Normally, the Ohio State football team would be about one week out from wrapping up spring practice.
Instead, spring football came to a close for the Buckeyes four weeks ago tomorrow. They were able to get three practices in before everyone took off for spring break. Soon after, everything changed and eventually all university athletic activities were essentially canceled, including spring practice.
Those first few practices are without pads and the fatigue of camp had yet to set in.
When asked what the Buckeyes even got out of spring this year, head coach Ryan Day didn’t exactly have a litany of items.
“I thought we got a lot in in those three practices, but we were just getting started,” he said. “So it’s really hard to say, certainly very disappointed we weren’t able to get out there and develop the young guys but then also enhance our scheme on both sides of the ball. So we just got to do a great job of that this summer.”
All of college football is in the same boat. Every program will need to find a way to get the most out of fall camp and that process will be different for each of them based on the experience returning.
“The good news is a lot of guys out there played a lot of football,” Day said of his program. “The receiver position is probably the most inexperienced. And so we’ll have to do a great job with that group. But when you look across the board at almost every position, there’s experience and a bunch of guys who are veteran out there.”
That experience was on display at the outset of spring ball, which makes one think that the same could hold true when fall camp eventually gets underway.
“You could tell right from the first practice, it was almost like we picked up off of bowl practice,” Day said. “We were kind of rolling and practicing and guys were executing on both sides of the ball at a fairly high level. Disappointed we weren’t able to enhance the scheme and get the younger guys going, but again, hopefully somewhere along the line we’re able to recoup some of that stuff.”
The Ripple Effects
Every detail of an offseason is done with a purpose in mind. There are no wasted exercises on or off the field. That offseason is now completely disrupted, which doesn’t bode well for the more detail-oriented coaches.
The question now becomes what the ripples will be for not being able to continue an offseason process that has worked in the past and likely would have worked again.
“It’s hard to say. I don’t think we know yet,” Day said. “But I think a lot of it has to do with how long the quarantine lasts and what kind of shape our guys can stay in in this period, because it’s very important that we stay in great shape physically.”
Day is hopeful that there will be time for some kind of mini-camp this summer before fall camp begins, but if there isn’t, they’ll have to continue forward anyway.
And it wasn’t that long ago that once players left for the summer, they didn’t come back to campus until it was time for camp to begin.
“If it gets that far, it wasn’t that long ago that you got in in August and they got themselves in shape and you went through a preseason camp and you did everything you can to get them into shape to go play in September,” Day said.
“So that that model’s out there and it’s very different than what’s happened over the last 10 to 15 years, but we’ll adjust the best we can and try to solve the problems as they come. But I think it’s hard to project what some of the major issues are going to be until we know how long we’re in this.”