March 5, 2013
VIDEO: Coach Meyer Press Conference
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The winter weather forecasted for central Ohio and the Midwest hadn't hit Columbus when the Ohio State Buckeyes took to the practice field Tuesday afternoon for the first of 15 spring practices. Regardless: there was a flurry of activity inside the Woody Hayes Athletic Center as coach Urban Meyerand his staff welcomed the team, including 51 lettermen, to its initial session in preparation for the 2013 football season.
The Buckeyes went through a 25-period session in the "Woody" in front of about 50 members of the media and another 30 or so coaches from smaller colleges around the Midwest. The offense was in scarlet jerseys with gray pants. The defense was in white jerseys. The quarterbacks wore black jerseys and those recovering from injuries were in orange.
Punting drills with senior kicker Drew Basil leading the way led off the practice with lots of positional drills following. The practice closed with passing game exercises that included some fine throws by Braxton Miller, a spectacular reception from "H" back Jordan Hall over the middle and a couple of interceptions by standout cornerback Bradley Roby.
"I thought Braxton Millerhad one heck of a day," Meyer said. "His fundamentals and his footwork were not very good last year, but it was fantastic today."
Meyer met with the media for about 15 minutes in the team room following the practice. Here is what he had to say about:
The start of spring drills: "After day one, I can't give you a whole lot. It's the first day in shorts, but we had a good attitude today."
Leadership: "The only thing I see that I don't like is I look around and I don't see my leaders from last year. There are a lot of young puppies on defense, but offensively I felt pretty good."
An important area to develop: "The front seven. There is no set rotation yet. They are still finding their way right now. I'm glad Roby came back. You feel stability on the back end. The area where you don't is the front end, but there is talent there. If we put together a good defensive line and linebackers, we'll have a good team. If we don't, we won't. It's that simple."
Notes and More ...
- Notable position changes include Jordan Hall taking over as "H" back and performing as a dual purpose running back and wide receiver; 2012 linebacker Jamal Marcus moving to the defensive line; kickers Russell Doup and Kevin Niehoff each moving to safety; and Levi Ratliff lining up as a running back.
- A handful of players will be limited in their spring activities as they recover from injuries and/or surgeries, including LB Ryan Shazier, SAF Jamie Wood, SAF Devan Bogard, CB Nagee Murray, QB J.T. Barrett, WR Ryan Ross and WR Stacey Blunt.
- There are a number of number changes to report: Evan Spencer is now wearing jersey No. 6; Devin Smith is No. 9; Adam Griffin is No. 11; Ron Tanner is No. 20; David Perkins is No. 21; Kevin Niehoff is No. 25; and Craig Cataline is No. 49.
- Jersey numbers for the five early enrollees from the 2013 recruiting class are the following: 13 Eli Apple; 16 Cam Burrows; 16 J.T. Barrett; 59 Tyquan Lewis and 93 Tracy Sprinkle.
- Urban Meyer said his 2012 senior class would be memorialized in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center in numerous ways. Here's another: the team practiced today under a new banner, hung among the National Championship banners along the south wall of the "Woody," that reads: 12-0 / Undefeated Season / 2012.
The team will practice Thursday in shorts before taking off Friday after classes for spring break. Post-practice interviews Thursday - 6 p.m. approximate on the "Woody" indoor field - will be with defensive coordinator/linebacker coach Luke Fickell and linebackers Ryan Shazier, Curtis Grant, Joshua Perry and Camren Williams.
Friday Pro Day
Assistant AD for Football Strength and Conditioning Mickey Marotti released the names of the Buckeyes who will be competing at Ohio State's pro day Friday. The list includes FB/LB Zach Boren, DB Zach Domicone, OT Reid Fragel, DT Garrett Goebel, DT Johnathan Hankins, CB Travis Howard, SAF Orhian Johnson, WR Taylor Rice, TE/H Jake Stoneburner, DE/LB John Simon, DE/LB Nathan Williams, LB Etienne Sabino and DL Kharim Stephens.