The Ohio State football team was back on the practice field Wednesday for spring practice No. 7 on the year. Afterward, coordinators Kevin Wilson and Greg Schiano spoke with reporters, as did several offensive linemen, including Isaiah Prince, Thayer Munford, and Brady Taylor. Long-snapper Liam McCullough met with the media as well, as did punter Drue Chrisman. Below are some of the highlights of what they had to say.
The offense can look disjointed in the spring because you’re still trying to figure out which players can do what. Then you’re also building depth, which requires some new faces to be put in tough situations. Urban Meyer wasn’t happy with practice on Monday, and Wilson said Wednesday’s practice had some sluggish moments as well.
Ryan Day’s new title hasn’t changed anything with the way the offensive staff operates. Wilson did say his daughter called him in a panic when she saw that Day was given a promotion. She thought her father had been fired.
Year two brings a new layer to Wilson’s comfort level. He knows his players and what they are capable of. He also knows best what Meyer wants from him now, and his job is to provide that.
Whichever quarterback wins the job, they will play to his strengths. They will design the offense and call the plays that best suit that quarterback. There will maybe new route concepts depending on the quarterback, or some other subtle tweaks that don’t really change the offense, but help to put the quarterbacks in a better situation for them.
There will always be reads in the run game for the quarterback.
Tate Martell is more than just a runner at quarterback.
Schiano is enjoying being able to float around the defense and helping where it is needed. For instance, if there are players who are having trouble, he can pull them aside and help them out rather than the position coach stopping everything to do it. He details his practice schedule and knows where he will be for every period, so it’s not like he’s roaming around without a purpose. He enjoys being able to see all of the position groups and helping out where needed.
The defense is working hard and he likes that. They are making “a ton of mistakes” but that is normal this time of year. It can also be difficult to find a rhythm in the spring because you always have at least one day off between practices.
The floating nature of Schiano’s role now is similar to what he did as a head coach. He sets up a schedule for which meetings he will be in, but he says the difficult part is disciplining himself and sticking to the schedule, because once he’s in one room, he wants to stay there.
Schiano gives credit to Urban Meyer for putting together a defensive staff that all has defensive coordinator experience, and he views all of them as coordinators.
On the Iowa loss last season: “That was a collective process of being inept and no one is absolved from that.”
Munford doesn’t view the right tackle job as his yet. He knows he still has to compete for it and win the job. He said he knows the staff wants him to win the job because of the way they have challenged him since he arrived. They have been preparing him to take over since he arrived.
When Branden Bowen returns from injury in fall camp, he will be back at offensive tackle. Last season, Bowen moved from tackle to guard in camp and won the starting spot at right guard. Rather than stick at guard, the plan is for Bowen to go back to tackle, and he and Munford have already talked about the competition they are going to be involved in this fall. They know the best man will win and they’ll each be trying to prove they belong.
Jordan — who started at left guard as a true freshman — talks to Thayer Munford (sophomore) every day about the expectations and difficulties of being a young starter on the offensive line.
When Jordan arrived in the spring before his freshman season, his only goal was to show how hard he worked and how tough he was. That still carries with him to this day.
Taylor is very comfortable as the Buckeyes’ center. He doesn’t view the job as his yet. He said he is getting great competition from redshirt freshman Josh Myers. Myers is pushing Taylor so much that it’s making Taylor a better player.
The offensive line is deep and versatile, so nobody can take a play off because somebody at another position could get a look at your position.
Prince believes he is a complete offensive lineman. He can run block or protect the quarterback on third down. He said he has everything it takes to be a very good left tackle.
This is the first time Prince has played left tackle. He was a right tackle throughout high school and for his first three years as a Buckeye. This is a change, but he was asked to move, and he had no problem doing so.
When McCullough’s football career is over — following a long and successful NFL career — he wants to go into financial management. He has already had some of his teammates tell him that they’ll invest their NFL money with him after they get drafted.
Sean Nuernberger is the kicker for field goals and extra points, while Blake Haubeil is the kickoff specialist. Both are performing very well this spring in terms of accuracy. Both have big legs and have been showing them off this spring.