Ryan Day Press Conference Buckeyes

Ryan Day, Buckeye Quarterbacks Ready For Start Of Fall Camp

COLUMBUS — On the even of fall camp for the Buckeyes, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day and quarterbacks Kyle McCord, Devin Brown, and Tristan Gebbia met with reporters to discuss the upcoming quarterback battle, and much, much more.

The highlights of everything that was said can be found below.

Ryan Day

  • Lincoln Kienholz has done a great job of getting thrown to the wolves in the weight room and trying to “figure out how to take a snap.”
  • Devin Brown, Kyle McCord, and Tristan Gebbia have done a great job in the summer preparing for the start of camp.
  • You never know if two guys may play early in the season at quarterback. In the past, a guy usually emerges over the first couple of weeks. That may not be the case this year, but it would be ideal. The second week features the first scrimmage on Saturday, which can reveal a lot.
  • What has he heard about Big Ten expansion? “I don’t know. You may know more than me.” You hear different things. The Big Ten wants to position itself well in the future. The Big Ten is now a coast-to-coast conference. Conferences are becoming bigger than they ever have.
  • He cannot mention the addition of Nigel Glover yet.
  • He was named a starter at New Hampshire three weeks into camp when he played, “and never looked back, really.” That experience informs his decision-making process in naming a starting quarterback.
  • Somebody has to emerge at quarterback in order to be the starter. If they have to play two guys until somebody emerges during the season, they will. The message to the room is that they need to be the best room in the country, and whoever is playing needs to be pushed and supported.
  • What does he need to see from the secondary? The growth and improvement has continued over the summer as well. It was all about competing in the weight room and conditioning. If they are competitive, fierce, tough, and smart, then they’ll have a chance. What they’ve seen has been encouraging.
  • How much is the QB decision about eye ball versus gut and minutiae? It’s probably the first part, but they will chart everything. That will be the analytics part of it. They want to have the most competitive guy as the starter, but that may not happen overnight.
  • Lincoln Kienholz can be a weapon for them as the scout team quarterback, but they’re not going to put a limit on him. They want him to get some time this year, but he’s going to make the defense better and he’s going to get better from going against them.
  • The players see who puts the work in and who leads. All of that matters when it comes to finding a starting quarterback. “The team has to believe in the quarterback.”
  • As camp goes on, they’ll add in the Jack personnel grouping and see how it plays out. You want to put your guys in a position that will make them successful. They have three or four guys they like at that position. It’s a package that brings a lot of confusion to the offensive line, but you have to make sure it’s the right fit.
  • Any injuries that will carry over into the start of camp? “We’re at full strength.” “We’re four deep now in a lot of areas.” They will be able to go two fields at times and split the squads up and get double the amount of reps in in less time.
  • The defensive line is now experienced and they can now handle a lot more reps. It’s still a long season, so guys need to rotate, but they can handle more volume than they did in the past. “We’ll see how the younger guys develop.” It’s good to get young guys in, but the older guys will see more time than in the past.
  • The expectation for the quarterback is to be playing for a national title, competing for the Heisman, and being a first-round pick. But it doesn’t just happen. The guys understand that. There is work that needs to be put in.
  • Has there been a shift in recruiting philosophy to focus more on the transfer portal? There’s more people in the portal now and it’s easier to transfer. There’s more availability and there’s also more holes that you have to fill. You can’t change your philosophy regarding guys who fit your program though. There’s also a lot of pride in the locker room, so you have to consider that when you bring transfers in.
  • What was important to him heading into his first time as a play-caller? The play-calling was the easiest aspect of being a coordinator. The work during the week was the most difficult. The actual coordinating of plans and improving and fixing issues. “There’s just so many things that come up that you have to prepare for.”
  • The corner position is going to be very competitive. Denzel Burke had a great offseason. Jordan Hancock as well. There is a lot of depth at the position. The three safety positions are deep as well. Lathan Ransom is the incumbent at Bandit. It will be important to see how the nickel position works out. Cornerback Jyaire Brown was mentioned with the safeties.
  • He believes both Kyle McCord and Devin Brown will play at starter level, but not sure how quickly. “We’re not there right now.”
  • McCord and Brown will split the reps evenly with the ones at the outset of camp.
  • Day is going to stay connected with the quarterbacks and the play-calling, whether or not he keeps calling plays this year. The communication has to be there, so he will always be in those meetings. The QBs need to know exactly why a play is being called. That takes work in the meeting room.
  • Play-calling will not be a “clean break” from him to Hartline. It will be a process and there will always be communication.
  • What thoughts got him through his time competing to be the starter at New Hampshire? Ultimately you just have to go compete, but he got jammed up trying to be perfect. That led to interceptions. He needed to instead just go compete and play. The more you play, the more confidence you get. Self doubt will come in during struggles. If you haven’t played a lot, it’s important to get some early rhythm. Once you get the rhythm, your quarterback instincts take over. Early on you can spin yourself into a tizzy. That’s part of bringing along a young quarterback. There is an art to it. They put too much on him against Oregon. That loss wasn’t his fault. “That was our fault, and that was a mistake. And you learn from those things.”

