Highlights from Ohio State's Spring Practice - March 19

By Kyle Rowland on March 19, 2013 at 8:26p
64 Comments

Urban Meyer watches his Buckeyes practice inside the WHAC

Spring practice resumed at Ohio State today after a week off for spring break. The calendar might say spring, but Mother Nature has other plans in the Midwest. Due to the blustery conditions and temperature plunging below 30 degrees, the Buckeyes were forced to practice inside the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

Northern baseball teams often complain about the unfair conditions compared to those in the South. But football is a different animal. Despite being camped indoors every practice this spring, the quality of the play has not dipped.

Head coach Urban Meyer has three units – offense, defense and special teams – that have been readied to make a splash come fall. On that high-powered offense is one of the nation’s most exciting players, dual-threat quarterback Braxton Miller. But he’s surrounded with other weapons, including running back Carlos Hyde and H-back Jordan Hall.

That duo was on display today, going through and running around the defense. Hyde narrowly missed out on a 1,000-yard rushing season a year ago, while Hall’s season came to a halt before it even began. Then, when he finally was healthy and productive, a season-ending injury put a clamp on things.

With a fifth year of eligibility allowing Hall to return to the field once more, he’s taking every opportunity to become the playmaker Meyer yearns for. But a tweaked hamstring kept him out of drills on Day 3 of spring practice.

“(The spring) is critical because he’s being cross trained at two positions,” said running backs coach Stan Drayton. “But Jordan is a super football-savvy guy. He’s been in the fire, he’s super smart. There’s not an issue with missed assignment. He’s been in the scheme.”

A guy still learning, but quickly coming along is Rod Smith. Fall security issues played a big part in his lack of playing time during his freshman and sophomore seasons. But the second half of last season acted as a springboard. 

A 30-yard dash through the defense today ended with a cocky flip of the ball. That earned Smith an earful from Drayton, who was none too happy about the incident.

“The first part was dynamic,” he said, “could not stand the end.”

“Rod’s got to continue to grow. This is Year 2 in this system and he knows what he’s doing. He’s playing much more physical, playing fast and playing with a purpose. He wants to play.”

With a stable of running backs, finding the field could be hard for some. Redshirt freshman Warren Ball showed why he was such a highly touted recruit with some exemplary runs on Tuesday. 

“Every day I’m going to wipe the slate clean because I watch these kids get better from competition,” Drayton said. “That’s the way it’s supposed to be.”

Hyde and PEAK

The most notable event – or events – during Carlos Hyde’s breakout year of 2011 was his 104-yard, two-touchdown performance against Nebraska. The next week he didn’t get a single carry.

Sure, Boom Herron returned. But it didn’t sit well with Hyde, and he made sure to let everyone know by tweeting out his displeasure. Hyde apologized and everyone moved on. But his production and playing time dipped considerably.

When Hyde got an opening last season with Hall’s injury, he took advantage and slammed the door shut on any possibility of him taking a backseat once Hall returned. Nearly 1,000 yards later, Hyde is the starting running back. Period.

“Carlos matured,” Drayton said. “It became more than just about Carlos. That was the difference in his burst onto the football field last year. He cared more about his team and became more of a teammate. That’s definitely the direct reason in the success he had.”

“Carlos matured. It became more than just about Carlos.”

Hyde scored 17 total touchdowns in 2012, using his body and running style to stymie defenses. It all culminated with 26 carries for 146 yards and a touchdown against Michigan. Following that game, Meyer said Hyde was developing into one of the best backs in the country.

That level of play has continued into 2013.

“He’s 3-for-3 in what we call ‘Grade the Day,’ when each one of these kids walk in the meeting rooms they are graded,” Meyer said. “There is still competition, but if he does what we saw at some points last year, I think he will be as good as any kid the country this fall.”

Said Hyde: “This year, I want to just take my game to the next level. I want to make people miss instead of trying to just run people over. I feel like people are going to expect that this year coming up. My whole mindset in the spring right now is making the safety miss and making those big runs, those 60-, 80-yard runs.

