be because they’re more well-rounded as a group.
+ The first game is always difficult because teams have so much time to prepare. You prepare for what the opposing coaches believe in, and Tom Allen has things that he believes in. Indiana’s back seven and offensive skill is outstanding, they just need to get their lines of scrimmage squared away.
Urban Meyer Updates
+ Meyer has been keeping an eye on the flooding in the Houston area. Kendall Sheffield’s family is locked in their home, but safe. Mike Vrabel has flooding in his yard in the Dallas area. Anything they can do, they will. They’re donating money and staying available in other ways to help out.
+ Damon Webb is very good. Meyer feels good about him. “We’re hoping he has a Vonn Bell type season.” Erick Smith has had a very good camp. Isaiah Pryor has done a nice job. Jordan Fuller had a good camp as well. The job is still open.
+ The cornerbacks continue to move on and it’s a credit to Kerry Coombs. Jeff Okudah is nipping at the heels of being in the rotation. Shaun Wade and Marcus Williamson are making noise too.
+ Kicker Sean Nuernberger still has consistency issues. He has plenty of power and strength. He’s had a good camp.
+ Punter Drue Chrisman needs a haircut, but he has a big leg. He’s different than Cam Johnston, but he’s done a nice job.
+ K.J. Hill will be the punt returner and Kendall Sheffield may get a shot. Parris Campbell and J.K. Dobbins will be there at kick return.
+ Walk-on receiver C.J. Saunders will travel. “He’s a hell of a player.” He has been around for a while and Meyer never really knew who he was, but he just keeps making play after play the last few weeks.
+ On defense, Schiano will be upstairs and everybody else will be downstairs. On offense, Day and Wilson will be upstairs and everyone else will be downstairs.
+ Matt Burrell just needs a little more consistency, but he was very close at right guard.
+ The offensive line is improved across the board. Jamarco Jones had appendix surgery and a flu bug, so he went through a month from hell, but he’s ready to go.
+ Tight ends are young. The A.J. Alexander injury set them back. Jake Hausmann and Luke Farrell are up and down, but they’re in it. Rashod Berry needed to come over. They will get him involved. Berry has worked hard to get ready. Marcus Baugh has looked very good and is ready to go.
+ “I love that group.” They will rotate six receivers. “I hope they’re one of the strengths of our team…”
+ Mike Weber “should be ready to go.” He was almost 100% but had another little setback.
+ Demario McCall has had a bit of an injury situation. He had a hernia injury in the spring. They are bouncing him back and forth at running back and H-back. He needs to get bigger and stay healthy. He needs to get more consistent. “He’s coming on but he’s just got to stay healthy.”
+ Indiana’s 4-2-5 defense features five defensive backs, but it’s not much different than a 4-3 in Ohio State’s eyes because the front is the same. They are multiple on defense and they have flexibility in coverage with their five defensive backs. The roll the secondary to the strong side of the offense. He knows Indiana will be expecting some things from OSU, but the Buckeyes will change a few things up on them.
+ Indiana is a very talented team and they have continued to get better. They are well coached and they are very good players. There are Indiana players all over the NFL. The last few years they have gotten very good on defense, especially last year. The players know that Indiana is good. This is unique because this is game one and the most important opener he’s had.
+ Jerome Baker’s performance and maturity has continued to grow. He was immature early, so they had to beat him down a little bit. Now he does everything right. Meyer said that when Baker committed to Floriday, his mother called him to tell Ohio State to hang in there with him, and Meyer wrote to Baker and his mother every week hanging in.
+ Dante Booker back is good. He has been so committed to the program. “I’m a fan.”
+ The defensive staff is selfless. Each of them could coordinator anywhere in America. The chemistry is great. Former Browns coach Mike Pettine visited and he made the comment to Meyer that there were no egos on this coaching staff. Egos wouldn’t survive at OSU long “because the tolerance for that is zero.”
+ The defensive line gives them great versatility. Larry Johnson has done a brilliant job with them. They’re fast, they’re athletic and they’re taught well. They’re ready to go and Meyer is ready to watch them play. They’ve had a governor on them the last three weeks.
+ Tracy Sprinkle is good to go.
+ Everybody leads in different ways, which is another reason for more captains.
+ Meyer said his philosophical approach to captains changed when Mike Vrabel told him he was never a captain but he was a leader. Meyer thinks there is no greater honor than being a captain, “and if you’re deserving…” He let them vote for six players instead of three like he normally does. Everybody had to sign their ballto. Being a captain isn’t about calling heads or tails, “Donald Duck can do that.”
+ This is Thursday around the Ohio State football facilities and he likes the team and is ready to get after it.
+ Meyer can’t remember having seven fifth-year guys like this because they usually move on by the time they get to that fifth year. That’s one of the reasons there are nine captains, because there are so many leaders.
+ Billy Price and Tyquan Lewis could have left for the NFL last year, but they didn’t meet their goals and they’re back to get there. “They saw the signs of potentially a very good team.”
+ Meyer thinks getting rid of two-a-days was a good rule, but camp was too long. He would like to see the number of practices cut down to 25 and the start dates moved to a later day. They had 29 practices this camp. “I think 25 practices is a pretty good number, but everybody has to have the same.”