Aug. 25, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Five seniors were announced as team captains today by coach Urban Meyer. The five, chosen by vote of their teammates, included injured and out-for-the-year quarterback Braxton Miller, cornerback Doran Grant, linebacker Curtis Grant, defensive tackle Michael Bennett and tight end Jeff Heuerman.

Miller, who will have surgery tomorrow to repair his injured right shoulder, will not be able to accompany the team to its game in Baltimore against Navy this weekend, and coach Urban Meyer said Miller would have to count on the 70-man travel roster when he is able to travel with the team.

Heuerman, called one of the best tight ends in the country by Meyer during his press conference today, is also not 100 percent but Meyer anticipated he will be able to play Saturday. Heuerman is a veteran of 36 games with 22 starts and he has 35 career receptions for 585 yards and five touchdowns.

Joining Miller and Heuerman as captains are three defensive standouts, all in their fourth seasons with the Scarlet and Gray:

  • Doran Grant has played in all 39 games over the past three seasons and has started 15 times. The only returning starter in the secondary, he has recorded 83 tackles, 11 pass break-ups and four interceptions.
  • Curtis Grant is a 13-game starter who is coming off his best season as a Buckeye when he played in 12 games last season, started 10 times and had 52 tackles, four TFLs and two pass break-ups. He is a veteran of 30 games.
  • Bennett started 13 games at defensive tackles last season and was among the team leaders in TFLs (11.5 for minus-62 yards) and quarterback sacks (seven). He also contributed 42 tackles and he enters his senior campaign with 34 games played, 17.5 TFLs, 11 quarterback sacks, four forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.

Meyer made the public announcement of the team’s captains during his first game-week press conference of the season, held Monday at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. In other press conference news, Meyer said:

  • “I can tell you this: I think we have a good team”;
  • Regarding the team’s preparedness: “They’re pretty ready. I like where we’re at. I like how they’ve responded to Braxton’s injury.”
  • There are position battles ongoing at four spots: wide receiver, left guard, center and cornerback;
  • J.T. Barrett is the starting quarterback but, it’s not a big separation” between he and Cardale Jones. Meyer also said he would not hesitate to put Jones into the game.
  • About Barrett’s leadership: “He’s quiet, but confident”;
  • He’s a big fan of Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds, and referred to Navy talk about him being the best they’ve ever had “which takes your breath away a little bit”;
  • RB Ezekiel Elliott has returned to practice “full go” and that senior Rod Smith, sophomore Bri’onte Dunn and freshman Curtis Samuel have all been “very involved” with the running game;
  • Junior tight end Nick Vannett is having an outstanding fall camp;

Additionally: five more Buckeyes have lost their black stripes: Sean Nuernberger (big brother is Kyle Clinton) after Saturday’s drills in Ohio Stadium and Malik Hooker (Cam Burrows), Marcelys Jones (Pat Elflein), Guy Ferrelli (Chris Rock) and Mike Maduko (Doran Grant) today.

The team will have one final practice – Tuesday – before the fall semester starts on Wednesday.