Two-Minute Drill: Ryan Day Updates Following Spring Football Practice No. 3

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State returned from spring break on Tuesday and resumed spring football with its third practice out of 15 total spring practices.

Head coach Ryan Day met with the media after practice and discussed Tony Alford’s departure and the state of the running back room along with the development of the various position groups.

Ryan Day 

+ Day found out about Alford last week. They are in a position where they don’t have to rush the process of replacing him. The running back room is doing great and will be a part of the coaching search. Day had fun coaching the running backs on Tuesday. “It’s the best running back room in the country.”

+ Tuesday’s practice was the first in pads. It was shorter and less physical because players were also returning from spring break.

+ They are still rolling quarterbacks and giving as many reps as they can, but as they get further into practice, they will be more intentional about dividing up reps.

+ On the right side of the offensive line, Day said there’s not enough of an evaluation yet but Josh Fryar had one of the best off-seasons and really stood out. Fryar might move into guard if Tegra Tshabola makes a push. There are tight competitions on the offensive line.

+ On concerns that Chip Kelly’s offensive plan was shared with Michigan, Day said there’s so much they have out in front of them. Things will look different down the line and it comes down to the quarterback. The run game will look different but that’s a long ways away from next November. The twists and turns and quarterback communication will allow them more flexibility as they call plays.

+ The linebackers are very competitive. The players are all learning multiple positions and then the coaches and players will evaluate where they need to focus their time moving forward. “It’s an important decision.”

+ There are three communication devices in helmets allowed per practice, which is difficult to have so few but they are working with three. They will use wristbands, signals, huddles, calls, and be creative in that area. Each day they are learning more about using the headset.

+ Day is currently coaching the running back room full time. He has never done that before but has loved it so far. He wants the running backs to see things through the eyes of a quarterback and with a high up view, so the meetings have been great. “Whoever we hire is going to have an incredible opportunity and a great group of guys.”

+ Each offseason a different challenge comes, but that’s the job. Part of the job is adapting and they have done that and they have been aggressive.

+ The running back room is veteran and TreVeyon Henderson said that they can rely on each other, the relationships are strong, and that’s what the power of the unit is all about.

+ The defensive line has a handful of players who need to step up this spring so that they can build depth there. The offensive line will challenge them everyday and they have to show up and produce. They need to play 5-6 deep there.

+ At tight end, Day said Gee Scott Jr. has had a good offseason and is right where he needs to be with his leadership and attitude, but a handful of players need to step up. “We have to figure out what we can do there.”

+ At wide receiver, Brandon Innis has had a great offseason. The sky is the limit for Carnell Tate. “We need Jayden Ballard to step up in a big way. Certainly Jeremiah Smith has flashed but we need to build depth.” Emeka Egbuka is the leader there.

+ Jack Sawyer played his best football at the end of the year last year and the way he rallied the team to come back — he helped recruit this class, is a leader, and is going to be the tip of the spear for the defense.

+ Jim Tressel helped advise Day on how to handle coaching special teams this season because there is no special teams coordinator.

+ They have a chance to have the best coaching staff in the country and that’s the standard at Ohio State.

+ Will Howard and Devin Brown will throw for the players at Pro Day.

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