Camp Meyer: Tuesday Observations

By Kyle Rowland on August 7, 2012 at 7:35p
Meyer won't tolerate special teams errors.

Day Three of Ohio State’s fall camp brought the first day of contact with pads on. It also featured more impressive play from the Buckeyes’ freshman class. Names like Noah Spence, Adolphus Washington and Jamal Marcus may become household sooner than many expected. The stalwarts – John Simon, Michael Bennett and Johnathan Hankins – aren’t being shoved aside, however.

Following practice, offensive coordinator Tom Herman said his unit is “light years” ahead of where they were after the spring game. But if Ohio State plans on going undefeated, a vast improvement will need to be made. Braxton Miller is the catalyst and his cast members, from Carlos Hyde to Michael Thomas, have steadily progressed.

  • Entering this season, Luke Fickell said he feels much more comfortable than last year.
  • The expectations have not changed, according to Fickell. The objective this season is to win as many games for the seniors as possible. That point was reiterated by every person we talked to.
  • Fickell said he wasn’t sure if the linebacking corps has three starters right now.
  • The biggest thing missing last season, according to Fickell, was a leader at middle linebacker. That role falls on Curtis Grant’s shoulders this season.
  • In the locker room, there are defensive numbers posted that the defense has to cover if they are to be deemed a great Ohio State defense.
  • Nathan Williams is clearly ahead of schedule. He participated in a contact drill today. When he wasn’t on the field, he was using the sleds on the sideline.
  • Bradley Roby mentioned the other day how he wanted to play offense and defense. Fickell quickly nixed that idea, saying he should concentrate on being great at one thing.
  • Like Urban Meyer yesterday, Fickell specifically mentioned Jamal Marcus. Said he doesn’t know a whole lot yet, but he just goes out and plays hard and fast.
  • Ryan Shazier had a very productive freshman year, but he said he actually played too fast. He said he would just run fast and hit the hole.
  • Over the summer, Shazier said he spent a lot of time watching film and realized there were a lot of missed tackles and why he missed them.
  • Straight from the horse's mouth, Shazier said he eats six meals per day, and his playing weight is up 25 pounds to 230.
  • Roby had an easy interception of Miller on an overthrown pass to Devin Smith. Roby made a nice read on the ball, but it was overthrown from the second Miller released it.
  • Noah Spence and Adolphus Washington are the two freshmen that have stuck out to me the most. Both are quick at getting around the end.
  • Washington was running at second-team defensive tackle because Adam Bellamy was absent.
  • An amazing thing, and it is noticeable, is how different guys' body types are now. And it's at every position.
  • Orhian Johnson blocked a 45-yard Drew Basil field goal. Johnson later suffered an injury but returned.
  • Jamie Wood, Ben St. John and Grant also suffered injuries. Wood was taken off on a golf cart, St. John had his ankle re-taped and Grant appeared to have cramps.
  • The team started practice with the circle drill. Unfortunately, we couldn’t really see it from our vantage point.
  • Herman said the OSU offense should have the entire playbook at its disposal by Day Six. Today was the third practice.
  • Herman called the offense a “4” after ending the spring as a “2.”
  • Philly Brown said he hasn’t been placed in the hybrid position that often. From what Herman said, it doesn’t sound like Brown will spend a whole lot of time there.
  • Brown did not have an opportunity to run the 40 and said he is faster than Roby, who ran a 4.31.
  • Verlon Reed was on the field today, but he is still sporting a yellow no-contact jersey.
  • Reid Fragel and Taylor Decker split time at first-team right tackle. That will be a battle all camp. Fragel is still struggling with pass-blocking. There is a clear delineation between the two in run- and pass-blocking.
  • Overall, the offensive line is much better than they were at the end of the spring. Night and day difference.
  • Carlos Hyde looked very smooth. He was fast to the holes and on the outside. He’ll be a threat all season. It is clear he worked on different parts of his game over the summer.
  • Rod Smith took some carries with the first-team offense. He looked very shifty a few times when he was in space.
  • Warren Ball had some good production on carries today but fumbled several times. Not how you want to endear yourself when there is a logjam.
  • Bri’onte Dunn also looked good. Definitely quick hitting the holes.
  • Thomas continues to impress. He catches almost everything thrown his way, and if he doesn’t catch it, he makes a great effort. Braxton Miller underthrew one pass significantly and Thomas literally went over Doran Grant’s back attempting to catch it.
  • Zach Boren had two touchdowns during red zone drills. He looks like he could be a huge weapon out of the backfield. He’s much more mobile too after dropping a lot of weight over the summer.
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