COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ryan Day Era is well underway at Ohio State as the Buckeyes held their second football practice of the spring on Friday morning.
We in the media got to get a glimpse of the action this morning and there were many noticeable observations to be made.
So, without further ado, here are the biggest takeaways from Ohio State’s second spring football practice!
Starting with the defensive line, Robert Landers was not active today as he appeared to have suffered an undisclosed injury and was using crutches to get around. The biggest benefactor of his injury was Jason Cornell, who was running with the first-team defensive line today comprised of Davon Hamilton at defensive tackle and then Chase Young and Jonathon Cooper on the ends.
Second-teamer’s Tyreke Smith, Tyler Friday, Haskell Garrett and Tommy Togiai all looked great today in practice and you can expect to see all of them on the football field this fall, with maybe one or two of them working their way up to a starting position before or during this coming season.
At the linebacker position, Malik Harrison was running with the first-teasers while Tuf Borland and Baron Browning we’re splitting reps as well as Pete Werner and Brendon White. One of the players that stood out to me at linebacker was sophomore Teradja Mitchell, whose size and athleticism make him seemed poised for a breakout season at the position.
While starting safety from last season Brendon White appears to be testing the waters at linebacker and Jordan Fuller out for the entirety of spring ball with a lower body injury, Isaiah Pryor and Shaun Wade got the first-team reps at the safety position on Friday with Jeffrey Okudah and Damon Arnette at the first-team corner positions to round out the Buckeye secondary.
We got to see a look at the kickoff coverage and return teams today as well. For now, it appears that K.J. Hill, C.J. Saunders and Jaelen Gill will be handling return duties.
Moving towards the offense, J.K. Dobbins is now obviously RB1 for the Buckeyes with the departure of Mike Weber to the NFL. It may just be the second practice of spring ball, but Dobbins looks better than ever as he had a great burst on the snap and can cut on a dime while still maintaining his speed. He’s almost starting to remind me of Ezekiel Elliott a bit, but we’ll have to see if he can plow through defenders like Zeke could.
Both Justin Fields and Matthew Baldwin continue to look good in practice, but Ohio State still has a serious problem with depth at the position as neither of the quarterbacks behind Fields and Baldwin looked ready in any shape or fashion to see in-game action should they be called upon. Ryan Day will most likely try to bring in a transfer QB to help shore up their depth issues.
Moving onto the wide receivers, there are still issues to be addressed as the majority of the receivers are having problems with sloppy play and penalties. Chris Olave impressed on Wednesday, but today it was Austin Mack who looked very clean and C.J. Saunders could finally earn a spot in the rotation this season. Jaelen Gill also was among the receivers who impressed me today. Couple his involvement on special teams with his play at receiver and Gill could end up being a big part of success for Ohio State.
Lastly, for the many Buckeye fans who are wondering about his involvement with the program moving forward, Urban Meyer was in attendance at football practice on Friday morning, but without a whistle in his mouth as he’s had for the past seven years.
That’ll do it for observations from Friday’s practice! Passing game coordinator Mike Yurcich and all of Ohio State’s quarterbacks will speak Friday morning as well and you can view their interviews here at Buckeye Beat Report as soon as they conclude!
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