“I definitely want to hit that 1,000-yard mark. That’s a big goal for a running back. I definitely want to make that one of my accomplishments here.”

Notes

  • Today was the first day in pads. No tackling, but it was still physical. Practice started with circle drill.
  • Jordan Hall has a tweaked hamstring. Coaches expect him to be at full strength soon, but don't want to rush him.
  • Meyer and Drayton both made it clear that they believe Hall can be the X-factor on offense. Urban said he has the potential to be great, not good.
  • Hall said returning for a fifth year was always his plan after the season ended. Urban was asked the same thing and said, “Where was he going to go, the NFL?” Then said there was no way that was happening.
  • Highlight of the day was Kerry Coombs unloading on an official after he called pass interference on Armani Reeves. Lots of expletives.
  • Urban to the team before practice: "This is the Chase, you have to go big."
  • Meyer said Thursday’s practice two weeks ago was the best since he's been at Ohio State. He said there was rust today, but still OK.
  • Meyer joked that he was rusty too. He spent last week in Florida with family.
  • Best catch of the day went to Devin Smith from JT Barrett on a beautiful over-the-shoulder throw against great coverage.
  • There’s been lots of talk about Barrett being great teammate. Well, I saw it firsthand today. Looks like the guy is a sponge. He always hangs around Braxton, Urban and Tom Herman when he can.
  • Braxton Miller was solid. Urban said he's 3 for 3 on good practices. He did throw a pick-six today, though.
  • Buckeyes used six DBs in some defensive sets today (3-2-6). Interesting look, but it was effective. The offensive line was definitely confused at times on the blitz.
  • Alignment: Spence, Bennett, Washington, Grant, Perkins, Powell, Brown, Roby, Grant, Bryant, Barnett
  • Defensive back group as a whole was impressive today. However, Doran Grant dropped an interception today, which resulted in he and the rest of his defensive teammates doing 10 pushups.
  • Tyvis Powell is one DB that continues to impress the coaches. Still out there with the first team. Pittsburgh Brown also showing good stuff.
  • Ryan Shazier remains out with an injury. It’s still nothing serious. Philly Brown returned.
  • There were some great WR-DB battles. Philly Brown, Devin Smith, Michael Thomas, etc. going against Bradley Roby, Doran Grant and Co.
  • Curtis Grant still looks like a work in progress to me. He and David Perkins were with the 1s. Cam Williams and Josh Perry with the 2s.
  • Drayton said the offense operated at 60 percent last year. He's seen at it 100 percent while coaching at Florida. OSU still went 12-0.
  • Noah Spence is the most impressive defensive player. He looks unblockable at times. Even Mewhort and other experienced offensive linemen have trouble containing him.
  • The OL-DL matchups were entertaining. Taylor Decker impressed at times keeping Adolphus Washington from getting the edge.
  • There are a lot of young guys getting playing time. Reeves, Cam Burrows, Eli Apple, and Tyquan Lewis all were part of the second team, and some even got time with the 1s.
  • There were a lot of former Buckeyes on hand today including Jim Heacock, James Laurinaitis, Big Hank, Garrett Goebel, Bobby Carpenter, Troy Smith and Malcolm Jenkins.

Bonus

Hyde said he knows "El Guapo" means "the handsome one." Hyde: "I can't argue with that at all."

64 Comments

Comments

OSUkid23's picture

Thanks for keeping us updated, Kyle! I'm so pumped for next season.

FitzBuck's picture

Great news about JT but any news about our favorite 2nd string QB Kenny G.

Fitzbuck

Toledo - Ohio's right armpit 

"A troll by any other name is still a troll". 

 

Kyle Rowland's picture

Urban said he was pleased with Guiton.

buck-I.8's picture

What about Cardale? Source over at bucknuts last week said that they didn't think he was fitting in

FitzBuck's picture

Thanks

Fitzbuck

Toledo - Ohio's right armpit 

"A troll by any other name is still a troll". 

