Young Bucks Stepping Up
Spring practices are a lot like bowl practices in that young players get more reps than they do in fall camp or during the season.
With more opportunities come more results, and this spring has been no different.
On Wednesday, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day was asked to name a couple of young players who have made big strides over the course of camp, and he didn’t hesitate to name dynamic freshman receiver Garrett Wilson.
“On offense, somebody that maybe hasn’t played a lot, it probably is Garrett Wilson,” Day said. “Seeing him make plays day in and day out down the field, I think it would probably be him on offense.”
Defensively, however, Day named two players, one of whom played quite a bit last season.
“On defense, [redshirt sophomore defensive back] Shaun Wade made a lot of plays last year, has been having a really good camp,” he said. “And [sophomore safety] Josh Proctor’s another guy that’s shined. He’s getting his hands on a lot of footballs and he’s done a good job and when his eyes are in the right place and he’s disciplined on each play, he is showing up.”
Both Wade and Proctor should be front and center (or back and center) for their respective defenses during Saturday’s spring game.
Tommy Togiai Is Progressing
Sophomore nose tackle Tommy Togiai is one of four nose tackles who could be in Ohio State’s rotation this year. This spring, he has been working with the ones and twos while fifth-year senior Robert Landers has been held out.
Despite the lack of Landers, Togiai is still splitting reps with fifth-year senior Davon Hamilton and fourth-year junior Antwuan Jackson, which gives you an idea of just how deep the position is.
In order to assure himself of a spot in the rotation this season, Togiai has worked with defensive line coach Larry Johnson on improving his entire game.
“Right now it’s going good,” Togiai said this spring. “I’ve been transitioning well with all my hand movements and my get-off has been going well. I’ve been improving working with Coach J personally.”
Where has he improved the most?
“I think with my steps, I’m getting more vertical with my steps and getting off the ball better,” he said.
The work never stops, however, which is why Togiai has had a list of things that he wanted to work on this spring and summer.
“Probably just improving everything,” he said. “I need to improve on my get-off, and my pass rush skills, work with my hands more. I think those are the biggest things for me working on this spring.”
First Impressions of Damon Arnette
Ohio State fifth-year cornerback Damon Arnette has been one of the more polarizing Buckeyes over the last couple of years.
A frequent recipient of criticism on social media, Arnette’s career as a starter has been a bit up and down.
On one hand, he’s a two-year starter at cornerback at a place like Ohio State, where it’s not easy for a cornerback to start. On the other hand, he led the team with five pass interference penalties last season, two of which occurred against Michigan.
This spring, however, the reviews have been pretty darn good.
“I haven’t seen any down yet, so everything I see from him – like I told him – whatever happens right now is all I see because I’m here now,” defensive backs coach and co-defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley said this spring. “I haven’t seen any down from him. I see a guy who’s doing everything right on and off the field. I see a guy who is giving it all he has. A guy in the meeting room who is awesome. So, very pleased with Damon.”