Camp Blues: Little, But Nagging, Injuries Plaguing Ohio State

By Patrick Maks on August 16, 2014 at 6:15p

Much to the chagrin of coach Urban Meyer, nagging injuries are plaguing Ohio State.

“We’re going through the camp blues, it’s a hard time, it’s the dog days or whatever you call it. The hard knocks. And that’s what’s going on right now,” Meyer said Saturday.

“The good thing is, we’ve had minimal ending injuries and the negative is there’s no consistency because of nagging injuries. That’s the only dilemma that I’m facing right now.”

Meyer, though, said he likes where his Buckeyes are at with two weeks left before the team’s season opener against Navy Aug. 30 in Baltimore.

“They’re fighting through it, there’s been no issues within the team issues, no chemistry issues, no alignment issues. It’s actually been very positive in that regard,” he said. “We’ve had great weather, sometimes you wish you’d get a little more heat but it’s been great practice weather, great demeanours and we’re not gonna practice tomorrow, they deserve that. They’ve earned that.”


  • Meyer lamented injuries for much of his relatively brief press conference. On top of concern over the health of senior quarterback Braxton Miller, the cornerback position has been hit the hardest. “We have some health issues at corner right now, Doran (Grant) has had a great training camp, I didn’t scrimmage him today. He had a tight hamstring. Gareon Conley has a sore back, I didn’t scrimmage him and he was doing great. Marshon Lattimore has a tight hamstring, he didn’t go. There’s three guys right there and Armani (Reeves) had had tight hamstrings. You just gotta get everybody fresh and that’s supposed to happen next week.”
  • Meyer said Jeff Heuerman has been fairly limited in practice while still recovering from foot surgery back in the spring. Nick Vannett, Meyer said, has impressed him in his absence.
  • Meyer said starting spots on the offensive line are as follows: Taylor Decker, Pat Elflein, Darryl Baldwin. Center and the other guard spot remain up for grabs: “Jacoby Boren, Joel Hale, Chase Farris, Billy Price battling for the next two. Tony Underwood is in there as well. That’s kind of where we’re at.” Meyer added Alabama transfer Chad Lindsay his a “dinged” shoulder, but finds himself in the mix.
  • Meyer said backup quarterback J.T Barrett moved “slightly” ahead of fellow backup Cardale Jones. Meyer on Barrett: “Just functionality, completely passes, understanding everything, growing up a little bit, he was always kind of a quiet guy, he’s starting to act like a quarterback.”
  • Meyer said senior cornerback Doran Grant has stepped up and is “probably like an All-Big Ten corner.”
  • Meyer said Ohio State’s defensive overhaul is going as planned. “The biggest issue is the ability to think from the backend forward, which hasn’t really been done here and really not many places. College football is all stop the run, run the ball. And you’re facing some very good throwing teams or you have a Sammy Watkins that you need to get more than one hand on him. We have the ability to do that now.” Meyer said he likes how defensive coordinators Chris Ash and Luke Fickell work together.  
  • Meyer on safety depth: “You’ve got Cam Burrows, Vonn Bell and Tyvis Powell and Erik Smith’s right on their toes. Ron Tanner would be the fifth.”
  • Meyer said he hopes this year’s class has more “immediate impact” players who contribute coming right out of high school. “Instant impacts, actually, a little disappointed. Last year’s class, we should’ve had more impacts. This year, I’m seeing a little bit more chance for that. But it’s not the players’ faults, I think we had to push them actually a little faster.” Meyer said Vonn Bell should’ve played earlier last year. He added that Joey Bosa, of course, stood out among members of the freshman class. “Once again, we gotta get them out there and play and get them involved, because there’s some very good players.”
  • Meyer said senior backups Steve Miller and Rashad Frazier will fill the hole left by starting defensive end Noah Spence, who will miss the first two games after failing a drug test last winter. Meyer added freshman Jalyn Holmes “is really making a push right now.”
  • Meyer gushed about junior defensive tackle Tommy Schutt: “(He’s) the most improved player at Ohio State right now. He’s done a really, really good job. So I mean, you start seeing people like that step up along with Darryl Baldwin. I put those two just, they were non-factors a year ago and now they’re gonna be deep into the mix offensively and defensively.
  • Meyer said sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott is back in the rotation at practice in a non-contact manner. Elliott had wrist surgery last Saturday. In his absence, senior running back Rod Smith and redshirt sophomore Bri’onte Dunn have stepped up. “I give credit to Bri’onte and Rod Smith, every day they’ve showed up and they’ve worked their tails off so they’re in the mix,” Meyer said. So is freshman Curtis Samuel.

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avail31678's picture

Awesome update!  Lots of informative quotes.  Let's get healthy!  

+1 HS
whiskeyjuice's picture

Something I have heard from coaches around the B1G is that when the season starts, some of the nagging injuries go away.

