Camp Notebook: Braxton Miller's Health, Secondary Battles Ongoing, Jeff Heuerman Still Limited

By Patrick Maks on August 18, 2014 at 4:40p

On a hot and humid Monday morning that marked the 17th practice of Ohio State’s fall camp gauntlet, Tyvis Powell was full of sunshine and rainbows.

“I get up every day and I just love to play football. This is what I love to do. I couldn’t see myself doing nothing other than this. That’s just my motivation,” the redshirt sophomore safety said.

“The sun is shining, I get to play with the players that I love, that I’ve grown to love. We’re all going after the same goals. It’s just fun to me. Just making this as fun as possible.”

To be fair, camp sucks. Two-a-days suck. But Powell’s disposition is sincere.

After all, the Buckeyes open their season against Navy in less than two weeks. In some ways, it’s a blessing and a curse.

At long last, the light at the end of the tunnel is near. But that means Ohio State has 12 days to evaluate the health of starting quarterback Braxton Miller, heal other players with little, but nagging, injuries and solidify a handful of critical position battles.

Questions Still Swirl Over Braxton’s Health

After shoulder surgery in February, Braxton Miller remains curiously limited during Ohio State’s training camp. With each passing day, the Buckeyes lose chances to give Miller and a new-look offense crucial live reps. Still, the coaching staff maintains it’s part of a plan. They expect Miller to be ready when it’s time to play the Midshipmen Aug. 30 in Baltimore.

“I think the trainers are optimistic and everything is on schedule. Had a little bit of a setback with some additional soreness that we weren't expecting,” offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tom Herman said. “I'm not ready to say concerned is the right word. Not yet.”

Miller said he’s “100 percent.”

“You know I'm fine, it's just progression in my shoulder and it's precaution,” the senior quarterback and Heisman hopeful said. “I don't want to overdo it before the first game and I gotta sit out the first game ... it's part of the plan, we talk about it every day.”

It remains unclear, though, if that plan was supposed to take this long or ever happen at all.

Cornerback, SAfety Battles ONGOING 

Thanks to a bevy of little -- and somewhat expected -- injuries plaguing Ohio State, co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Chris Ash said the Buckeyes have yet to name starters at free safety and the other cornerback spot across the field from returning starter Doran Grant.

“We have candidates, we’ve identified who the candidates are. We’ve had a few guys that have missed some practice time here recently,” he said. “Nothing’s set in stone yet, that’s what this week is for, we really have to identify who’s gonna be another corner, who’s gonna be our starting free safety and those things will sort itself out this week.”

Vonn Bell and Cam Burrows are fighting to play aside strong safety Tyvis Powell while Gareon Conley, Eli Apple, Armani Reeves and Marshon Lattimore battle for the final cornerback spot.

Jeff Heuerman Still Limited

After minor foot surgery in March, senior tight end Jeff Heuerman remains limited in practice.

“There’s a volume issue with where we are with him and we really monitor the volume because college football is a long season and you’re going to be playing for a long long time,” tight ends coach Tim Hinton said. “We certainly, certainly need to have him ready to go for that.”

Heuerman caught 26 passes for 466 yards and four touchdowns last season. Hinton added he feels like he effectively and confidently play Heuerman, Nick Vannett or Marcus Baugh.

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