Urban Meyer joined Paul Keels, the voice of the Buckeyes, and former player Jim Lachey for the Urban Meyer Coach's Show on 97.1 The Fan to talk all things Buckeye football.
Johnnie Dixon has tendonitis in both knees, and he'll have surgery. "He's done for the year," Urban said. OSU's coach expects the talented freshman will be ready for spring camp.
Urban said the team went hard during the bye-week, due to a lot of starters only playing a half against Kent State. Urban said he thinks last week was the earliest Ohio State has ever had a bye-week.
Marcus Baugh is progressing nicely. He had an academic meeting this week, and "because we grade everything," Baugh graded out at a nine. Despite the progress, however, Urban noted Baugh could lose it all with one dumb decision.
Urban said Ohio State views Cincinnati "as a Top 25 program."
Urban expects Cincinnati to throw "70% of the time," and acknowledged this will be the re-vamped secondary's "first real test."
Erick Smith will get his first start on kickoff coverage this week. Armani Reeves will be the nickelback, but Damon Webb is "starting to push for playing time."
Coaches are fighting for Sam Hubbard to join their unit, because he's so smart and versatile. The Cincinnati product had a practice yesterday where Urban walked off the filed and said, "Let's play him." Hubbard "won't be here five years from now." Urban acknowledged Hubbard still meets with the tight ends "every now and then."
Cincinnati runs a 4-3, but Urban conceded "we'll have to be ready for anything." He said Cincinnati has as as good a group of receivers as Ohio State has faced since Urban arrived in Columbus.
Urban said "they've opened [the playbook] up" for J.T. and lauded his progression.
The offensive line is still unsettled. "I like Chase [Farris]. He's got talent, but it's time to get going."
Bri'onte Dunn had the best practice of his career two days ago. He's being rewarded with a starting position on the kick-off team. Urban said people might brush starting on special teams off off, but "wouldn't be able to handle it" if he got a call saying his son earned a starting spot on special teams. Bri'onte Dunn's family will be getting the call about Dunn starting kick-offs later today
Stan Drayton earned praise from Urban. "He took an overweight, third-string running back and turned him into an NFL-back."
In what was one of the best call-ins I've heard this season, a caller thanked Urban for talking openly about his depression on HBO's Real Sports. The caller said it helps battle the stigma of depression, and she was right.
Meyer said this team's roster is the "most fluid," he's ever had in his career. The trouble is there is a lot of youthful talent, and they're trying to figure out who deserves the time. He cited Nick Vannett pushing for time, but "you've got Jeff Heuerman, and then Marcus Baugh behind them."
Noah Brown "has some of the best hands on the team."
On balancing recruiting talent-rich Ohio against nation-wide talent. "Simple rule: You recruit the best," but Urban acknowledged Ohio comes first." Pennsylvania, Michigan and New Jersey are all states Urban targets. "Then you go down south... the number of players in the south is a little overwhelming right now."
Urban is still not in favor of an early-signing period because he "wants to watch the kids play." "I like the calendar how it is."
"It's time we [hit a punt return]."