"Championships are not won on Saturdays in November. Championships are won on Tuesdays in August." -- Kerry Combs

+1 HS
avail31678's picture

P.S.  loved hearing J.T. Is making a push.  I like Cardale, but he seemed to be the clear cut backup, so if J.T. Is pushing him, that's a good thing.

+8 HS
BayCountyBuck's picture

Sounds like the normal wear and tear of a really tough camp, I'm sure coaches (Mick & training staff) will get everyone healed up for the final push.  Call me Henny Penny but I'm more than a little worried about #5's shoulder, so it's good to hear that his backups are acting like quarterbacks 

When I was 6 I was thinking about this rivalry. This one is seared on your soul, It's ingrained through every part of your body. -Urban Meyer

+1 HS
CGroverL's picture

Do I really need to call you Henny Penny"? I think Miller will be fine and so will the entire team. The first game almost adds another week to heal even if a couple of guys play just one half. I'm not really looking past Navy, but it really should be the type of game where the banged up kids can take the 2nd half off. Besides, Miller has been playing hurt almost his entire career...he'll be fine in his shotgun spot. I did catch some throws of Barrett and he has come a long way. Tight spirals (the kind that make the whizzing sound as they pass you) that were on target was what I saw. Good comment.

"I hope they're last in everything". One of Meyer's comments when speaking of TTUN after being hired at Ohio State.



-2 HS
ARMYBUCK's picture

So if you caught some passes of Barrett, the kind that are tight and make a whizzing sound, are you in the two deep at receiver? Reveal yourself son.

burnest1420's picture

JT is the future for now got big hopes for the young   QB. Bumps and bruises sounds like camp. 

Killer nuts's picture

I wonder how tyquan Lewis is doing. I thought he'd be a contender to fill in for spence 

osu407's picture

In the full video Meyer says he has been dealing with some migraines which has limited him in practice.  

Poison nuts's picture

Thanks for the info, I was wondering about Lewis as well. I'd read a bunch of stuff from the Orange Bowl practices about him killing it & thought he'd be in for Spence in the first 2 games. Just goes to show - there's no such thing as too much depth.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

+1 HS
KBonay's picture

Sooo ready to see this team take the field...

+3 HS
bakerjon's picture

Nice to hear good words on Schutt.  I believe this will be a coming out season for him. Also, I have believed that JT would do just this, and be the backup and heir-apparent to Miller next year. I like how he carries himself. He wants to distribute the ball. He just needed a little more time to develop. Not saying I'm as comfortable as with Smooth Jazz back there, but more comfortable than with Jones. 

The OL is starting to concern me that they haven't solidified LG or C. That needs to happen over the next week or so in order to start getting chemistry on the line. Those are 2 really important pieces to this year's success. I trust Ed Wariner, just saying it needs to solidify soon

"You do what I cannot do. I do what you cannot do. Together we do great things"

+6 HS
Bourbon Meyer's picture

Like Bakerjon I'm concerned about the offensive line too. I'm particularly concerned with a guy named Dodson. His name isn't even mentioned in the two-deep for LG or C. In fact, Jon Waters name is mentioned more on 11W than Dodson. What happened? This kid was supposed to be a monster; groomed for RT. USC fans were disappointed when we got him. Am I over-reacting? Anybody have any insight on this kid so far?

chirobuck's picture

I wouldn't worry too much, remember two years ago when we heard the same thing about the right tackle and fragel ended up being a very solid one.....we will be fine


^ best post ever ^

+1 HS
BuckeyeGrownFloridaLiving's picture

The biggest takeaway for me was that Barrett is ahead of Cardale at the backup QB position. I'm glad to hear it.

+2 HS
CGroverL's picture

Yeah, but Cardale Jones didn't come here to play school. We have to figure that into the equation a bit. I like Cardale's size a lot. Whoever wins the spot wins the spot though, I guess.

"I hope they're last in everything". One of Meyer's comments when speaking of TTUN after being hired at Ohio State.



-4 HS
buckeyepastor's picture

Ready in the defensive backfield for the Sammy Watkins of the world - that's my highlight.    

"Woody would have wanted it that way" 

+7 HS
Poison nuts's picture

Amen Pastor!

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

+2 HS
The Urban Legend's picture

No updates on receivers? Not sure if that's good or bad but I will take it as a positive. 

The Legend continues

Wesleyburgess1's picture

He did say that Corey Smith and Mike Thomas have made some moves while Devin Smith was out for some minor injury.

dalbuck's picture

Could be Meyer is just playing psychologist again and trying to create a quarterback competition for 2nd string. Doesn't want anyone getting complacent and thinking everything is set.


+4 HS
whiskeyjuice's picture

Things seem to good in the sense that Urban says there are concerns with team chemistry, team alignment or any other team issues. So I would take that to mean that all the players are eating what the coaches are cooking and that's a good thing. Quite different than when Urban first arrived and had to spend quality rime and energy to get the team to buy in.

