Aug. 7, 2017
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Monday morning showers kept the Ohio State Buckeyes away from the Coffey Road practice fields and instead the team stayed on the turf fields of the Woody Hayes Athletic Complex for practice No. 9 of the fall camp.
The team worked through the elements during an 18-period practice on turf fields Nos. 3 and 4: a misty and at times drizzly rain fell throughout the majority of the session. Afterward, coach Urban Meyer met with the media for the third time this preseason in the team meeting room. His updates to the media included:
The play of Demario McCall: “Demario is going a little bit of hybrid on us right now, so we’re using him a little bit all-purpose. But I kind of like where we’re at at tailback. Every one of them made really nice strides this summer, and they’re playing pretty well.”
A note about Saturday’s scrimmage: “There were some big plays. You know, that’s a negative for the defense, positive for the offense. I liked the coaching going on across the field, but particularly on offense right now. That tempo and those kind of things.”
On Mike Weber: “He practiced today. He didn’t open it up yet today, but we’ll be ready for game 1. We’re just being cautious. Hamstrings are really just something you’ve got to watch closely.”
On TE Rashod Berry: “He’s another nice guy that’s going to be a nice phone call because he’s been pounding it around a little bit around here. He’s done a very nice job maturing. His family should be proud of him academically, just the professionalism. I would anticipate he’s going to play for us at tight end.”
On freshman QB Tate Martell: “He’s in the fight. How legitimate, it’s still early. He did do very well in the scrimmage the other day. Guys like that have to fight for those reps, and the terms we use around here are game reps and mental reps, and he’s really matured.”
Offensive Line Update
Coach Greg Studrawa and a handful of his offensive linemen also met with the media following practice. Studrawa is in his second year coaching the position group at Ohio State. His unit returns four starters from last season, including All-American Billy Price, who is making the move to center as a fifth-year senior, similar to Pat Elflein’s move to the position last year. Elflein went on to be a second round draft pick of the Minnesota Vikings.
Price has started 41 consecutive games. Luke Fickell has the school record with 50 consecutive starts and Pat Elflein has the record with 55 games played.
LT Jamarco Jones was named second-team all-Big Ten last season and RG Michael Jordan, the first freshman to start along the line since Orlando Pace in 1995, was a freshman All-American.
All four returning starters – the fourth is RT Isaiah Prince – started all 13 games last season and each amassed more than 900 offensive snaps.
Coach Greg Studrawa on the ideal number of offensive lineman you’d like to have ready to play: “Eight or ten. You want to get backup at tackle, you want to get a backup at guard, and obviously you need a backup center. I think right now we’re on the path to have more than one.”
On the depth of the offensive line: “Unbelievable. It’s way different from where it was last year, the confidence in these guys. There are three guys in some spots getting reps because they’re doing so well. So that’s exciting. That creates competition and helps you build a cohesive line.”
On redshirt sophomore Matthew Burrell: “I think it’s one of those things where you see young guys come in, and they’re doing things and getting opportunities, and one day the switch goes off and they realize `I guess I better go.’ That’s the best way I can describe what’s happened to Matt. He’s realized `I’ve got to go, this is my time, I’ve been here long enough. It’s time to perform.’ That’s exactly how he’s practicing, that’s exactly how he’s watching film.”