Football

Ryan Day Provides June Updates on Team, Position Battles, and Recruiting

COLUMBUS, Ohio — It’s June, which brings a busy recruiting month for Ohio State coaches while the team focuses on summer workouts with strength coach Mickey Marotti.  Ohio State head coach Ryan Day met with the media on Tuesday to provide updates on the offensive line and other position battles, the progress of the team, and recruiting.

Here is a summary of what was said.

Ryan Day 

+ There’s no updates on the quarterbacks. June has been busy recruiting and with the team. Coming out of the spring, there’s not a lot of movement at any position right now. “We will work hard and there will be a lot of progress made in the weight room, but we won’t really know much until we get into the preseason.”

+ On the recruiting stories, Day said it still matters. So many people do such a great job of covering the stories, the players, and the offers, so there’s less opportunities to find “diamonds in the rough,” but there have been some players in their camp that have really impressed the coaches. The evaluations in recruiting are still very important and have to be on point. But there’s also still a place for players who maybe don’t stand out until their junior year and earn scholarships.

+ “You win with people,” as said by Woody Hayes is more relevant now than it was back then. Day said there’s so much with the transfer portal, and NIL, and “you still want to have great people around.” His focus is on building a winning culture and bringing in the right people.

+ On Josh Fryar, Day said they see Fryar making a lot of progress and he has grown a lot from last year and built confidence from that. They feel confident with him playing guard and tackle, but they have to figure out the right side of the line. They are leaning towards slotting him at tackle and figuring out who is going to step up at right guard. They have flexibility there.

+ “Every year is going to be different and we have to adapt. But there’s certain things that we’re not going to change… certain values and principles that have stood the test of time.”

+ On the important position battles or questions he has about his team, Day said on offense they have to square away the quarterback and the offensive line on the right side. They have to build enough depth at receiver that they can play 5-6 per game. On defense, they are still looking to figure out who 3-4 interior linemen are, and also the depth at safety. On special teams, punter is significant and there will be a battle there.

+ They looked at some offensive linemen in the portal and evaluated some, they checked on a few players, but where they were and with the younger players, they felt ok to go with what they had.

+ On the running backs, Day said they have experience and then after the spring, they felt the younger players did a good job and will step up to play. Caleb Downs has participated in some drills and meetings to play at running back — that was something mentioned in recruiting and something he wanted to do. The quarterbacks will also run the ball more this season, which will take some carries away.

+ On the high expectations of the team and the pressure, Day said the expectations every year are the same. They have to beat TTUN and win every other game. Coming up short, they have to find a way to get that fixed and he thinks they have done that.

+ “We’ve been talented. There’s been times in the past we’ve been talented, but I don’t know if since I’ve been here we’ve been this talented and experienced together, with guys who have played a lot of football, 4th and 5th year guys, and that does matter.”

+ It’s going to be a long season and they have to make sure they have contingency plans in place.

+ On the success of the defensive recruiting and players buying in, Day said they talked about it when Jim Knowles first came in, but it’s one thing to talk about it, and now there’s testimony. Players are excited, they see the capabilities and the flexibility, and they are fired up when they get here.

+ The linebackers have good versatility. They do a good job of fitting the runs and blitzing, which has been an emphasis for them. They have a lot of length there, and that’s important.

Photo via Ohio State Dept. of Athletics. 

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