 

Powers's picture

Still frustrating to hear about Curtis Grant. He is too important to our defense for him to still be a work in progress.
its the middle of march so I won't freak out yet

Kyle Rowland's picture

Exactly. You honestly can't read too much into spring practice at both ends of the spectrum. Always good to have positive news, obviously. But the fall and games is when it matters most.

AllDay028's picture

Yes, but he was AWFUL in the fall. So if he still looks a little lost in the spring, that makes it pretty clear to me he's not the answer at MLB.

buckeyedude's picture

Agreed. When I read the part, "Curtis Grant is a work in progress," my first thought was, "Huh? Seriously?"
 

 
 

NYC Buckeye's picture

Agree, disappointing.. starting to think that he may not live up to the recruiting hype... may turn out to be a Sabino type who just takes a long time to figure things out...

headina's picture

So excited for this season. 

GO BUCKS

Chief B1G Dump's picture

I was reading through the article getting pumped and daydreaming about the hype Braxton and Hyde are getting...
Then I read the line that Drayton said the offense was operating at 60% last year. Holy guacamole, I would love to see 100%. We are on the precipice of and OSU shred fest we could not have even imagined 3-5 years ago. The B1G is about the get sh1t on.
LONG LIVE URBAN MEYER!

cplunk's picture

So excited to hear about practice. Man, I can't wait for this season

AngelHeartsBuckeyes's picture

I feel like a kid at Christmas! Only, its going to be one looooooong Christmas Eve.
I  really had forgotten all about Guap and his Twitter fit. Time (and production) heals all wounds after all.

Buckeye born and bred. Buckeye til I'm dead.

cinserious's picture

Who's down with starting a petition to Taco Bell for introducing the 'El Guapo' burrito to the lineup in the Central Ohio area?

"Get him a body bag, Yeah!"

BROSEPH's picture

Crazy that JT is playing already.  When was his surgery?  6/7 months ago?  Great that he's able to get work in now.  

Kyle Rowland's picture

Only throwing. No running or contact. 

dubjayfootball90's picture

The spence news got me excited. 6 db's is also very interesting. I like Decker a lot and hope he matures leaps and bounds, should be a great O-lineman. I love me some Tyvis news man, one of my favorite buckeyes, for sure, Blue Collar mentality. Really happy to see JT Barrett doing good things and being a student of the game as well, and Carlos Hyde is going to be a freaking beast. Hope Hall and Shazier heal up quickly and have a hell of a year.
I LOVE THIS DAMN TEAM!!!!

mitchjacobsen01's picture

Coombs letting an official have it over a pass interference call at Spring Practice...I love it!

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Great Article!  I can't wait for football season...although this Friday I'll be pumped up for some basketball!  A Final Four run and a B1G Football Championship would be fantastic.  Great time to be a Buckeye!

buckeyedude's picture

I like your icon, Central. Pretty kewl!

 
 

ohiowhitesnake's picture

Good to hear the former players that were there.  Those guys are great role models and will show this young team what greatness will bring.

okiebuck's picture

Good stuff Kyle; great to read about Noah Spence; I for one am not too concerned about the D line because I really think we will be locked and loaded up front this fall. However; I will hold off calling this defense "Silver Bullets" until I see it on game day.

"Fate has cards that it don't want to show"

buck-I.8's picture

Good to see that Spence is winning battles on the line in pads. It seems like he got manhandled from time to time by bigger, more experienced tackles (like Mewhort), and that progress would be encouraging.

razrback16's picture

As always, thanks for the updates!

LouGroza's picture

Anyone know if Spence added any bulk during the off season? Seemed a little light to me last year.

buck-I.8's picture

He's listed at 247 lbs as of March 5th, 7 lbs heavier than he played at in the fall. Not significant, but you can bet the staff is keeping a close watch on how he puts on weight while being able to stay quick

LouGroza's picture

That amazes me that he played at 240 last season. He sure didn't look it. Carries it very well and would think he could play at as much as maybe 255 without it being a problem. Think it would help him to get heavier though. Fifteen pounds of muscle could make him unstoppable.

