Ohio State center Josh Myers and right guard Wyatt Davis took part in a conference call with reporters Thursday morning. They answered questions about life right now as OSU football players and what they are doing to make sure they are ready to get back at it when it is time to come back to campus. Here are the highlights of what the two veterans had to say.
+ Davis has found a place where he can work out. It’s not the same as Ohio State, but it works. It’s tough to find open fields in California and not get kicked off of it. But he’s found a place in the last few days, so hopefully they can keep using it. The key is to keep busy. “This truly is a weird time right now and I think we’ve been doing our best at trying to make the most out of the situation that we’ve been dealt with.”
+ Davis recently lost his grandfather. “It was obviously very tough when he passed.” He had been struggling with his health for the last couple of years, so they knew it was eventually coming. His grandfather was his hero coming up. He came from nothing and was an underdog his whole life, drafted in the 16th round, then to have a hall of fame career, and then be successful as a businessman outside of football. His work ethic was inspiring. “He didn’t let people put him in a box of just being an athlete. He broke out of that box.” His grandfather was always around when Wyatt was growing up. They had to remove his grandfather from the hospital to make room for Coronavirus victims. “I’m very appreciative of each second I was able to spend with him.” “He was like a second father to me.” “He’s what I want to be as a football player and a businessman.”
+ He has been trying to find a field that is long enough to mimic a 10-play drive. “For me, I just want to make sure I’m as crisp as I can be when it’s time to come back.” He is trying to keep his quickness and conditioning the same as it was when the quarantine hit. “Which is kind of hard to do right now.”
+ Mickey Marotti talked yesterday about a speech that Davis gave back in the winter that had him in tears. Davis was asked about it. He said it was during mat drills. He said he wasn’t as vocal as he should have been as a starter last year, but during that speech he wanted to open his heart up because he had the respect of his teammates to do so. He told the team that everybody wants great things, but not everybody is willing to put in the work. He didn’t want to see seniors leave the field after a loss to end the season ever again. Those mat drills would set the pace. He told the team that he was bought in and people needed to buy in. The point of the message was being accountable. Are players doing the extra work and taking the extra steps. Right now there is nobody holding their hands and nobody is going to know what you’re doing besides you, so hopefully that message still resonates. “I get the sense that people are really working and people want to be great.”
+ He got that fire from his grandfather and his dad. Don’t be complacent to simply get the job done.
+ He is looking forward to getting back with everybody. They have learned to be more appreciative of what they’ve got going on at OSU.
+ He is leading by reaching out to the young guys just to see how they’re doing. Not because he has to but because he cares. He’s vocal in meetings. Just talking to guys and being there for them is leading right now. He has told all of the guys that they can call him at any hour of the day. He is available for his teammates right now.
+ They went into last year with no idea what to expect as an offensive line. This year they are much, much more aware of themselves and what it takes to play at a high level and prepare at a high level. That will give them an edge this year.
+ Davis said he’s sign whatever waiver was necessary or any type of quarantining to be able to play this year. Yes, there is a concern about getting sick and they want to make sure they don’t spread it around.
+ Missing spring was tough because that’s a time to fix mistakes and issues. Not having that is a concern for the season. “But at the end of the day, you can only worry so much.”
+ Asked what protocols they’d like to see upon their return, Davis said temperature checks before entering the building is probably a must. Smaller workout groups have been talked about. The medical staff has been great at informing them about the virus and the do’s and don’ts.
+ This is a very big year for him, but more importantly it’s a very big year for the team. Everybody would be very upset if they lost this season. But at the end of the day, you have to have a backup plan. His backup plan would be to work even harder.
+ Davis wakes up at 6 in the morning. He works out from 6:40 for about an hour. He then comes home and has meetings. Then after meetings he works out in a field around 2:00 pm and does position drills. And this is pretty much a daily thing.
+ They saw a lot of strides in the other guys on the offensive line in the winter and spring. There was just something about this year where you saw a bunch of young guys taking that next step in the workouts. They were grinding. All of the early enrollees have been awesome. As a unit they were all taking such huge strides. After the first spring practice he felt the first-team, second-team, and third-team were all getting after it. After that one practice he felt this offensive line could be able to dominate this year. Matt Jones has made a huge jump. Harry Miller has been great since he got here. Paris Johnson is a leader for the young guys. “I just love to see that.”
+ The last few months have been hard, but the Zoom meetings and keeping in touch with everybody has kept him sane. People are doing what they can. He has enough weights at home that he can do whatever he needs to do. “Other than that, just trying to stay sane.” He’s also trying to keep up with internships so that he’s not just doing nothing.
+ “You can tell Coach Stud misses us.” Every Zoom meeting starts with casual conversation and everybody is jumping on the call well before the meetings start so that they can visit with each other and laugh and talk. They can have entire meetings where they don’t talk about football. It’s just mental stuff.
+ Offensive line play is so different from any other position in spots. You have to be athletic enough to move, but powerful enough to push defensive linemen around. There is equipment at OSU that is critical in developing those techniques that nobody has access to right now. He works out with his brother and they do drills and his brother works as the blocking sled that gets pushed around.
+ The camaraderie in the weight room will be even better when they return. They won’t take it for granted when they return. They miss each other.
+ They are still leading by being vocal in meetings and helping Coach Stud. They show the young guys that they care about them and they love them. They want them to get better and they help however they can.
+ Only having to replace two starters this year makes things easier than it could have been if they were replacing four starters. This is a veteran group that has been together. And that will show when they get back into the swing of things.
+ Asked if the team would want to play football this year if there are no fans in the stands or students on campus, he said he would do whatever it takes to play this year. He is personally willing to make those sacrifices. Quarantining, whatever. In order to do it, they’d have to do it in an orderly way to make sure that other people aren’t getting sick, but yes, absolutely he would sign any waiver.
+ The majority of his fears regarding the coronavirus are mostly geared towards his family. He doesn’t want to pass it on to his family. That’s the thing that scares him the most. But being back in Columbus, he would be away from his family and shielding them from himself.
+ Spring ball is critical for everybody, especially the young guys.
+ He thinks Mickey Marotti would be able to get them ready for practice in two weeks. Workouts would be in smaller groups and could be lasting all day in order to get the entire team finished.
+ It would be a nightmare to lose this season. He is so excited for this season. It’s a critical time for development and elevating their games. The thought of not playing this season is terrifying and a worst-case scenario.
+ Myers gets up around 7:15 and works out at 8:00. He works out with his brother every morning. They go and do their field work after the lift. He’s done with that around 10. Then there’s a meeting around 12:00 pm. Then after that he is working on setting up an internship in order to graduate. Then there’s homework. After that, relaxing and spending time with family.
+ You could tell early on in the spring there were going to be some big jumps this spring. It’s still wide open as to who will be in those two open offensive line spots. “I have all of the confidence in the world in any of those guys.” The culture has been instilled from last season. Anything short of grading out as champions and dominating was considered a failure.