COLUMBUS – Ohio State Head Coach Ryan Day met with media members on Monday morning. A wide range of topics were covered and Day provided updates on the Buckeyes following spring practice No. 8.
Here are the highlights of what was said.
+ On Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs, “unbelievable, what a game and what a shot.” Day said he spent a lot of time recruiting him. Suggs came to camp at Ohio State and he thought Suggs was really athletic as a quarterback. He’s glad to see things worked out for him.
+ On linebacker Mitchell Melton’s injury, Day said it’s a long-term injury unfortunately. “We’re going to have to do a great job developing the young guys but we will be a bit thin going into camp. Al [Washington] has a great plan.”
+ Craig Young has had a really good spring so far, he is coming into a role he is more conferable with. He can cover, play in the box, be physical, and blitz. Young and Ronnie Hickman, Ryan Batsch, Kourt Williams all have a chance to do that this year.
+ On Matt Jones, Day says he has done a good job of moving between guard and center. He has found a rhythm. He has to be able to communicate, handle snaps and make calls, move quickly, block and reach a nose, have good quickness, think on his feet, and process a lot of information.
+ On being shorthanded at linebacker, Day said they have the ability to line up at nickel or base. They will continue to look at that and figure out what gives them the best chance. The plan is to put the best guys on the field, the players who can do the most. They want to have flexibility there and adjust based on what they are seeing.
+ Day said his biggest concern is not playing a lot of football with the younger guys but he is pleased with the effort and how they are coming along fundamentally and with technique. But the younger guys haven’t played a lot of football and game reps, mostly the quarterbacks, defensive backs, and linebackers. They have to try to put them into game situations and get game reps.
+ They will try to have a scrimmage on Saturday. They had a good scrimmage last Friday.
+ It’s too early to create a pecking order at running back but he thinks they are all running hard and taking care of the football. “Excited to see how things progress over the next few weeks, they’re doing a good job.”
+ The younger guys are getting thrown in at DB and they are getting better because of it.
+ On the quarterbacks, Day said they are rotating the quarterbacks. It changes everyday and they are splitting the reps. They have done a decent job of learning but the lack of reps is hard because they need so many reps in everything. They are eager to learn, they are taking notes, and they are all getting better. But he wishes they had 18 months to get them ready.
+ On any separation at quarterback, “not yet.”
+ On Chris Olave not being on the practice field, Day said he is dealing with an illness.
+ He would love to scrimmage everyday now. But he tries to make the padded practices physical and clean.
+ On what he saw from the scrimmage, Day said he noticed they didn’t have Luke Farrell, Justin Fields, Baron Browning, Pete Werner, or Tuf Borland. “Those guys you counted on.” The scrimmage wasn’t bad but they just haven’t played very much.
+ The younger guys have to step up. They don’t have a choice. “So that’s it and that’s college football, you gotta step up.”
+ On the freshman receivers, Day said it was huge that they enrolled early. They are learning quickly and they are very talented. “Bright futures for all three of them.”
+ Their football IQ is pretty strong. Going out there and doing it physically is the challenge.
+ On the challenge of staying healthy, Day said they have to push through it. They have to be tough and physical and that’s the hard part of it but they think through every minute of every drill and everything they do. A lot of injuries have been in non-contact stations. It’s a balance between keeping them safe but still having to practice.
+ On replacing Tommy Togiai, Day said he is excited about the interior defensive lineman. Antwaun Jackson is playing as good as he’s played, Jerron Cage is playing his best football, Tyleik Williams is flashing, Noah Potter has done some work inside, and Taron Vincent has a chance to have a breakout year. “He was gold in conditioning and his play has been excellent, it all started in the offseason. He’s abut to take off.” Vincent is the most improved right now.