COLUMBUS — The first spring practice of the year is always a fun occasion. It’s when we learn without a shadow of a doubt who the starting quarterback is going to be every year. And based on practice today, this year will be no different.
Okay, the above is a complete lie. The only thing we learned about the quarterbacks today is that nothing is settled and you shouldn’t have expected it to be.
Fourth-year junior Joe Burrow got the first reps on the first drill, but redshirt sophomore Dwayne Haskins got the first reps on the second drill. They then rotated like this from drill to drill.
Urban Meyer has said in the past that they are going to evaluate everything when it comes to the quarterbacks, so expect this competition to drag on for a while.
Not In Order
Of course, judging who is where on the depth chart by where they rep is always a dangerous thing. Fourth-year junior Mike Weber was running third in the reps behind sophomore J.K. Dobbins and junior Antonio Williams.
Sophomore Josh Myers was taking the No. 2 reps at center today. Fourth-year junior Matthew Burrell was held out, as was junior Michael Jordan. Branden Bowen was also not participating.
The Injury Front
Along with Burrell, Jordan, and Bowen mentioned above, fifth-year senior linebacker Dante Booker was also not present. According to an OSU spokesman, he will be hampered this spring with a shoulder injury. Also, I believe redshirt sophomore Malik Barrow was slowed by something as well.
Fourth-year junior H-back K.J. Hill was also not active today. His right arm was in a sling. Sophomore cornerback Jeff Okudah was held out with a shoulder. Freshman quarterback Matthew Baldwin and redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Antwuan Jackson were also held out. Jackson spent some of his time walking and jogging around the perimeter of the practice field.
With the massive caveat that this is just the first hour of the first spring and there was no scrimmaging, here is what the two-deep looked like on the offensive line and defense. Keep in mind that several of the players not listed are injured, and also remember that the defensive line rotates, so any depth charting there is sort of built a foundation of sand.
LT – Isaiah Prince / Josh Alabi
LG – Malcolm Pridgeon / Gavin Cupp
C – Brady Taylor / Josh Myers
RG – Demetrius Knox / Wyatt Davis
RT – Thayer Munford / Kevin Woidke
DE – Nick Bosa / Chase Young
NT – Robert Landers / Davon Hamilton / Jerron Cage
DT – Dre’Mont Jones / Haskell Garrett / Tommy Togiai
DE – Jonathon Cooper / Jashon Cornell
Note: Cornell has moved from defensive tackle, at least for today.
OLB – Malik Harrison / Pete Werner
MLB – Tuf Borland / Justin Hilliard
OLB – Keandre Jones / Baron Browning
CB – Damon Arnette / Marcus Williamson / Tyreke Johnson
FS – Isaiah Pryor / Jahsen Wint / Amir Riep
SS – Jordan Fuller / Brendon White
CB – Kendall Sheffield / Shaun Wade / Sevyn Banks
Emptying the Notebook
+ During one drill they first-team defense was on the field for a chase drill and Dre’Mont Jones jumped offside, so they sent the entire defense back to the sideline before bringing them back out to do it all over again.
+ Punt returners today were Demario McCall, Johnnie Dixon, and C.J. Saunders.
+ The linebackers and cornerbacks were doing pass rush drills with Larry Johnson. They would dive at a blocking bag and swipe the bottom of it, but had to make sure they were low enough to affect it. If they went too high, which would mirror being higher on a quarterback’s leg, the impact was negated. They had to shoot for the “feet” or “ankles.”
+ Former Buckeyes Santonio Holmes and Tyquan Lewis were in attendance.
+ Demario McCall was with the receivers, as we have reported he would be.
+ According to Tyquan Lewis, the team voted C.J. Saunders as the most-improved Buckeye over the offseason.
+ Greg Schiano spent a portion of practice just working with the defensive ends.
+ We did get to see a portion of practice known as “Mini Field”, which is basically 4-on-4 passing. Two of the more impressive overall performances in this drill were from sophomore receiver Jaylen Harris and redshirt freshman cornerback Shaun Wade. Harris had catches over sophomore cornerback Marcus Williamson, freshman cornerback Tyreke Johnson, and once more against Williamson on a slant. Wade was the only defender to stop Harris on the day, blanketing him on a deep ball that was a little off. Wade also broke up a pass to Austin Mack. Damon Arnette gave up a quick screen to Binjimen Victor, but was able to strip him of the ball and cause an incompletion. Rashod Berry also had a couple of nice grabs.