Does Leach Stick to a Coach?
New Ohio State co-defensive coordinator Alex Grinch spent the last three years working with Washington State Mike Leach. Leach is known as one of the most eccentric head coaches in the nation. He can be outspoken about serious things and outspoken about trivial things.
Everything you’ve seen from Leach on television or the internet, or heard from him on radio is most definitely an act. This is how he is behind closed doors as well.
“1000 percent. 1000 percent,” Grinch said recently. “He does a great job though.”
Going from a place like Washington State where Grinch was pretty much on his own to coach the defense, to a place like Ohio State where everything is timed, regimented, and scored could be an adjustment for Grinch. Right?
“To somehow suggest the three years with coach Leach is now my expectation for a working environment would not necessarily be accurate,” he said. “It absolutely is different, but it also goes back to there’s a number of ways to do it. His way works for him, and I will reiterate that I am very thankful for the opportunity. We had a good working relationship and I would like to think both of us had some successes because of each other as much as anything.”
The Story of the Bookends
Spring practice kicked off on Tuesday and the media was given a first look at a loose depth chart on offense and defense.
One area that might not be so loose is on the offensive line, where senior Isaiah Prince was at left tackle and sophomore Thayer Munford was at right tackle.
Munford’s move to the first-team was not unexpected, especially with the way he came on as a true freshman last season. Prince’s move to left tackle was expected, and Urban Meyer is plenty confident in him to get the job done.
“There’s always competition, but he’s earned that right to at least get that first shot at it,” he said. “The other guy that had an excellent offseason, penciled in at right tackle, is Thayer Munford. We had our champions dinner yesterday. And Coach Mickey [Marotti] gave a lot of awards to Thayer Munford. Great story. Talented guy. But that’s the way it started today.”
Wade and Measured
One of the more impressive Buckeyes on Tuesday was redshirt freshman cornerback Shaun Wade. Wade missed the entire 2017 season with an abdominal tear after a productive spring. He is on track for another solid spring this year, and it has been something that new cornerbacks coach Taver Johnson has been looking forward to seeing. He is also interested in watching how everyone responds to the competition this spring.
“I’m really excited to see Shaun get out there,” Johnson said last week. “He’s been moving around and doing a great job thus far. I’m excited to get to practice because now we can get to doing a little more football and you can really see these guys. They want to compete. Shaun is a competitor. But now everyone in the program is going to compete. Everyone is going to be a competitor. What is going to take some of the guys to the next level, and how are they going to do it? That’s what I’m excited about to see.”
A Pair and a Spare
The Buckeyes have two 1,000-yard tailbacks on the roster this season and both of them started as freshmen.
J.K. Dobbins started last season as a true freshman when Mike Weber went down in fall camp with hamstring issues. Weber started the year before as a redshirt freshman. Both players expect to be The Guy, and fortunately for the Buckeyes, they are both carrying themselves as if that is the case.
“So who is our tailback right now?” Urban Meyer said. “You ask Mike Weber, he thinks he is. J.K. thinks he is. To me, it’s a coach’s dream to have two people with that quality swinging. And Antonio [Williams], a change of demeanor, too.”
Williams is often the forgotten man when it comes to the Ohio State running backs. He only played in one game as a true freshman, and last season he carried the ball only when games were effectively over. Despite that, Meyer likes what he has seen from Williams.
“Antonio walks around like he wants to be the tailback,” Meyer said. “That’s the perfect scenario for a coach.”