Day one of Ohio State’s spring camp is in the books. 13 more to go!
So here’s three big things to think about as the Buckeyes move forward.
Complacency Not a Problem...Not Yet
After capturing the national title, Ohio State sits on top of the college football world. It's a nice place to be, but it's also a precarious situation if a sense of accomplishment mutates into a sense of entitlement.
"Do we have to aware (of that)? Yeah. We're human beings, man," Meyer said with a laugh. "I don't think last year we had that sense around here at all. This year, I'm watching it and I don't feel like it. If I did, we'd dive right into it. There's not a whole lot of whispering, we'd dive right into what the problem is. That's something to watch real closely."
Meyer added he had a conversation with his mentor and former Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz "that the morale of a team and morale of a locker room is not just because you win. It's because they know they're getting better."
For the first time since August, Braxton Miller returned to the practice field. Of course, it was in a limited role, but the senior quarterback’s presence seemed to elicit happy memories and smiles — especially for Meyer, who shares a special bond with Miller.
“I just love seeing him out there — just the relationship part of me that I love Braxton Miller,” Meyer said. “I always have and he's always done what we've asked him to do. He's a selfless guy that plays really hard.” There's a part of me that's excited to see a guy out there warming up and running through his drills. He's got a great attitude and a good smile on his face.”
While it’s expected that Cardale Jones — once the third string quarterback — might have the inside track to the team’s starting job after guiding the Buckeyes through a memorable postseason, Tuesday almost felt like a not-so-fast moment — like we’ve underestimated the Meyer’s affinity with Miller’s athleticism and the respect he has for what the two-time Big Ten Player of the Year has done for the program in his tenure. If — and it’s a big if — Miller’s shoulder is healthy by the start of fall camp, I think he’s got a real shot at reclaiming his role as the starting quarterback.
After the Buckeyes toppled mighty Alabama in the Sugar Bowl and knocked off Oregon, 42-20, to capture their first national title in more than a decade, Ohio State seemed to garner a certain national respect that had eroded because of big flops on the national stage in the last decade (see: 2007 and 2008 BCS National Championships, 2008 and 2009 losses to USC, 2009 Fiesta Bowl loss to Texas, loss to Clemson in 2014 Orange Bowl) and the famous Tatto-Gate scandal.
Times might be changing.
"Ohio State's back to being Ohio State," Meyer said.
He added: "I was even telling our team the perception of the Big Ten and Ohio State you can't run, that's blown away. We can run pretty good and now we gotta keep that going. Some of these guys that could run are going to run a program here in a couple days."