Kyle McCord

  • What do you learn in this competition that you didn’t expect? You just have to control what you can control. You don’t want to get caught up in the big picture. You just take the necessary steps to get better each day.
  • Ryan Day’s track record speaks for itself. When you look at the guys who have stuck around here, they’ve done some pretty good things. He knows that as long as he stuck around, he’d put himself in a good position to succeed.
  • How do you keep from trying to do too much? Just doing your job is the most important thing. He’s got help all over the field. He just needs to make the routine plays, but when the opportunities to make a big play happen, that’s when you let your talent take over.
  • Spring was good for the younger skill positions to get first-team reps, but it’s good to get the starting receivers back this year. They’re the best in the nation, so it’s great to have them back. He’s been throwing to them for three years now.
  • What did you see in the spring that you liked and didn’t like? Definitely made some plays, but also wanted some reads back. That’s part of the growing process. It gave him an understanding of the areas where he needed to work. “I think I grew a lot from that.”
  • It’s important to be your own hardest critic. That’s part of being a good leader. It’s then important to maximize whatever opportunities come your way. With CJ Stroud being gone, he has stepped up as more of a vocal leader.
  • He’s always been big on having good mechanics and working on them during the offseason.
  • Is it ever overwhelming to have the expectations of being the Ohio State starting quarterback? Nobody will ever put more expectations on him than he puts on himself. He’s watched the past quarterbacks set the precedent, but they’ve done it their own way. There’s a lot of different ways to be the quarterback of the Buckeyes.
  • Do you feel like this is your job to win? The focus right now is that he feels the best he’s ever felt in a camp and he’s more experienced than ever. He’s focused on himself and he’ll be in a good spot if he just worries about himself.
  • Brian Hartline did a great job this spring calling plays. McCord was pleasantly surprised with how well Hartline saw the field. He saw it like a quarterback. His years around the game are easy to see.
  • Being intentional is important. It can be easy to get caught up in so many things you want to work on, but having a plan before every step is important.
  • When he was a true freshman, he didn’t know what he didn’t know going into fall camp. He now knows what to expect and he knows what it takes to get the job done. Having that experience has been helpful.
  • With four coaches that the quarterbacks deal with on a daily basis, who is he listening to the most? They all have the same message, so you listen to them all because you can’t go wrong with any of it.
  • How much do you lean on Ryan Day since he’s been through a QB battle as a player? It’s always good to have somebody who’s been through it talking to you about it. He’s the best QB coach in the country so when he tells you something, it’s important to apply it.
  • The most important thing he did this summer was being vocal with the team. Getting in front of the team and being a leader. That was the next step in his leadership process. He did a good job of being heard and talking to the team.
  • His joy and competitive nature have come out more and more in practice, starting back in spring and then continuing through summer workouts.
  • Getting on the same page with the play-caller has gone well. Brian Hartline would let them know why he was calling the plays he called so that they could understand the reasoning for everything.
  • You can’t force the ball down the field. If a defense is playing deep, there are things underneath to take.
  • How are you when the play breaks down? “I feel like I am good at that. I think the film will speak for itself.”
  • You can’t worry about what Devin Brown is good at and trying to accentuate your own strengths. You’re still going against a defense so you have to focus on that and your own abilities.