TheBadOwl's picture

I think that Kyle tweeted a few weeks ago (or I saw somewhere else) that Spence was closer to 225-230 last year. I could be wrong, though. I've been wrong about things before.

When I walked in this morning and saw the flag was at half mast I thought, "Alright, another bureaucrat ate it." but then I saw it was Li'l Sebastian. Half mast is too high. Show some damn respect.

buck-I.8's picture

I believe he was listed (take it for what it's worth) at 230 out of high school. The media guide for last year listed him at 240, and the spring roster lists him at 247. Deflate those numbers as much as you see fit, the point is that he's gaining weight.

dmurder's picture

Spence unblockable at times!!!

Umm... Have feeling he is in for a huge season! Can't wait to see a
Dominant pass rusher of the edge.

"We have always had the best damn band in the land, now we have the best damn team in the land"- Jim Tressel 1-03-03

Buckeyejason's picture

The scary part is..these guys are only SOPHMORES! 2014's line could be really good.

BUCKEYES BABY!

Buckeye_TilIdie's picture

Wow I'm really excited I think M.Thomas will be very impressive this year! Stand Drayton said Ball might be our best back in space also good to hear Decker held his own against AD. I know it's early but no word on Steve Miller or Carter I hope that changes.

Punks jump up to get beat down.

Basso Profondo's picture

I'm hoping that Ball will be able to compete and get some PT instead of letting himself be forced out of the rotation due to depth and then transfer out. 

ODEEZ330's picture

rod smith= stud.
that is all

O'Deez330
stark county football

SilverBulletNYC's picture

I'll second that.

The South will NOT rise again!

Hovenaut's picture

Good stuff all around. Almost forget about basketball later this week.

Good to hear some of the former players (they're always Buckeyes) were on hand to take it in. I'm sure that has a positive effect on the current guys.

"Success - it's what you do with what you got" - Woody Hayes

biggy84's picture

I'm glad that Warren Ball is looking good! The kid never wavered on his commitment, in spite of all the chaos. 

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

I know everyone loves Coombs, but Stan Drayton has become my favorite coach.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

cinserious's picture

Urban to the team before practice: "This is the Chase, you have to go big."

I love this quote. Urban Meyer has a plan for everything and he knows what he's doing. If Buckeye Football were a book, the 2013 chapter would be called 'The Chase'. Last of the BCS system as we know it. High-powered offense. Rose Bowl. Its on!

"Get him a body bag, Yeah!"

lippertini's picture

Great videos, ATX, thanks!

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Washington is huge. He looks like he could play DT.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

cplunk's picture

Who is #3 on defense? He crushed it in both videos
 
***edit- just realized its Corey Brown

Menexenus's picture

Can't see either video on my screen.  Just blank white.  ??

Real fans stay for Carmen.

pjtobin's picture

I wonder how many of these young men follow 11w? I don't post a whole lot but I visit everyday. It is cool to think that some of the players do also. I know it's only spring but I am getting buckeye fever. Thanks 11w for keeping my addiction fed. Very few withdrawals this year thanks to you. 

Bury me in my away jersey, with my buckeye blanket. A diehard who died young. Rip dad. 

LouGroza's picture

Thanks for the highlights ATX. Could watch that stuff all day.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater's picture

Those highlights are getting me jacked up!
I recall reading so much last year about the increased pace of the practices, and man they didn't slow it down this year.   We saw about 3 minutes worth of video and there was virtually zero down time for players OR coaches.   Very crisp and fast, I love it.
And good lord Tommy Schutt is a load, wow.
 
 

Riggins's picture

Hyde's mention that he reads 11W should put everyone on notice.  You can be critical, but remain supportive of these guys.  I'm sure they don't want to read that "they suck" or whatever. 
Side not: Adolphus is the biggest college DE I've ever seen.  Dude looks like one of the guys from the NFL Blitz game.

