Media conference call with Justin Fields, Wyatt Davis and Josh Myers
Media conference call with Tuf Borland, Shaun Wade, Justin Hilliard and Jonathon Cooper
On his focus:
“Whatever the future brings, we’ll be ready, but we have to handle our business every week of the year and getting to Indy and winning a B1G Championship.
I’m honored, honored to be with a guy like J.T. who was an unbelievable leader here. There’s a huge responsibility that comes with that. In a sense, all eyes are on you every day, so you got to attack every day with great energy, great demeanor with the way that you work because everyone will be watching.”
On communicating safety concerns:
“I feel like my concerns are being answered and listened to by my coaching staff and my AD. I feel safe. I feel good about everything that’s going on.
“I feel like, me personally and across our student-athletes at Ohio State, we feel confident in our leaders and our coaching staff with everything that’s going on.
“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t frustrating, but honestly, you can’t worry about any of that stuff. We’ll cross every bridge that comes our way when we get there, but right now I’m focused on being a leader for this team, being healthy, and getting better every single day. That’s my focus right now. I’m trying to put all my energy towards that instead of worrying about the things that I can’t control.”
On safety precautions:
“I’ve just been thinking very positive about it. Ohio State has done a great job of monitoring our guys and creating a safe working environment. So you just got to hope every other school is doing the same. And if they are, then I’m very optimistic the season will happen.
“Ohio State’s been doing their part. We’ve been doing our part. We just got to be positive about what the outcome could be and hope everyone else is doing their part.
“As of right now I’m feeling really good going into camp. I’m ready to play some football.”
On his and Josh Myers’ leadership along the line:
“You have to be a leader to play center. You’re guiding. He was a great leader for us this past season, and he was making the game so much easier to play. But now with this role of being a captain, it definitely holds a higher expectation for us. Even though last year, when we weren’t captains, we were always trying to lead younger guys to build them up. Now, with that role, we have to expand our leadership larger than the offensive line, and really to the whole team.
“With being a captain at Ohio State comes great responsibility. Now, the expectation of always doing things right is at an all-time high.”
On his mindset:
“You know, just playing with my teammates and grinding every day with Coach Mick during workouts, and just plays and stuff like that, that’s what I’m cherishing the most right now, so… It’s really been a blessing. I know how big of a deal it is to be selected captain by my teammates here at Ohio State, so it’s something I’ll be forever grateful for.”
On the uniqueness of this offseason:
“There’s a lot of things we can’t control, but I think the things we’re doing right now that we can control, we’re making the most of it. I think we’re doing a great job at just staying socially distant, and wearing a mask, and just doing all of the little things and trying to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
On his goals for the season:
“I want to show everybody that I’m the best quarterback in the nation. Of course, I want to win the Heisman and do all that stuff. But really, the team comes first, so if none of that happens, I’m fine with a national championship trophy sitting in the front of the Woody.”
On his leadership style:
“I think I was ready to be a captain last year, but we had that rule where underclassmen couldn’t be captains, and Coach Day informed me of that. I think me and Coach Day were on the same page. I think I was at that leadership role, and I was affecting the team in a leadership kind of way. I just didn’t have that title. Just because I don’t have that title doesn’t mean I can’t still be a leader on the team.”
On the year’s outlook:
“Things are different every year, but obviously this year’s a lot different.
“I think the name of the game this year is going to be able to adapt to whatever procedures and rules come as we go. But as of right now, we’ve got a great system. Our coaching, our training staff has done a great job of creating as safe an environment as they can for us.
“I’m real confident. As a team, that’s all we’re thinking about right now. We can’t obviously control many of the things that are going on out there, but we understand what we do have control in…Right now, we’re not worried about what’s ahead. We’re just living in the moment.”
“It’s a totally new addition, you know, responsibility that we as leaders have to keep track of. I think it’s important, especially now. We have to help them understand, and hold them accountable, that we can’t live that same lifestyle we usually do in order to have a safe season. So it’s going to be a challenge, but I’m 100 percent confident we’re going to be able to adapt to it.
On his Ohio State career thus far:
“Sometimes I just have to sit back and reflect over some of the hurdles I’ve had to overcome over the years, but honestly, I think a lot of people had a view of me as feeling sorry for myself for all the terrible things that happened to me. Honestly, these past five or however long, eight years, I’ve been here, have been awesome for me. I’ve had the time of my life.”
On leading in a unique situation:
“Just means so much to us, even all the other guys voted captains. Obviously we’ve been dealt with a serious hurdle right now, but we’re coming together as a team, doing our best, doing everything we can to make it happen.”
On safety precautions:
“My level of comfort in our safety is really high. I think Ohio State – there’s nothing more that our coaches and trainers and staff can do to keep us safe. I can’t say enough about what they’re doing.
“Being around my teammates and being in the facility, and staying where it’s clean and safe, I think that’s a safer environment than being somewhere else or, you know, going to restaurants, stuff like that.”
“I just strongly, strongly believe that. I have all the faith in the world in our coaches and trainers that they’ll keep us safe all the way through this thing.”
On the development of the line:
“There’s a ton of competition at the left guard spot and the right tackle spot, so all those guys are looking good. If you want me to be honest, I don’t think we can put a wrong person in there. I think we’ll be successful no matter who we put in there, which is definitely the mark of a really good offensive line.
“Last year, a lot of people were talking about our offensive line like it was going to be a liability, and could be the downfall of the team, the weakest unit on the team. There was a lot of talk of stuff like that about our offensive line. And we of course ended up being finalists for the Joe Moore Award at the end of the season, so I think that just goes to show that, at Ohio State, the goal of the offensive line every year should be to win the Joe Moore Award.
“I feel good and I’m just excited to get this thing rolling.”
On the opt-out rumors:
“So I had no second thoughts. No second thoughts. No thoughts about opting out. Just taking it day by day and trying to enjoy what we have right now.
“We have the best of everything at Ohio State, so we’ve been taking it serious. Our number count is down low. Really haven’t been thinking about opting out or nothing like that, to be honest.”
On the schedule:
“We’re looking forward to that. We’re looking forward to playing TTUN and playing who we play. Right now, as a team and as myself, we just got to focus on camp. We can’t worry about the outside world right now.
“Just trying to take it day by day and keep supporting my team and supporting the Buckeyes and keeping a positive mindset. Really looking forward to the season, to play with them boys and lead them boys and lead this team to a natty.”
On his leadership style:
“I could say that I’m a different type of captain. I’m not really a vocal person. I lead more by example on the field and just working hard. That’s mostly what type of captain I am, and I really appreciate it and I’m thankful for my teammates voting me for a captain. I take a lot of pride in it. Really looking forward to the season. Through this pandemic, this is really a special time we’re going through. Nobody in football history has gone through a time like this, I feel like.”
On his role in the Defensive Back room:
“This year is going to be a very special year. Really looking forward to it, not just for myself, but for everybody else. Proctor, Hooker, Tyreke Johnson Sevyn Banks, Cam Brown. Our secondary is just so deep this year. It’s incredible. I can play one series, you can throw Tyreke and somebody else in next series. You could rotate the whole game and there would be no fall off. That’s how I feel about our secondary right now.
“With my role in the DB room, I’m probably the one who has the most experience out of everybody, which is true. So I have to teach everybody and make sure everybody is accountable at all times – on and off the field. Right now we’re going through this pandemic, and this is serious. This is either our season or no season right now. Right now, we all understand that. As a DB unit, we all understand that.
I feel like we’re not missing a beat at all from last year, to be honest.”