Spring Update: Pads come out this week

COLUMBUS – Spring practice got under way last week and the Buckeyes will put on the pads for the first time this spring on Wednesday. OSU Head Coach Ryan Day met with reporters this morning via Zoom to discuss progress so far this spring. Here are the highlights.

No Depth Chart yet – There were a number of questions asked of Day regarding what the depth chart looks like right now at various positions but Day politely sidestepped those questions. Day explained that so far the Buckeyes have been focused more on individual drills than on team drills, so there has been no need to designate first, second and third team status for players. Day explained that when they do conduct things like seven on seven drills they are very much in a mix and match mode, so a lot of people are getting reps.

Return of the Bullet – The hybrid safety/linebacker position has been talked about the last couple of seasons but hasn’t shown up much in games.  Day explained that the linebacker personel on the team the last couple of years made it hard to take one of them off the field, so not much hybrid has been seen. That may change this year. One of the players who is getting a look at that position is Craig Young (6-3, 223) who is practicing at both linebacker and safety.  OSU probably has at least two linebackers that will be on the field a lot this year in Taradja Mitchell (6-2, 242) and Dallas Gant (6-3, 235). What happens after that remains to be seen.

No Contact for Miller – Harry Miller (6-4, 315) was OSU’s starting center last season but will not be allowed to take part in contact drills for much of this spring. Ryan Day did not elaborate on the nature of his injury.  Day said that situation underscores the need for position flexibility for linemen. A player like Matt Jones can play either center or guard,  Miller can do the same, Parris Johnson guard or tackle, and so on. That flexibility allows the coaching staff to shuffle players to keep the best players on the field when injury situations arise.

Denzel Flashes – This is going to be an inportant spring for the corner backs especially with Cameron Brown still out with injury. It’s early, but Day said that freshman corner Denzel Burke (6-0, 192) flashed a bit when he made an interception during seven on seven drills last week.  Day added that this will be a big spring for players like Lejond Cavasos (6-0, 195) and Ryan Watts (6-3, 205), two freshmen who are competing for playing time at quarterback. The Buckeyes are aslo looking at freshman Cameron Martinez (5-10, 192) as a corner as well

Hitting starts Wednesday – There has not been any contact yet this spring. That changes this Wednesday when the Buckeyes will practice in full pads for the first time this spring. It will be full go except in the case of the quarterbacks. Day said the risk of injury outweighs the need for them to experience contact at this time. Day added that all three quarterback candidates have shown good things so far this spring.

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