COLUMBUS — Ohio State head coach Ryan Day spoke with reporters following the Buckeyes’ third practice of spring camp. He provided updates about his squad and answered numerous questions about his program. The highlights of everything he had to say can be found below.
- Started off by congratulating the women’s basketball team advancing to the Sweet 16. And also congratulating the women’s hockey team for their great season making it to the national title game.
- First day in pads today. Carson Hinzman is competing at center. Vic Cutler is learning the offense. He has ability and athleticism. He’ll learn the offense as camp goes and get better.
- Offensive tackle … still too early to tell. Will have a better feel for that competition at right tackle later this week and also after watching film today.
- Who is standing out in the secondary? It’s hard to say who is standing out, but the four cornerbacks are getting their hands on balls. They are competing and they challenging. Couldn’t have asked for a better start for the cornerbacks. “I just like their attitude. I like their competitiveness.” They will continue to put them in winner/loser situations.
- Davison Igbinosun and Ja’Had Carter are fitting in well. They are earning the respect of their teammates. They’ve done that through mat drills and winter workouts. Now they have that respect and you’re seeing it in practice early on. Day has been pleased so far.
- How do you evaluate somebody as a play caller? You don’t really know until you get into a game, but they’ll create some game-like situations. A big part of the first 10 practices is installing. You don’t have a lot of game situations installed right now, like red zone, goal line, third down, etc. Right now it’s so much about fundamentals.
- What are you looking to see out of Saturday’s scrimmage. They still have to figure out how they’re going to format it. Do they want tackling? The more you think about spring practice, you have guys who have been around for a long time. You have different varieties of experiences, so you have to figure out who needs what kind of reps. “We’ll be very basic in what we’re doing schematically.”
- Brian Hartline will be calling plays in Saturday’s scrimmage.
- Evaluating quarterbacks in a controlled environment requires comparing and contrasting past years and what you’ve seen from other quarterbacks. But you really don’t know until you get into a game. You identify the things they do well and emphasize those. Then what do they need to improve upon, and work on improving those things. Today was day three and there were some good things out there today.
- What do they need to see from the younger guys on the defensive tackle group? They want to see guys flashing and then consistency. Sustaining a level of play for 7-8-9 snaps in a row. Can you put good days back to back?
- This spring they are trying to find as many ways as they can to create winner/loser situations. They begin spring with that. Defensively, they had to teach the defense in year one. Year two is now more about competing.
- What is your role on pro day? Is it schmoozing scouts, calming players down? It was good that CJ Stroud got to throw to Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson last year, so he’s done it before. They’ll play music a bit to have them be looser as well. The OSU staff just tries to provide whatever they need, be it players or NFL teams.
- How is the battle to be the second tight end shaping up? Gee Scott and Joe Royer both need to be able to get open as receivers and then also block in 11 personnel by themselves. Cade Stover can do both. The rest of them need to show it. Keenan Bailey is doing a great job with that group?
- Is the fullback position dead with Mitch Rossi gone? They have some ideas there.
- What do you look for from the QBs during a scrimmage? Make the routine plays routinely. Make good decisions in the run game, take care of the ball, and lead the offense. But this is also going to be an aggressive offense, so there’s a balance that the quarterback has to find. The more game-like situations you can create, the more they’ll learn about the QBs and how they do all of these things.
- The positions he’s thinking about most — other than QB — are the offensive line and secondary. The cornerbacks have played well. He’ll watch the safeties on film today. The offensive line just has so many question marks right now, but the results will be what they’ll be and then you react to that and go from there.
- The best QBs in the NFL can extend plays. That’s important for quarterbacks to be able to do. It’s becoming more and more a part of the reality. The first thing a QB needs to be able to do at Ohio State is compete. You have to be highly competitive. Then you need to have some extraordinary trait. Then you utilize those traits. Those traits are starting to come out now in Kyle McCord and Devin Brown. It’s good seeing them taking reps with the ones and seeing how they operate, because it’s much different when you’re only working with twos and threes. The team believes in both guys and that’s important as well.
- What is he watching when he watches his QBs? Timing and where are the QBs looking. Then if those two things are good, what are their feet doing. Then it gets into did the play work? Is there a plan B for each play to give the QB opportunities to make bad plays right.
- Jim Knowles wants to get a certain number of reps for each of his defenses before he’s ready to put them in a game. So it’s also up to Day to get the defense as many looks as they need to get those defenses ready for games.
- What are the extraordinary traits of the QBs? Don’t want to get into that just yet. There are going to be a lot of eye balls on these guys, so they need to stay hungry and not listen to the noise. “The least amount I can say, the better for them.”
- Good conversations about the 2024 Big Ten schedule going on. There is still a lot to be decided there. Going away from divisions, there is a lot to be worked out. Some rule changes have also been discussed. There will be their regular meeting next week via Zoom. He has a lot of respect for the Big Ten coaches and the experience they all have.
- The cornerbacks and safeties will be meeting together more than they did last year.
- Marvin Harrison, Xavier Johnson, and Jayden Ballard are going to be CJ Stroud’s receivers at Wednesday’s pro day. Maybe Cade Stover too. It allows those guys to get a feel for what this is like.
- Would the three safety, two corner defense be better as three corners on third-and-long? They never were really able to go down that road last year was playing your third-best cover guy, but they’re looking at that. Also dime packages.
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