COLUMBUS — Ohio State head coach Ryan Day took a break from monitoring the OSU fax machine to meet with reporters to discuss the Buckeyes’ signing day haul. He answered questions about the newest Buckeyes and talked about the ever-changing world of modern-day college football. The highlights of everything he had to say can be found below.
- How many guys did you miss out on because of NIL? That’s a good question. They have 19 guys signed and they’re going to keep swinging. Today is the day the 19 guys deserve recognition because they are the focus. Not on who they don’t get today.
- Got seven guys from Ohio in this class. The 19 guys want to be Buckeyes. “A lot of these guys did it for the right reasons.” That’s focusing on the things that truly matter. Development, education, hunting for national championships, an unbelievable culture, and being a part of this city.
- In the end it comes down to relationships and our guys did a great job of that.
- When is the right time to go on quarterbacks? There are great positives to jumping on somebody early, but when you get in on somebody late, you get to see all of the work that they’ve put in. Everybody has their own journey.
- Are they expecting anybody else? There’s still a lot going on. There’s still a long way to February.
- Why so many decommitments? I think it’s just the way of the world right now. If it was 10 years ago, it might be a concern, but things are different now. Used to be when somebody committed, schools stopped recruiting them. Commitments don’t stop anything anymore.
- How does OSU view things at the moment? “We all have certain expectations…” and certain goals and when you fall short of them, you have to recognize why you fell short. You look at where everybody is in the program and where they stand. They have a good feel for that right now. The guys here have been working their tail off in the last month. They’re not going to overreact to the loss to Michigan right now. They have a game against Georgia coming up. “I know that the program is in a great place.” There are really good people in this program.
- The offensive line class: Justin Frye did an excellent job. Three Ohioans and then Miles Walker out of Connecticut. Luke Montgomery will start out at tackle and he’s been a leader of this class. He’s a basketball player. He can probably play all five positions. Austin Siereveld is going to start out at guard. Josh Padilla will start out at center. He’s a wrestler. Quickness and leverage and tough. Miles Walker is long and athletic. He will start out at tackle.
- Still looking into the portal for offensive linemen? Yes, definitely looking. Not going to add guys just to add guys.
- Difficult time for everybody with Avery Henry’s situation. They are going to support him in every way they can. This is why you get into coaching, to have an impact on people and help kids fight these battles. Henry will be with them in Atlanta and they’re going to be part of the fight with him.
- Should you be expanding your recruiting board at running back and defensive end? They have decent depth at running back. They have to decide what they’re going to do with Chip Trayanum, but they have depth. They didn’t feel like they needed to add somebody. It didn’t work out this year. Defensive end, they felt like they were in a pretty good position with some guys but that didn’t work out. They had Josh Mickens in camp. Athletic. They also like Jason Moore’s ability to go inside and outside. They will always swing at the best players in the country.
- All four of the WRs will be good players. Bryson Rodgers has Ohio ties. He was a Buckeye early on and he’s been loyal throughout. Carnell Tate was quite a recruiting process. He always knew he wanted to be a Buckeye. Noah Rogers from North Carolina, there were some twists and turns, but he was loyal. “I think you’re going to like him.” Brandon Inniss has had a leadership role early on in this class. He is a competitor. Inside and outside. Dynamic player.
- How much has NIL taken Day away from relationship building? Every year it changes. In the end it comes down to relationships. That’s it.
- More important than ever to keep Ohio guys home and that they evaluate them at a high level. People from here understand what it means to be a Buckeye more than anybody. There were some very good players in state this year. They are all going to have an impact. They were all recruited by other programs until the last minute.
- They will have a conversation with Chip Trayanum after the season about his plan for the spring. So they will talk to him about what he feels best about. They would like to be at five.
- Jermaine Mathews did a great job at camp. They worked him hard. Day wanted Jim Knowles to ease up on him at one point but they kept going. He’s a competitor. He went through a lot in the recruiting process but he was loyal to the Buckeyes.
- Will Smith, Jr., everybody knows his dad and that matters, but that’s not why he was offered a scholarship. The last year he has poured it on. He’s poured on about 45 pounds as well. He has an unbelievable motor. They sat him down and explained the expectations, which his family already knew because of his father. Early on, maybe it was a risk to offer him, but it’s a no-brainer now. He played hard, physical, and had a lot of production. He will enroll early.
- You have a great program, you have collectives, but what’s missing? The 19 signees are going to have an unbelievable opportunity in the NIL space, just like the current team. They explained the potential for NIL down the road. As a program they are constantly having conversations on where to improve. “It’s Ohio State, we should be the best in the country, and we will.”
- Lincoln Kienholz is a very good multi-sport athlete. Competitor. Athleticism. Like his makeup as a competitor. Being the starting QB at Ohio State is not for everybody. Kienholz looked at it and said ‘this is what I want.” He saw the opportunity here. Corey Dennis did a great job with his recruitment.
- The No. 1 focus on recruiting and the players is discussing the development. It has to be. If they’re not in the right situation and they’re not being developed, they’re not going to reach their end goals. “Where are you going to be in three to five years.” The 19 guys who have signed recognize that.
- CB Calvin Simpson-Hunt was really impressive as a senior in a very, very competitive conference. He has grown over the past year. Great work ethic. Good size.
- How well did you address your needs? “I think pretty well. There’s a need to have some impact players on the O-line.” It was important to have a strong class there. They have to continue to build the defensive backfield. They could probably use one more defensive lineman.
- What is it like recruiting in the transfer portal? Most of the guys in the portal have been through the recruiting process. They have a list of things they’re looking for in a school and so does the school. What you don’t want to do is promise a guy that he’s going to start right away. That’s not good policy and it’s not good for the locker room. You don’t just walk into a locker room and say you’re going to start there. Even Justin Fields had to compete for the job.
- Is the NCAA trying to police the inducement realm? Or is it the Wild West now? “I haven’t seen much in terms of the enforcement.”
- Arvell Reese will be an impact player for them on defense. Coach Ginn builds the players up the right way.
- Do you think some recruits sign with a program for a year to cash in and then they move on after that to be developed? “Do I want to go down this road now?” Players have a lot of flexibility right now. Ohio State will continue to focus on development.
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