Buckeyejason's picture

Side not: Adolphus is the biggest college DE I've ever seen

Really? Must not have watched much college football eh..you know our very own Cam Heyward went about 6'5" 295 right? 

BUCKEYES BABY!

Riggins's picture

Look at the video and tell me Diesel doesn't look bigger than Heyward.
Heyward was 6'5'' and 295.  Washington is only 6'3'' and looks every bit of 300.  The extra 2 inches means Heyward carries his weight differently.  Even if Washington was 290, he would "look bigger" than Heyward due to their frame sizes.

Buckeyejason's picture

I'm still baffled how Washington shrunk and gained 40 pounds in one year lol.

BUCKEYES BABY!

Buckeyejason's picture

“Rod’s got to continue to grow"

 

"Curtis Grant still looks like a work in progress to me"

Good to see the fan favorites doing well/. 
 
 
 
 
Love the write ups, always interesting. Can't wait till the spring game.

BUCKEYES BABY!

pcon258's picture

I've got two takeaways from this. 
1. Why was Coombs going after an official in practice? I understand that they bring refs in for practice, which makes sense, but why do you need to berate a guy for a call he made in spring practice? It was either a pass interference or it wasn't. If the ref thought it was, then it was. Players need to work around that, and so do coaches. Then again, I'm a baseball umpire, and because of ref solidarity, i refuse to criticize refs. 
2. This is a minor thing, and probably reflects how long it's been since I've been on 11W frequently, but nice touch with the pull-quote. Little formatting things like that are not unnoticed, and I think it ultimately makes the whole site seem more legit. Keep up the good work guys

William's picture

i refuse to criticize refs

Well there is your problem. I agree that going after a ref in practice is dumb, but refusing to criticize refs, when they can blatantly change the outcome of a game, or severely lower its quality of play in several sports (Buckeye Basketball and Blue Jackets hockey games come into mind this year), is just as mind-boggling. Refs aren't deities, it's ok to criticize them, because they make mistakes too. 

BrewstersMillions's picture

No game has ever been decided by blown calls by the refs. Even the most blatant miss in the history of the NFL-The Fail Mary in Seattle-wasn't decided because of the refs. Refs have never had a bias against a team either. Every group of fans think refs are out to get their team and their team alone but it just isn't the case. I'm with you in that they aren't infallible, clearly they aren't, but we part at the notion that they can change the outcome of a game. The quality? Maybe but the outcome, no.
The players and coaches affect the outcome. Blaming the refs is easier but flawed.

4-6 seconds from point A to point B and when you get to point B, be pissed off

DMcDougal24's picture

Thanks for the updates Kyle. Who got the pick six?

buckeye76BHop's picture

Thanks Kyle...
This stood out to me

Best catch of the day went to Devin Smith from JT Barrett on a beautiful over-the-shoulder throw against great coverage.

There’s been lots of talk about Barrett being great teammate. Well, I saw it firsthand today. Looks like the guy is a sponge. He always hangs around Braxton, Urban and Tom Herman when he can.

I do believe this means, "Stop freaking out ppl about the 2014 QB...it's really not that important!"  Remember...JT is doing this on a newly reconstructed ACL and MCL.  Granted it's spring practice and one lil pass without a whole lot of contact.  However...I still think he'll be fine folks.  I think OSU's coaches want who they want (Watson) but don't be surprised if they go after someone not as highly ranked if they miss on him (which they will miss out on him bc of JT.  It sure won't be bc Urban and Co don't try to get the passer from the peach state).  
The Defensive Line as well as LBs should be much improved come spring and especially by the start of the season.  I'm getting excited for the Spring Game to see the defense...that's what I want to see in action.

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."
"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."
Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

BuckeyeNationProblems's picture

Buckeyes Nation, 
I present you with Noah Spence' official nickname: Noah Damn Spence
Kid is going to be a monster. 

Matt

buckeye76BHop's picture

I know I'm excited...thanks ATX for this and your other videos too.  Much appreciated. 

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."
"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."
Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987