Aug. 8, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio - "We're wearing them all today, fellas. We're wearing them all."
That assistant coach quote summed up the fifth day of practice during this 2013 fall camp for the Ohio State Buckeyes. The team was outfitted in full pads for the first time this fall, and just one day before the first two-a-day practice and the relocation to the Ackerman Road Field for eight days of intense physical and mental activity and team building.
Outside of the ubiquitous corps of NFL scouts that frequent so many Ohio State practices, the session today was closed and the team practiced for right at two hours under thick cloud cover and pleasant temperatures in the Duluth-like 75 degree range. Go Bucks!
There are only four seniors - total - on the defensive side of the ball and three of them, oddly enough with the same initials, met with the media following practice Wednesday: C.J. Barnett, Christian Bryant and Corey Brown. This contingent is as veteran as one will find on the team. Barnett has started 24 times and played in 32 games; Bryant has started 22 times and played in 31; and Brown has played in 33 games.
Here's more good stuff about the safeties:
- Barnett has more tackles on the team in the last two years - 131 - than all but one player (LB Ryan Shazier has 175); a two-time all-Big Ten Conference honoree, he also has 13 pass break-ups and four interceptions;
- Brown played in all 12 games in 2012 and had significant playing time within the nickel packages with 223 total plays. He followed that with a fine spring campaign, one in which Coach Urban Meyer mentioned he could be this season's Reid Fragel (a senior who simply and perhaps surprisingly shines);
- Bryant has 149 career tackles to rank second on the team in that category (Shazier) and he is coming off a second-team all-Big Ten season in 2012 when he had 70 tackles and 13 passes defended to rank second in the conference.
- The fourth senior on the defensive side of the ball is also a safety: fifth-year player Jamie Wood, a two-year letterwinner still vying to contribute to the team after multiple shoulder issues;
- Third-year sophomore Ron Tanner lettered last year, playing in 11 games and participating in 58 special teams plays;
- Coach Everett Withers' unit also includes junior Russell Doup, sophomores Devan Bogard and Kevin Niehoff, and scholarship freshmen Vonn Bell, Jayme Thompson and Chris Worley.
Jayme Thompson out indefinitely
Freshman safety Jayme Thompson suffered an ankle injury during practice Wednesday and had surgery this morning at the OSU Medical Center. He will be sidelined indefinitely. Freshman Khaleed Franklin, from Columbus and Beechcroft High School, will replace Thompson on the 105-man roster.
Senior left tackle Andrew Norwell left practice early on Wednesday because of a foot sprain. He is expected to be out only for a couple of days.
Today was a black stripe day
After practice, coach Urban Meyer called up the first freshman/newcomer of the 2013 season to have the black stripe removed from his helmet (signaling the individual's deeds are in alignment with being a true Buckeye). The honor to have his first black stripe removed went to a true freshman and a young man who just became a part of the team Sunday: 6-3, 205-pound wide receiver Joe Ramstetter, from Elder High School in Cincinnati. His big brother is sophomore Michael Thomas.
Safety Devan Bogard, from Cleveland's Glenville High School, was the first to have his black stripe removed last season.