COLUMBUS — Buckeye head coach Ryan Day spoke with reporters following Ohio State football practice on Tuesday. He answered a slew of questions and provided updates all over the field. Here are the highlights of everything he had to say.
+ Day begins by sending thoughts and prayers to El Paso and Dayton. Mental illness is an important issue in this country which is why he and his family have taken that on as an off-field cause.
+ Branden Bowen is at right tackle right now. This is the most confident he has felt in his leg. He has the ability to move around to other positions. The calls are the same, so it’s not a world of difference going from tackle to guard as he does, though the pass protection is obviously different.
+ Hiring Mike Yurcich was done with the idea that he could enhance the scheme that is already here and is innovative, but doesn’t just want to do it their way. He’s a perfect fit.
+ The staff wasn’t surprised that Damon Arnette returned. When they believe players are ready, they let them know. They told Arnette why it wasn’t his best decision to leave right now. It was a big deal for him to come back. He had a lot of work to do this spring and give him credit for getting out of an academic whole and graduating this past weekend. Really great story. The staff was thrilled when he told them he was coming back. Now he has to go play like a veteran.
+ The younger WRs Ellijah Gardiner and Jaylen Harris, it’s time for them to step up. They need to help on special teams. They have flashed. Jameson Williams is a little bit behind because he wasn’t here in the spring. Garrett Wilson will help the offense this season.
+ Harry Miller has the ability to be the No. 2 center this season and Day sees him getting on the field, but he has to develop as expected. “Right now he’s doing a good job and he’s learning quickly.”
+ Josh Myers has really found his stride at center and is practice well right now.
+ “Stars don’t mean a thing” once the players arrive. Day believes Nick Petite-Frere “will really help us this year.” He is in a battle at right tackle with Branden Bowen.
+ Garrett Wilson flashed in the spring and has a lot of ability and talent. He now needs to learn to develop discipline and skill. He is fighting for a backup spot, and if you’re a backup receiver at Ohio State, you’re going to play a lot.
+ The first thing Demario McCall needs to do this season is become the backup running back. He has a wide variety of skills and there is a lot of things he can do, but JK Dobbins needs help. They don’t have a legitimate backup running back right now and they need one. It’s critical to find a No. 2. “Do I think he has a chance to be a good player this year? Yes, he just has to go out and prove it.”
+ The defense had four interceptions today. Josh Proctor had two. Jordan Fuller had another. There is a good attitude on defense right now. The linebackers are tough and have created an edge. It’s a hungry group, but you really don’t know until you start playing games.
+ OSU wants to recruit big guys who are athletic. They want athletic offensive linemen. Freshman Enokk Vimahi came in this summer at 257 pounds and is now up to 293.
+ There is risk in going after a punt. If you get a penalty, you could give the ball up. In the return game, you try to find the most dynamic guy, but you need ball security. You try to find the most dynamic guy who is the most secure.
+ The gunner position is still open. Nobody is talking about it, but it’s huge. It won the Michigan State game. “That’s just as important as finding our X receiver.”
+ This team likes each other. “You can just tell.” There’s not a lot of cliques. They like being here. “The chemistry is there.” The leadership is developing. There are good, young men in the program. “Great people.” “There’s a maturity here.”
+ The quarterbacks are competing and learning. The offense is still being installed, so that’s the important part right now. Mistakes are expected, but if they are making mistakes a week from now, then we’ve got a problem.
+ The backup running back has to have ball security. They have to do a good job in blitz pick up. JK Dobbins and Mike Weber were great at that last year. That backup also has to run hard where it is supposed to be run and “win on contact.” The home runs will come, but they need to run tough.
+ This was the first time Urban Meyer was at practice this fall.
+ They will do tackle drills with full pads. They don’t take guys to the ground every day. Some days they will. You have to find the right balance of tackling enough to become a good tackling team, but not tackling so much that players get hurt.
+ Urban’s golf game is going good and he seems happy per Day.