COLUMBUS — Ohio State head coach Ryan Day spoke with reporters following Wednesday morning’s Buckeye football practice. With just two practices remaining in spring camp, Day answered questions about his team and where the personnel stands at the moment. He also provided a preview of some of Saturday’s spring game. Here are the highlights.
+ Guys are continuing to compete for the two-deep. You try not to look at it like spring is separate from the preseason because they want to pick up where they left off. They do a lot of mixing in the depth chart during the spring because they want to have competition. They are not in a rush to name starters until the preseason camp. The returning starters are generally the incumbents and they have to be beaten out.
+ Dwayne Haskins never planned on going to the draft. He wants to be with his family and wanted to do something back home. Almost all 32 teams have come through the offices and talked to Ryan Day about Haskins.
+ The spring game will be “thud” football rather than tackling. It’s dangerous tackling in the spring. It’s not worth it to tackle and risk injury.
+ They do practice tackling every other practice. The guys do actually tackle, but it’s a very “self-contained drill” to limit exposure to injury.
+ The spring game means the coaches are off the field and the offense now belongs to the quarterbacks, so they’ll be watching everything those guys do on Saturday.
+ The spring game isn’t as important when evaluating players. The body of work is what they look back on over 15 practices. The only difference in the spring game is that there is now a crowd watching the players.
+ In terms of complementing JK Dobbins and the running game, they did that last year with wide screens to receivers. They will continue to do that this year, but there will be an increase in the QB run.
+ The competition between Dobbins has been good. Master Teague has been dealing with a bit of a nagging injury. Marcus Crowley has shined. Demario McCall still hasn’t practiced.
+ Asked for a name who has stepped up who hasn’t played much in the past, Day said Garrett Wilson and Shaun Wade. Josh Proctor is another one. “He’s got his hands on a lot of footballs.”
+ What is it about Dwayne Haskins that stands out as a quarterback? What you look at what he did in one year, it’s tremendous. You look for his extraordinary skill, which is accuracy and the way he sees the field. The ball is always in the right spot. He didn’t throw many interceptions with how many passes they threw. He can see over the line too.
+ They meet every day regarding recruiting and who will be visiting for the spring game. Some 2019 signees are coming in and they are allowed to attend meetings and have a workout. The 2020 and 2021 classes are talked about every day and that they stay organized. There are a lot of visitors this weekend, which makes it impossible to spend as much time as you’d like with the recruits, but the experience overrides that. Part of being a head coach is talking with recruits from the end of practice until he goes home at night on some days.
+ Matthew Baldwin and Justin Fields are essentially both freshmen. Both have done a good job of grasping information. Fields’ physical traits are “tremendous” but he also has “good intangibles” and a good football IQ.
+ When it comes to making decisions on the depth chart, most of the time you know who the starter is. The position coach gives his input as well. If it’s close, they both play. At the end of the day, Day has the final say, but the majority of the time, “everybody knows who the starter is.”
+ He’s excited to see what the interior defensive line guys look like on Saturday. They have had a good camp. So have the linebackers. They have been more active this spring than last year.
+ Nicholas Petit-Frere is one of the most improved guys on the entire offense. Greg Studrawa has done a great job with him.
+ Tuf Borland probably won’t play on Saturday. Marcus Williamson won’t play. Chris Olave will be decided upon in the next day or so.
+ Day has learned just how huge recruiting is day in and day out. He knew that going in, but maybe didn’t appreciate enough. He relies on the assistant coaches to take care of the current players and build them up because he spends so much time recruiting. The best way to get his message to the team is through his assistant coaches.
+ The spring game will be “good on good.” They will have players with double jerseys, playing on both sides. 1s vs 1s, then 2s vs 2s, then as the game goes on, they’ll piecemeal it.
+ This week’s coaches clinic is huge and very important to the staff. They have met several times as a staff and they want to help the high school coaches in the stage and outside the state. He really wants to show the high school coaches how important this is for them. He has received positive feedback from the area coaches.
+ Matthew Baldwin’s career at Ohio State so far has been a difficult one because he wasn’t able to practice last year and now he’s the elder statesmen in terms of having the most time in this offense. Bowl practices were big for him. His confidence is building every day. The last four or five practices have been his best so far. “Matthew is a great kid.” They looked at his entire picture when recruiting him. “It’s been a great spring for him.”
+ The playcalling duties this spring have been spread out among the assistants. Kevin Wilson has done most of it this spring. “I think it’s been good.” It allows Day to get a feel for what his assistants like. Wilson and Mike Yurcich will be on opposite sidelines calling plays this like.