COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State’s preparations for the 2019 season have neared the midway point as the team practiced Wednesday for the 11th time during fall camp. The practice ran nearly two hours on a very pleasant morning at the Harmon Family Football Park.
The players were in just helmets for the second consecutive practice and the plan is to have them practice in pads on Thursday and Saturday. Practice ended Wednesday on a bit of a light note as a magician involved Jeff Okudah in a card trick that left everyone in disbelief.
Head coach Ryan Day and co-defensive coordinator Greg Mattison met with the media following practice. Much of the conversation centered on the quarterbacks, wide receivers and linebackers as well as the depth chart. Neither coach was ready to name starters at this point but both mentioned that they were close as the end of camp draws near and game prep is right around the corner.
The Buckeyes will practice four more times before breaking camp and starting prep for the season opener against FAU on August 31.
Ryan Day on the overall play at the quarterback position
“I think the guys are getting more and more reps under their belt. I do think Justin has taken a stride in the last couple days and the last week. He’s moving the team nicely. Taking care of the ball better the last couple days. Throwing the ball on time. Improvement’s there and leadership is improving. So you know, we’ve got a padded practice tomorrow, a padded practice on Saturday, and then we’ll regroup and then go ahead on Monday.”
Day on running back depth behind J.K. Dobbins
“You’ve got Demario [McCall] and you’ve got the two young guys but the biggest thing is going to be ball security in the end; who do we trust? We give the ball to him. Right now, there is no backup running back. I think all three guys, four guys, with Master [Teague] when he gets healthy wants that spot, but they have got to learn to take care of the ball and we have to learn to be able to trust them.”
Day on setting a depth chart heading into the third week of camp
“We’ll talk about. It there are still some battles that will go into the third week so probably won’t have a whole team depth chart but after this week we’ll probably have a good idea where guys are. Hopefully we’ll have captains by then and that will be throughout the weekend. Should have a good update on Monday.”
Greg Mattison on the play of LB Tuf Borland
“I like everything about Tuf Borland’s game. Tuf Borland is another one that comes out to practice every day, extremely intelligent. Takes great pride in getting the front lined up. A linebacker can be an unbelievable player, and before I finish on that, our backers have all bought into the one thing I think is really, really important and that’s communicating.”
Mattison on the play of the team’s linebackers during fall camp
“Al [Washington] has done a super job with them. They understand their importance in this defense with the aggressiveness, with the taking charge, with the tempo that we’re seeing at times, you know and we’re going to see a lot during this year. So they have done a very good job of that.”
Mattison on how he’s working with co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Jeff Hafley
“Jeff and I work really, really well together and the big thing is there’s no egos. You know, our deal is to try to make this defense the best we can. That’s it. That’s it. That’s our whole goal. His expertise in the back end, he’s as good a secondary coach as I’ve ever seen, and I know the players would say that. And then for us to be able to work with the front end, it’s worked out perfect. I just — he’s a great one now. He’s done a really good job and we get along tremendous.”