Football

Ryan Day Talks Buckeyes at Mid-Point of Spring Ball

Ohio State head coach Ryan Day spoke with reporters today following practice. The Buckeyes have now completed eight of 15 spring practices. Here are the highlights of everything Day had to say.

— On recruiting Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs at quarterback a few years ago, very happy to see that shot. Suggs came to OSU’s camp. Very talented. Day gave the family an evaluation that he could be a really good quarterback, but if he’s as good as they said at basketball then that was probably the best course for him.

— Mitchell Melton has a long-term injury. Have to do a great job of developing the young guys and they will be thin for the rest of spring.

— Craig Young has had a really good spring so far. He’s finding a role he feels more comfortable with. He can line up at safety and then also come into the box. He can cover and also be physical and blitz. He and Ronnie Hickman and Kourt Williams are all in a position to help out this way.

— Matt Jones has done a good job of moving between guard and center. He has to be able to communicate at center and handle the snaps and make the calls, then also block and then reach block as well. You have to have good quickness and be able to think on your feet.

— They have the ability to line up in base or nickel with a Craig Young as the third “linebacker.” Just depends on what the offense is giving them. Then you just try to put the best 11 guys on the field and who can do the most. “We want to have flexibility there.”

— The biggest concern is still the lack of time with the younger guys. Their lack of playing in games and experience and practice. “We just haven’t played a lot of football with the younger guys.” Quarterbacks and linebackers and defensive backs especially. So you try to put them in game situations and get them more reps.

— Too early to create a pecking order at RB, but was very impressed by how they all did on Friday in the scrimmage. Pass protection is good too.

— Lejond Cavazos and Ryan Watts have been thrown in and they’re practicing a lot and getting better. Two more weeks of that, “they’re going to come out of this spring a lot stronger and hopefully ready to make an impact on the fall.”

— The quarterbacks are still rotating and it changes every day. They are splitting up the reps the best they can. They just need so many reps of everything. They are all very eager to learn. They take notes. They’re all getting better. “I wish we had 18 months to get them ready.” No separation yet.

— Chris Olave is still dealing with an illness.

— They try not to overreact to one scrimmage. He’d love to scrimmage every day after seeing what he saw on Friday. They will do some situational stuff in the middle of the week.

— You don’t have Tuf Borland and experienced guys that you could count on and so the biggest thing is just getting more and more and more reps. The more they can rep, the faster they’ll learn.

— It’s a concern that they won’t see the full secondary healthy until preseason camp in August. As long as they continue coaching the players up, they’ll be okay in the fall. The young guys have to step up.

— It’s been huge for the freshman wide receivers to be enrolled and experiencing practice as Buckeyes. Bright futures for all three of them.

— “I think our IQ is pretty strong,” which helped the growth last year without practicing. But you can’t make up for the actual act of doing it physically.

— They’re only going to tackle once this week and have two padded practices. They have had some injuries, but they have to continue building up their physicality. And most of the injuries have been non-contact.

— Very excited about the interior of the defensive line. Antwuan Jackson is playing as good as he’s played. Jerron Cage is playing his best football. Tyleik Williams has flashed but needs to learn how to sustain. Noah Potter has actually got some work inside. Taron Vincent is on pace for a breakout. He gave himself over to Mickey Marotti. He is probably the most improved defensive lineman. Vincent has matured, but it was the decision to get after it in the weight room with Mick. Since then he’s taken off.

— There are two ways to look at the one-time transfer waiver. He has supported the guys who left Ohio State and all of those guys who have left did so in good standing and he has supported their waivers. But you do need to be careful about letting them do it multiple times.