A special guest took in Ohio State’s Saturday morning practice at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Marcus Luttrell, the Navy SEAL whose heroics are the basis for the movie “Lone Survivor,” watched the Buckeyes scrimmage and delivered a stirring 20-minute speech to the team on leadership, teamwork and camaraderie.
Every person in attendance was rapt with every word Luttrell uttered, including head coach Urban Meyer, who was jotting down notes.
“They’re a good bunch of guys, and they’re going to do well this season,” Luttrell told reporters. “It’s an every day thing. You don’t come in giving 60 or 70 percent one day. It’s the whole play like you practice, practice like you play thing. They put everything they have into this part of it. When they get into the games, it’ll come out when the rubber hits the road. It’s the same thing we do in the SEAL teams. We train like we fight. Everyday is as hard and as fast as we can possibly go.”
- The defense won the first offense-defense scrimmage of the spring. The end result for the offense was extra running after practice.
- Cardale Jones was impressive again, as he continues to keep hold of the second-string quarterback position. Reserve running backs Rod Smith and Bri’onte Dunn also performed well in the limited time the media observed practice.
- Marcus Baugh is another guy who’s done well throughout the spring. He won’t be taking Jeff Heuerman’s spot in the lineup, but he could get playing time. At worse, he has a future. Very athletic.
- Doran Grant was in sweats and did not practice. No word on a possible injury.
- Antonio Underwood said he doesn’t feel too limited after coming off ACL surgery. The only issue is bending down low. At times, he said he can’t get as low as he’d like, plays too upright.
- Adjusting to the culture change when the new coaching staff took over was a plus, Underwood said. He said it had to be beaten into him, but he was happy with it at the end of the day.
- It was all about choosing the right path, so Underwood feels fortunate. Ed Warinner stresses keeping the culture going, and that’s what Underwood and the new starters on the O-line are trying to do.
- Underwood said his consistency and work ethic have improved immensely under Warinner.
- Darryl Baldwin said being penciled in at right tackle is exciting. He’s taking his most reps since high school.
- When the staff opted to move him over from defense, Baldwin said the message was he had more potential on the offensive side of the ball. But he said he feared getting lost in the shuffle and never playing.
- It took Baldwin nearly two years to become comfortable on offense. He said all he knew was defense. He was very hesitant in the beginning.
- The spring has brought out the competitiveness in everyone, Baldwin said. There are four open spots on the line. So far, there’s been plenty of rotating. Baldwin’s chief competition is Evan Lisle.
- Baldwin said the goal is to take over where the former linemen left off. Everyone on the line is high on character and abides by Meyer’s 4-6 seconds of relentless effort mantra.
- Consistency is the biggest hang up. If players can’t perform well with regularity, the line will suffer.
- When Noah Spence and Joey Bosa are lined up across the line, Baldwin said it can be a bit overwhelming. But he grows more comfortable each day.
- Tyquan Lewis and Rashad Frazier are two defensive linemen who’ve been surprises, according to Baldwin.