COLUMBUS, Ohio – Right around the time the USA Today Coaches Poll was released with Ohio State the No. 2 team in the nation behind Alabama, the Buckeyes marched onto the Harmon Family Football Park practice facility for the first practice of the 2010 campaign.

Officially, it was 8:53 a.m. when a specialists group of long snappers hit the new FieldTurf surface just west of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. At 9:23 a.m. the defense, clad in scarlet jerseys and new-look scarlet shorts, trotted onto the field with the defensive line first and followed by the defensive backs. Twelve minutes later the entire offensive contingent joined in for a practice that lasted a little over two hours.

It will be the only practice of the day today for the Buckeyes. The team will have just one practice a day until the first two-a-day next Wednesday.

New Practice Park  The Harmon Family Football Park, although still not completed, looks to be a textbook practice facility and those in the football world who visit it will want to take notes. A few of the neat aspects of the park:

  • There are several long, red brick water stations that are great places to sit when not in use by the trainers.
  • There is a water fountain near the entrance.
  • Team videographers can choose from any one of four giant towers – gray with scarlet roofing – with viewing platforms at 35- and 55-feet high.
  • The park is equipped with a six-speaker-two-sub-woofer system for practicing through loud crowd noise. The system can crank, we are told.
  • Practicing under the lights is now an option. Six towers hold 248 giant lights (31 per tower) that will have no trouble at all lighting the four fields.
  • There are two scoreboards and seven timing clocks.
  • Bleachers are located at the north end of the complex with another set in the southwest corner.

The Fields  The two FieldTurf practice fields the team used today are the same surface as the team plays on in Ohio Stadium and at many of its road games. Ohio State does not play a game on grass this season with visits to Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa.

Unfinished are the two grass fields. They will be seeded with 100 percent Kentucky Blue Grass seed next week with some rye grass mixed in next year.  

What They’re Wearing…

Shorts: The players new practice shorts were scarlet with a gray stripe down each side, an Ohio State logo on the lower right front and the Nike “swoosh” on the lower left front.

Jerseys: The defense wore scarlet mesh jerseys and the offense wore white. There were five men in black jerseys: quarterbacks Terrelle Pryor, Joe Bauserman, Kenny Guiton, Justin Siems and Taylor Graham.

Spikes: Some new scarlet and black and some almost-glittery scarlet and black spikes were being worn on the practice fields, as well as solid black with white spikes. This mixture of low tops and mid-to-high-top Nikes included the Carbon Fly Vapor, the Speed TD and the Speed TD 58, the Hyper Fly, and the Code D and Boss versions that most of the linemen wear.

Helmet: About 25 players are wearing the latest in the Riddell line of helmets: the Revo Speed Classic. This new model actually uses an old school, soft bladder that is extremely comfortable. All the players’ helmets utilize an air management system.

A Beautiful Sight  The offensive linemen pounded into a brand new seven-pad blocking sled on wheels. They pushed offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Jim Bollman, who was manning the sled, around the north end of one of the fields for a time.