Ohio State Football Notebook: ‘Last year doesn’t matter’

Ohio State Buckeyes football Jonathon Cooper Malik Harrison Michigan 2018

Jonathon Cooper Readying

When it came time for Ohio State to take the field in 2018, it was Nick Bosa and Jonathon Cooper who were the starting defensive ends for the Buckeyes.

Yes, Chase Young played just as much as Cooper, but defensive line coach Larry Johnson was more than comfortable relying on Cooper in a starting role.

Bosa’s injury affected everyone on defense, including both Young and Cooper. And while Young still managed to put up some big numbers with 14.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 tackles, Cooper’s numbers were much less eye-popping. His 25 tackles were as many as nose tackle Robert Landers, his 2.5 sacks were the fewest for an OSU starting defensive end since Steve Miller in 2014, and his 6.5 tackles for loss were just .5 more than Nick Bosa had in 2.5 games last year.

“I feel like, as far as my last year performance, you know last year doesn’t matter,” Cooper said. “People say this, this, and that, but I know that I need to get better as a player. I know that I can like play at a different standard, a different level. I know that there’s a lot of things that I can improve on, and I feel like I’m just getting started. I feel like I got just a glimpse, you know, first-year starter and everything, but all the rust is off and I feel great and I’m ready to go after it.”

Marcus Crowley and His To-Do List

Any time a true freshman can enroll early and participate in offseason conditioning and spring football, it is a welcome development for coaches.

Ohio State had a handful of new additions take part this winter, including running back Marcus Crowley.

Crowley, a Florida native, had plenty of “welcome to Ohio moments” over the last two-and-a-half months, including the winter weather. He made it to spring football unscathed, however, and now the football can begin.

Junior running back JK Dobbins knows what it takes to play as a true freshman. He did it very well in 2017, rushing for an OSU freshman record 1,403 yards.

Does he have any advice for Crowley?

“He’s going to be good. He’ll be great. Just keep learning the offense and things will work out for him,” Dobbins said.

“Learn the offense, that’s the most important thing. If you don’t know the offense, you can’t play. And then just learn. Watch the older guys, see how you can fit in. Just watch.”

Will Ryan Day Make the Call?

When he was hired to take over for Urban Meyer as the head coach at Ohio State, Ryan Day was asked if he would continue to call plays on offense.

At the time, he said that decision hadn’t been made, but he rattled off a number of head coaches who have done it and succeeded at it.

That was a sizable hint as to what his leaning was and what his ultimate decision would be.

Asked again this spring, and Day made his preference known.

“Yeah, we’ve talked about it,” he said. “I think I’m going to allow some of the guys to call plays in the spring. My inclination is that I am going to call plays though next year. That’s my preference on this for the first year and then go from there. But I’m probably going to let the guys do it this spring and see how that goes and assess that, but my plan is to call them next fall.”