Ryan Day

Ryan Day High On Julian Sayin, Looks Ahead To Camp Wrap, Spring Game

COLUMBUS — Ohio State head coach Ryan Day met with reporters on Wednesday following practice number 13 for the Buckeyes. He provided updates on the personnel, talked about the quarterback situation, discussed some talented freshmen, and much, much more. The highlights of everything he had to say can be found below.

  • What made Carlos Locklyn the right choice? When you hear his story, it’s captivating. Where he’s come from, his knowledge of the position, his aggressiveness in recruiting, and the impact and relationships he has had with people. He has already brought an edge and toughness to the room.
  • Spoke to a bunch of RB coach candidates, mostly over Zoom.
  • They were able to be thorough with the search and talk about recruiting, philosophy, etc. Locklyn stuck out for a lot of reasons. The players were excited to find out he was a finalist and that helped Day with the decision.
  • What do you want to see from the OL the rest of spring? You want to see individual improvement all spring long. In fall camp you want to see chemistry among the group. They are seeing individual improvement across the board. The battle at right guard is ongoing. Seth McLaughlin and Carson Hinzman have both gotten a look there to compete with Luke Montgomery and Tegra Tshabola. The improvement at tackle from last year is noticeable.
  • They feel good about Josh Fryar at right guard.
  • Julian Sayin has been competing and making plays, and that’s why he lost his black stripe. Is there a danger in doing that so early? “The guys know.” They’re not breaking any secrets by removing the stripe. The players encourage that because they see the plays being made. It was ultimately Ryan Day’s call to have it removed, but it wasn’t a difficult decision.
  • The transfer portal reopens on Monday. How are you preparing for that? “It is crazy. It’s unique. I feel like we have a team that is coming together for a common purpose.” The players play hard for each other. Guys want to be here. They understand what it means to be a Buckeye and what can happen this year. There will be some guys where it makes sense for them to look at a new home. “More than ever before, guys are going to play football.” They are going to play depth this year. This is a different and unique time. The depth chart isn’t as important as it used to be.
  • On the quarterback competition, “No, I don’t think we’ve narrowed it down.” You’re seeing guys make plays and certain things are showing up in practice that gives them more information. There are a lot of commonalities, but also some differences among the QBs. They can all move, which is good. There is some separation but he’s not naming names. Julian Sayin is in the mix. “He is.” They roll the QBs in with the ones, twos, and threes, so everybody is getting any opportunity to work with the ones to see how it looks. Sayin has a really bright future.
  • The plan on Saturday for the spring game is to have the ones out there initially. Some guys with over 1,000 reps will play a little bit with thud. Then the twos and threes will get out there and start tackling.
  • They want five running backs. “We’ll be in a situation where we’re at five.”
  • How did the first conversation with Carlos Locklyn go? “He was excited and we were excited.” It was a tough spot to be in with the timing because Locklyn wanted to do things the right way.
  • Is there a pecking order at quarterback? “We haven’t really talked about that much.” Asked about Will Howard, Day said his experience is showing. They’ve seen him be able to extend plays and throw well from the pocket. They are trying to put him in difficult situations to see how he and the other QBs respond. Howard is in the building early and late, and the guys see that.
  • Devin Brown is now into year three. There isn’t too much new with the offense, so you see his comfort level. The big thing is the growing consistency that he needs.
  • Who on defense is giving the offense the biggest headache? They have good length at linebacker. They’re flashing. The interior guys up front are creating havoc. The DBs are active and getting their hands on football. “You’re starting to see Caleb (Downs) really understand it now.” You can see him taking off right now.
  • Where are you at starting a freshman quarterback? The mindset for Julian Sayin is that he needs to be ready to go. He has to be ready to play in his mind. With the QBs having the ability to run, they increase their injury potential. “So we’re gonna need guys.” “We’re gonna run the quarterback some this year, and because of that we’re gonna need depth.” Sayin’s mindset needs to be that I’m playing this year.
  • Julian Sayin has a good plan on the practice field. “He doesn’t want to get his hand held.” How fast he gets on the field will be up to him.
  • They’ll keep the conversations with Dallan Hayden private and wait until next week to talk about it.
  • Do you still feel like you have the answers at RG on the roster? They’ll look at it after camp and go from there. “I can’t sit here and tell you that that right side is solidified now.” They’ll look at all options.
  • The offensive tackles are producing better. They are in better position in pass protection. Josh Fryar has really changed his body. They really hammered the diet aspect which has made him quicker and bending better. Josh Simmons has always been able to move, he just needed more experience and more work with the mental part of it.
  • What matters more when choosing a QB? The older guy with experience or the younger guy with the higher potential? “The good thing is we might have both.” “We’re going to do whatever we can to win games.” They need two or three quarterbacks that can help them reach their goals. They’re not there yet though. They want to get more QBs reps in the games so that if something happens, they have experience. Lincoln Kienholz wasn’t ready in the Cotton Bowl and it wasn’t his fault, he hadn’t played.
  • James Peoples and Sam Williams-Dixon and TC Caffey have had very good springs. He saw it first hand as the RB coach for a couple of weeks. He saw their attention to detail. He is looking forward to seeing them live in the spring game. The first time they’ve been tackling will be on Saturday.
  • Where does Julian Sayin not measure up to the upperclassmen? Just experience and knowledge. He’s put on 15 pounds since he got here. “I like his approach.”
  • Tight end depth? Still feel very good about Gee Scott. He has taken the next step in the progression with his blocking. They will roll at times. Will Kacmarek gets better every day. Jelani Thurman has been great in the red zone and done good things. The room across the board has been solid.

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