COLUMBUS — Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer spoke with reporters Tuesday morning to provide some updates following the very first spring practice of 2018. Who is starting at quarterback? Is this team a national title contender? Who is standing out right now for the Buckeyes? Absolutely none of these questions will be answered, but there is still plenty of interesting stuff being said. Here are the highlights.
+ The quarterbacks are still up in the air. They are trying to do the best they can to make sure all three have the opportunity to compete. They’re going to make sure everybody gets a shot. “We’re just going to make sure we’re doing it right.” It will be a day-to-day discussion with them.
+ Meyer loves it when players come back to watch. He wants players to leave in good standing, and when they do, they are always welcome back. They built this program.
+ Meyer has had conversations with Joe Burrow’s family about his future, and he believes “probably yes” that he owes Joe Burrow an answer before the spring is over. It expedites the process a little faster than Meyer would like, but he owes it to the players. The team comes first, but he thinks he owes Burrow an answer.
+ Matthew Baldwin had ACL surgery and won’t play this spring.
+ The perfect scenario would be knowing who the starting quarterback is heading into the summer. You always want competition though.
+ Antonio Williams is walking around like he wants to be the starter this year, and that’s the perfect scenario for any position.
+ Competitiveness, toughness, leadership, and intelligence are the four things he looks for in a quarterback. Then they look for guys who can extend plays as well. That’s what will dictate who wins the job.
+ There is a proposed rule to allow fair catches inside the 25-yard line. Meyer said he hasn’t given it enough though, but coffin corner kicks are the toughest thing to do in the sport. They will eventually talk about it as a staff and he’ll have more thoughts at that point. It would be a weapon taken away from them, but he doesn’t know if he’s for it or against it right now.
+ Meyer is more stressed about center right now than quarterback. “I think we’ll be fine at quarterback. Who’s it gonna be? I don’t know.” Josh Myers and Matt Burrell will compete with Brady Taylor for the center job. “Center is every bit as important as quarterback.”
+ Meyer expects a bunch of second-year guys to excel and contribute this year. They are “A-1-A people.” The 2017 class is full of quality people, which is usually an indication that something good will come.
+ They challenged Demario McCall in the offseason. Meyer wants him to be the full-time returner on kicks and punts. He has been given the spot and he is watching film. He’ll also be more of the “Curtis Samuel H”. The first two years are on the coaches to get players right. The third year and beyond is on the player.
+ Meyer said if there are any leaks from inside his program, it’s immediate termination. Dante Booker is here and plans on being a Buckeye this year. He just had a labrum surgery last month. He is in a fight for playing time this season. “I’d rather people leave him alone and let him go be a Buckeye. Hopefully he’s a starting linebacker at Ohio State.”
+ The defensive line will be exceptional this year. Jonathon Cooper looks fantastic. “Obviously that Bosa guy looks good.” The standard has been set, “we just can’t drop below that.”
+ Receiver has been good but not elite. He has challenged the coaches to become elite. Ryan Day will work more with the receivers as well. In 2014 they were elite. Haven’t been elite since. There is some elite people and potential.
+ Field safety is a concern with Damon Webb gone.
+ The freshmen are doing well. They are similar to the 2017 group. They aren’t any trouble right now. They are great kids who do things the right way. “So far it looks like a good group.”
+ Isaiah Prince is the guy at left tackle. He has earned that right. Thayer Munford is penciled in at right tackle. Munford received a lot of awards from Mickey Marotti at a team dinner last night.
+ Jashon Cornell is being evaluated at defensive end.
+ Michael Jordan, K.J. Hill, Jeff Okudah, Dante Booker are out for the spring. Branden Bowen do some things this spring.