COLUMBUS — With just over 10 days until the Buckeyes face Minnesota, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day met with the media on Monday.
Here are the highlights of what was said.
+ On using a single high safety, Day said the defense philosophically will not change. There are things they are really proud of and then there are things they just have to clean things up from last year.
+ On Marcus Hooker, Day said “he obviously made a really bad mistake.” But when he recruits young men and says he is going to take care of them, then when they go through tough times they have to work through things together. Hooker is on a no tolerance policy going forward but part of football is giving kids an opportunity to learn and grow.
+ On the depth in the secondary, Day said “there is more depth than we’ve had in a long time here.” They are still trying to figure out who is game ready but they are much further along than they have been the last couple of years in terms of depth.
+ Day intends to play a lot of different players in the secondary. “I think a lot of guys deserve to get on the field.”
+ On linebackers, some players need to heal up which they will. Others continue to get more reps and experience. The continuity and the communication there is key.
+ On Josh Proctor, Day said his approach has been excellent. He changed his body and is almost 200 pounds. “He is a different player with 15 extra pounds.” He is maturing and is taking it very seriously. His playmaking ability and consistency have improved.
+ They are pretty close to finding the best five players on the offensive line. Matthew Jones has been playing really well. “It is coming together.”
+ Jake Seibert and Noah Ruggles are still battling it out at kicker. Day would like to see more consistency.
+ On the team COVID-19 protocols, the players who are unvaccinated are required to test two times a week based on the university requirements. The players who are vaccinated do not have to test during the week. Day thinks just around 10 or under 10 players on the team are unvaccinated.
+ The majority of the linebackers will play. “Teradja Mitchell is one guy you’ll see for sure.”
+ They are still waiting to hear from the NCAA on Palaie Gaoteote’s waiver.
+ They are splitting time between developing position groups and working on preparing for Minnesota.