Ohio State offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson, linebackers coach Al Washington, and offensive line coach Greg Studrawa took part in a conference call with reporters on Wednesday. They answered questions for over half an hour regarding lineups, position battles, Ryan Day’s “Circle of Care,” and much more. Here are the highlights.
+ They were able to ramp up their install early on because they had so much experience back. They have a good amount of footage, so that’s a positive.
+ There is no depth chart right now, but there are ideas. He didn’t want to get into it just yet though.
+ Malik Harrison developed a lot of skill with his hands in college. He never missed time. He was hitting his stride last year and because of that, his trajectory is headed upward. He can fit any scheme. He can cover and he can run. “I feel optimistic.” He’ll prove his value once he gets to a team because he can do a wide array of things, starting with his hands. He showed an opportunity last year to beat blocks and make plays.
+ Zach Harrison is highly intelligent. Very bright, very engaging. Harrison was asking his high school coach about coverages two years ago. As a former defensive lineman, Washington never cared about coverages as a high school kid, which tells you how mature Harrison is. He also saw Harrison run a 10.7 100M in sneakers in the rain. Harrison continues to improve in all aspects. “In time, his role is going to grow fast because not only does he have the talent, he has the drive, and he has the passion. I’m not pumping him up, I’m just stating a fact.” “There’s not a better kid that you could build a program around than Zach.”
+ When he arrived at Ohio State last year, recruiting was difficult because a month earlier he was selling a different school. Now this year, he knows the team, he is part of the team, he knows the program and he knows the coaches he’s working with. When he is recruiting a tight end or an offensive lineman, he can tell them they won’t play for a better coach than Greg Studrawa or Kevin Wilson and be honest about it. You’re far more effective when you’re able to speak from experience. It creates a better vibe when you’re talking to student-athletes and their families.
+ This is a new situation for everybody, but having the leadership of the returning starters is a great thing. There in constant communication with the young guys who have to step up.
+ Wyatt Davis is talked about because he is physical. “He tries to destroy people.” He doesn’t just try to get in the way, he tries to destroy people. While that’s a blessing, sometimes it’s a curse and he gets out of the framework of his technique. He can sometimes give up some pressures because of that mentality. So they are trying to fine tune those techniques while keeping the physical play.
+ The open right tackle job had a great competition in those first three days. So it will take somebody to go and grab that position “by the you-know-what” to go out and take it. Dawand Jones, Nicholas Petit-Frere, and Paris Johnson were all battling hard and “I believe all three of them are capable.” Now is an opportunity for them to slow down and work on individual technique and the playbook.
+ How much of a setback is it for Paris Johnson to not have a spring camp? It is definitely a setback but everyone is dealing with that, so you can talk about it or you can just move forward. They all need thousands of reps before you perfect what you do, but Paris Johnson is different than most guys and he can definitely compete for the starting right tackle job. He will continue to work on the mental side and his technique, then once they get back they can “full-court press it.”
+ Jonah Jackson is going to be outstanding in the NFL. He can also be an elite center, which he has been asked about by NFL teams. That makes him more valuable.
+ Harry Miller, Gavin Cupp, and Matt Jones are battling for the left guard job. Miller looked good in the spring. Jones opened Stud’s eyes and showed him that it might be time to let him contribute. Cupp had a foot issue but he’s going to be ready in camp to compete.
+ Is Nicholas Petit-Frere behind where Studrawa expected him to be? “No, I think this is Nick’s time.” He finally has his weight and strength where it needs to be. He has learned inside and out what OSU does on offense. He was excited about what NPF did in the spring practices. He also grew from the reps he received last year. He is a more confident player now and walks with swagger and talks with confidence. He’s not behind at all. “I think he’s caught up.”
+ There is very much a concern about the offensive linemen being back home and maintaining a good weight. They are in constant communication about what they’re eating and how much they weigh. They know what to eat with meal plans. They know their target weights. You can get players the right things to eat, but it’s a concern and they monitor it every single day. It’s more of a concern for the younger guys to get their bodies where they need to be. Josh Myers and Wyatt Davis aren’t a concern, it’s the young guys.
+ There have been discussions about how long it will take to get the team ready to play once the go-ahead is given. The team is lifting as much as they can right now. You’ll need three or four weeks of running and conditioning that you’ll need. Then three weeks of preseason that they could maybe get down to two weeks. You still have to hit enough in practice so that players get used to it.
+ Ryan Day’s “Circle of Care” is basically a big Block O of care. Players should picture themselves inside that Block O and the program will surround you with everything you need to reach your potential. Day has been at the forefront in providing resources for the players.
+ Losing spring while having three quarterbacks with not much experience is not ideal. They’ll need to get back on the field and get the timing back. They did all look very natural on the field in the three practices. They’ll do everything they can to make up for lost time. That’s a concern.
+ Justin Fields looked very impressive in the winter and the three practices this spring. Last year they didn’t force him to do some of the things that they were able to do with Dwayne Haskins in the passing game, but maybe they can do that now.