"Championships are not won on Saturdays in November. Championships are won on Tuesdays in August." -- Kerry Combs

My buck's picture

Great to hear positive things about Doran Grant!  Now I don't follow recruiting like you fellows do, and I have no idea how highly recruited he was, but just watching him I've thought that he's got so much potential. I think he's gonna have a great year!!!

+4 HS
MN Buckeye's picture

Right. Good news that he is maturing and doing well.

OnlyOne's picture

With all the hamstring issues I'm wondering if Minnesota and the yoga over the summer has reduced similar nagging injuries for them? 

Poison nuts's picture

Yoga is actually one of the very best things you can do for these types of injuries (hamstrings etc) & I'd love to hear they were doing it at OSU.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

+1 HS
northcampus's picture

The competition for QB2 is the most important position battle on the entire roster.  One of these two kids needs to be a Kenny Guiton level player by August 30th.

I do enjoy hearing how hard Smith and Dunn are working.  They've always had the talent.

+2 HS
Knarcisi's picture

Wonderful news on Barrett!

kdogg72's picture

It is really hard to determine much from this press conference, other than we can probably expect great things from Doran Grant. I know everybody is anxious about Braxton and our offensive playmakers, but I am anxious to see what a revamped defense looks like. Soon enough we will know though, at least for the subscribers who get cbs sports network 

Jabba1977's picture

Awesome news, hopefully we stay healthy all the way to the end of the year!!


ScarletNGrey01's picture

I've worked with a well known trainer here in Columbus (has some ex-buckeye players on his staff) who has a saying "sometime less is more".  He trains athletes from 10 years old to pro athletes and he puts together really challenging training (tailored for each person and their sport) with pulling and pushing the sled, flipping tires, carrying weighted bags, cone drills, ladder drills, weight training etc etc but always insisted on adequate warmups, flexibility, building core strength and strong tendons and ligaments.  He always advised against over training.  I'm far from an expert and I know we have the best strength and conditioning coaches going, but I sometimes wonder if we push the kids a bit too much and don't give them enough recovery time.  I played tennis, basketball and did martial arts but never played football, so those of you who have feel free to "edumacate" me on this subject.

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

+2 HS
HeuermanTheFireman's picture

I'm fairly certain they wouldn't do anything that isn't good for the player and the team. These kinds of injuries happen when you are competing like this, even at the high school level. It just gets amped up because these guys are bigger, faster and stronger. There is no way to avoid nagging injuries really. 

The person responsible for toes clearly wanted you to stub them.

ibuck's picture

I'm really concerned about all these hamstring injuries, and I'm disappointed in the Buckeyes conditioning. Pushing too hard can be counterproductive, especially if the defensive backs that end up playing in the first few games are the 2's or 3's. I'm no expert either, but I found this online:

A grade 1 hamstring strain hurts minimally, there is no pain walking, and motion isn't hindered, but will take about a week of recovery time. But it is imperative not to exercise your leg. Increased work and stress can be put on the leg after week one. If you jump into  exercising immediately after the injury, there is a good chance of increased severity.

With a grade 2 strain, there is when walking, constricted range of motion, and tingling and pulling sensations in your leg.  It will take 2-3 weeks of recovery for proper healing to occur. Too much stress on the leg during this time will just increase the length of recovery time.  Until these symptoms are almost diminished, avoid physical activity.

I sure hope OSU's coaches and trainers are letting these guys heal so these "nagging injuries" don't cost our athletes several games or allow any TD's.

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

If you can't win your conference, just quietly accept your non-playoff bowl game.

CuseGirl's picture

I feel like Meyer's statements about how freshman should have played earlier is a huge indictment on the recruiting quality before he got to tOSU. Because if Vonn Bell should have played earlier, he would have been starting over a senior right?

And you know!

avail31678's picture

Meyer didn't say STARTING, he just said playing.  I think Meyer meant Vonn or others should have been in rotations more as opposed to being used so little as to being forced to resort to redshirting.

Put another way, in my opinion, Meyer just likes to get young guys in and contributing right away - and this wasn't necessarily an indictment of upper class talent.  Just my take on it though.

+1 HS
Frimmel's picture

"Should have played more is not the same as "should have started." There might be an argument to be had in that regard and read into what you will but Coach is not outright saying Bell should have started.

CuseGirl's picture

I hope the JT over Jones talk is for real. Barrett was a 5-star recruit, he needs to be in line to take over after Miller. Especially if he's as accurate and smart as they say. If we're lucky he might be the passer we've been waiting for all this time.

And you know!

dubjayfootball90's picture

Man. Less than two weeks. Im going crazy, son!!!

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

Vinsaniti's picture

This is not what you wan to hear 2 weeks before the first game, hopefully they get some rest and put in the work. Silver lining is this is creating depth by getting some of the less expirenced guys in the mix with the ones.