Offseason Workouts Have Ohio State Players 'Hurting a Little Bit,' But That's the Plan

By Eric Seger on July 16, 2015 at 2:15 pm
Via @OSUCoachMeyer

One might think a bit of an impromptu trip to the West Coast to attend an awards show could be seen as a bit of a vacation.

That's not the case for Ohio State's football players, however.

"You gotta put the work first," running back Ezekiel Elliott said Tuesday morning. "Obviously, we don't get to miss workouts."

Elliott was one of four Buckeyes — quarterbacks Cardale Jones and Braxton Miller and linebacker Joshua Perry the others — who joined their head coach to represent their team in Los Angeles Wednesday night at the 2015 ESPY awards. The team was up for three awards, but came up short in all categories.

Ohio State won the first ever College Football Playoff National Championship a little more than six months ago, downing Oregon, 42-20, in Dallas Jan. 12. Spring football kicked up two months later, followed closely by summer training led by head strength coach Mickey Marotti.

That's a great deal of wear and tear on anyone's body, but it just comes with the territory for college athletes.

"Guys usually do feel fresh and there's a time during the summer where you don't necessarily need to feel fresh," Perry said Tuesday at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center before heading to the airport. "You don't want guys feeling fresh, you want them hurting a little bit."

It is the time of year where players look to add muscle weight to their frame in further preparations for the upcoming season. Ohio State's coined "The Grind" as its 2015 team slogan, one professed constantly on social media, notably by head coach Urban Meyer.


Meyer implemented the 2,000-rep club this spring with hopes of keeping those who played a key role in Ohio State's title run fresher and giving young guys a chance to make a name for themselves.

Perry, a member as a vital member to the Buckeye defense, said he feels fresher now as a result of that, but the usual soreness from Marotti's workouts is still ever present with each passing day — even more since Ohio State won it all last season.

"He's always tough on us. You just kind of go in there and let him do what he does," Perry said. "To say he's tougher, I don't know if that's a good way to say it, but is he as tough as he's ever been? Absolutely."

Added Elliott: "I mean, every offseason is brutal. Body aching, this isn't different. It's terrible, honestly, but it's worth it at the end ... Coach Mick definitely makes sure he keeps us off our pedestal.

"After we won a national championship, Coach Mick is definitely grinding us hard. He's grinded us years before, just making sure that we know that we have more to accomplish and just to keep our eyes on the track."

A bout with complacency appears for any team that wins a championship, but Marotti's doing his best to keep his finger on Ohio State's players even during a busy summer that's included media appearances, award shows, team trips and more.

"It's been tough because of everything that's been going on, different guys coming back from different things and just the whole atmosphere of the summer," Perry said. "They're really getting after us because of how much success we've had last year and the fact that we gotta put that kind of in the past. I think things are going really well. We're seeing a lot of leadership being developed and a lot of young guys coming along, too."

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