Ohio State Spring Practice Insider: Quarterbacks Take the Stage

Justin Fields, Matthew Baldwin Ohio State Buckeyes

COLUMBUS — Ohio State kicked off spring camp early Wednesday morning with the first of their 15 practices over the next five weeks.

Media was allowed to watch for the first hour and shoot photos and video for the first 25 minutes or so. It was our first look at the 2019 Buckeyes, and while there was a lot to see, it’s dangerous to draw too many conclusions from Hour One of Day One. We can, however, safely pass on what was seen.

So let’s get started.

Time to Panic?

It was not a great morning for redshirt freshman quarterback Matthew Baldwin.

He had accuracy issues in most of the drills that I watched, including those without defenders. Day one struggles are expected, however, as quarterbacks and receivers build their timing against defenders. Baldwin is still getting used to even being allowed to throw at practice, so don’t get too worried just yet.

Sophomore Justin Fields was a bit more accurate, as was fifth-year senior Chris Chugunov.

There was no delineation between Fields and Baldwin in terms of one vs. two. They are getting equal reps. Chugunov was getting plenty of early work as well.

Line ‘Em Up

With starting left tackle Thayer Munford out, we knew the offensive line would look a bit different now than it will in September, but for the first batch of reps today, here is your offensive line two-deep.

LT – Josh Alabi
LG – Gavin Cupp
C – Josh Myers
RG – Wyatt Davis
RT – Branden Bowen

Second team…

LT – Max Wray
LG – Kevin Woidke
C – Matthew Jones
RG – Ryan Jacoby
RT – Nicholas Petit-Frere

A Brand New Defense

Brendon White and Jahsen Wint were indeed with the linebackers today. We never got to see all of it in action, but Ohio State’s new defense is here.

White was routinely with the ones, as were Tuf Borland, Pete Werner, and Malik Harrison. Baron Browning also got some time with the ones.

As we have been saying, this is going to be a crowded group all season long.

One On Ones

Towards the end of practice, I watched some one-on-one drills between receivers and defensive backs. Here’s what I was able to jot down.

Matthew Baldwin throwing…

Arnette > Victor
Hooker > Saunders
Okudah PI on Mack
Banks > Harris
Gill > Pryor — Gill snagged a one-handed out route with Isaiah Pryor in coverage and then turned it upfield.
Blue Smith > T. Johnson
Wiglusz > Proctor

Justin Fields throwing…

Riep PI on Gardiner — It was not a great day for Riep in coverage as he was flagged several times.
Arnette holding on Hill
Brown > Wilson (dropped)
Victor > Banks (zipped)
Okudah > Mack — Great play on a very nice deep ball by Fields.
Harris > Johnson
Gill > Proctor
Olave > Wade
McFarquhar holding on Smith
Wiglusz > Hooker or Marcus Williamson (they were both in orange, so it was not always easy to differentiate) — Great throw and route.
Riep PI on Gardiner
Arnette > Hill (PBU)
Gill > Pryor — Quick step allowed Gill to run by Pryor deep, but the ball was just overthrown by Fields.

Emptying the Notebook

+ KJ Hill and CJ Saunders were returning punts.

+ Fifth-year senior Jashon Cornell has moved back to defensive tackle from defensive end. He worked some with the ones as well. Haskell Garrett was also with the ones.

+ Players in orange injury jerseys (no contact) were receiver Kamryn Babb, safety Marcus Hooker, and cornerback Marcus Williamson.

+ Jeff Hafley worked with the cornerbacks while Matt Barnes was with the safeties today.

+ I’ve said here before over the years that there is so much mixing and matching that it is sometimes difficult to put together a full depth chart, especially after one practice. A number of different players will roll in with the ones, and at some point during camp everybody behind the ones will work with the twos.

+ Safeties Ronnie Hickman and Jordan Fuller were riding stationary bikes, as was running back Master Teague, receiver Kamryn Babb, defensive end Alex Williams, defensive tackle Jerron Cage, defensive tackle Taron Vincent, and left tackle Thayer Munford. Munford spent most of his practice walking around the field.

2 Responses

  1. I got the perception from your notes that Gill might turn out to be very special. Of course, like you mentioned, it’s the first hour of the first practice. That being said, it seems Gill was the only player on the positive side of > in every note. And what was added to each silver bullet point (hehe) where Gill was involved, leads me to believe that he sorta jumped out at you Tony, over the course of that practice

    1. Indeed. We talked a bit more about him on the podcast as well.

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