Aug. 7, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio - For the second consecutive afternoon, the Ohio State Buckeyes practiced on the lush green grass fields at the Harmon Family Football Park where the temperatures can be as much as 30 degrees cooler than on the FieldTurf fields.
Tuesday, with a mid-practice temp from a smart phone that read 90 degrees "but felt like 88," was another single practice day, but it was the second for the full squad. The initial practice of the season last Friday consisted of a split squad, with the freshman and rookies practicing in the afternoon after the returning veterans practiced in the morning.
The team practiced in shorts, shoulder pads and helmets. Sophomore linebacker Curtis Grant returned to practice after spending Monday on a family matter. A large contingent of local media were on hand to watch practice and then spent time afterward with a handful of players and coaches.
Some quick notes on the past two days of practice:
With temperatures near or topping 90 each day, maintaining hydration has been a key topic. To that end, six large water coolers were stationed around the two fields, at least 15-20 athletic trainers were carrying 32-ounce water jugs and six-packs of water jugs, and at least 10 additional staff members - those not integral to the flow of practice - were mandated to carry a water bottle to supply a squirt or two to any player or coach who happened by.
This is cool: the Woody Hayes and Biggs facility has three ice making machines and all three are working overtime. Every day Ohio State's athletic trainers go through approximately 175 25-pound bags of ice. That's more than 4,300 pounds - more than two tons - of ice every day. An outside vendor has to provide additional ice to supplement the huge amounts of ice used each day.
Tuesday's practice included the "circle drill" at the beginning. Called into action were five sets of freshmen: David Perkins and Warren Ball; Armani Reeves and Riquan Southward; Kyle Dodson and Adolphus Washington; Devan Bogard and Frank Epitropoulos; and Blake Thomas and Jamal Marcus.
Also on hand Tuesday were NFL scouts from several teams, including the Detroit Lions, Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears and Cleveland Browns.
The Buckeyes will continue their late afternoon practices with a single practice Wednesday afternoon at the Harmon Family Football Park. Wednesday will also be the last day of the summer term final exam week. And the official start of fall camp will be in the books as the players all move into their camp residence around the lunch hour.
All practices are closed to the public. The team will wear full pads for the first time Thursday during its 9 a.m. practice. The first of four two-a-day practice days will be Friday.