CHICAGO — Donning a gray suit, white shirt and an Ohio State-themed tie, Urban Meyer represented the seventh and final coach to take the Big Ten Media Days podium Tuesday at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place.
Less than two weeks out from Ohio State's Aug. 7 fall camp start date, Meyer fielded questions for 15 minutes.
- Meyer opened his press conference sharing his condolences to both Nebraska and Michigan State, who lost punter Sam Foltz and former punter Mike Sadler in a tragic car accident Sunday.
- "We have to find a way to replace arguably one of the best groups in the history of college football."
- Meyer's been answering a lot of questions about how young his team is: "It'd be an issue if it wasn't a talented team."
- "We have to get this team ready ... our practices are going to be much different. It'll be interesting, but I'm very excited to be around them."
- There is "no chance" dismissed running back Bri'onte Dunn will return to Ohio State's football team. Notes he anticipates Mike Weber will be the starting tailback: "I love where he's at."
- Curtis Samuel, Dontre Wilson and Demario McCall will also be options to run the ball, Meyer said.
- How his team reacts to the big stage and playing in front of a huge crowd is "what is keeping me up a little bit."
- Meyer can't recall a time in his career to have this many young, talented players to work with and that need to key on for 2016.
- True freshman offensive lineman Michael Jordan "will probably be in the starting lineup."
- Heading into camp, Meyer thinks his team is as talented a group as he's had at Ohio State: "Now, the question is can we get them ready?"
- "It'd be hard to take a completely green team into that." — Meyer on the Oklahoma game Week 3. Said Ohio State plans to pump in the sound at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center during practice.
- Remaining focused on Bowling Green Week 1 is the most important thing, though, Meyer said.
- On the Michigan game, Meyer discussed the health and development of his team will determine that success, but it's hard to gauge it right now.
- Meyer feels like all the talent "just had to wait its turn" last year behind an old and strong team: "The chains come off soon and we'll see what we've got."
- Meyer and Ohio State "absolutely do not" negatively recruit Penn State: "We have a ton of respect for all the teams in our coaching. We're recruiting well enough now as it is."
- "I believe Pat Elflein is the best center in college football."
- Meyer said he couldn't believe "going into this" without J.T. Barrett and Elflein at Ohio State. Same with Raekwon McMillan defensively: "They raise the level of play around them."
- On Illinois coach Lovie Smith, Meyer said he brings "instant credibility" to the conference: "I'm anxious to see what he does."
- Meyer admitted "there was a lot of distraction" last year at this time with respect to J.T. Barrett and the quarterback position: "Now it's his show and we know that."
- Meyer thinks the wide receiver group is as talented as it could be at this time. Noted that Noah Brown and Corey Smith will start this year: "Talent shouldn't be the issue. It's consistent performance, it's playing in showtime."