Devin Brown

  • Are you and Kyle McCord different versions of the same player? Everybody has different skill sets. He’s a little more athletic than McCord but Kyle can make plays on the run too.
  • His most important football accomplishment this summer? Emerging as a leader and pushing guys and being vocal.
  • How has Tristan Gebbia helped the QBs? He’s been an incredible resource. He’s had ups and downs, and has had moments that the other guys haven’t gone through. They meet every day and watched tape with him.
  • Whoever wins the job, they just want to help the team win.
  • He came back a week early from his finger injury. It was odd to grip the football early but that went away after about a week. He threw all summer. He never missed anything.
  • You can’t make things too big of a deal and force things. You have to keep everything very level.
  • Mickey Marotti allowed him to be a leader in the workouts during the summer.
  • How has the dynamic been with two quarterback leaders? Nobody on the team cares who is going to be starting at quarterback, they just want to get better, and they want to be pushed.
  • What was the rehab process like? Just worked with the staff on getting the movement back. At first it was just about healing, then it was about getting all of the movement back. It was awkward at first throwing the football again, but that went away after a week or so.
  • He’s a better player having gone through an injury. He pushed himself and was helped through it by Tristan Gebbia.
  • He’s probably grown mentally more than physically, even though he’s put on some good weight. He’s just learned an awful lot from the coaches through film work. The mental side of the game has improved immensely.
  • He saw the injury as something that was going to help him. He never saw it as a setback.
  • Kyle McCord is very vocal and a great leader. The guys trust him.
  • You haven’t thrown a pass in a game yet, so why isn’t that a disadvantage for you? Because he does it all the time in practice against defenses that are better than he’ll see in actual games. They have prepared him well. The reps in bowl prep helped as well while CJ Stroud was in New York. He got to take reps with the ones.
  • “Every day has been the same for us.” They’re just worried about getting better and finding guys that will help them beat Indiana.

Tristan Gebbia

  • Do you take ownership of the quarterback performances this year based on your desire to be a coach? Every QB room he’s ever been in, it’s always been like that. You always want to have the best room possible.
  • He’s a little older than the other QBs. He’s played and started, so any time he can give them wisdom, he’s going to do that. He’s not going to over-preach to them, but he is a resource for them.
  • All of the QBs have great qualities.
  • Excited for Lincoln Kienholz’s future. Very athletic. Picking up the offense quickly. The team is already respecting him because of the work he’s put in.
  • The most important quality for a quarterback? Perseverance. You’re an extension of the coach on the field, so when things are going good or bad, you have to keep things level.
  • What do you want your role to be here at Ohio State? “What I want more than anything is to be the correct person for the job they have for me.” “We want Ohio State to be the star, not us. Whatever role they have for me, let’s go do it.”
  • He’s had to overcome injuries and is proud of what he’s been able to accomplish over these seven years in college. He wouldn’t trade this ride for anything.
  • Devin and Kyle have similar traits, but Devin has a way of extending plays. Kyle has been around the offense longer, so he has a better depth of knowledge. Devin is catching up though. It’s impressive how well both of them can talk ball. You would think that they had both played a lot just based on how well they talk it and practice it. “They’re very talented players for sure.”
  • He worked with Devin Brown when Devin was a kid at a camp years and years ago. It doesn’t surprise him that Devin is here at a place like Ohio State.
  • Quarterback is a service position. It’s about serving your teammates and serving the program.
  • Ryan Day is super detail oriented. Even little details, he will recall and make mention of and the effect it could have on the offense. Working with him day in and day out, it’s surprising how approachable he is and how much he wants to pour into you.
  • “I don’t think you ever stop learning as a quarterback.” Defensive coordinators are always working to find new ways to create problems.
  • What does a QB need to know when there’s a competition and he got a fair shake? Reps. If you get the reps and are given the situational opportunities, you’ll know it’s a fair battle and so will the rest of the team. You can’t fake it. Your teammates will find out who you are quickly.
  • “I’m very blessed to be part of this team.”

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