Student Appreciation Day: Observations From Ohio State's Eighth Practice of the Spring

By Tim Shoemaker on April 2, 2016 at 1:50 pm
Ohio State held its annual student appreciation day Saturday.

Ohio State held its annual Student Appreciation Day practice Saturday morning at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. It was the Buckeyes' eighth spring practice of the year.

Students and media were allowed in to watch the final 90 minutes of action after Ohio State held a portion of its practice behind closed doors. Here is some of what we saw during that open portion:

  • It was a long day for the Ohio State offense as the defense dominated the majority of the open portion. The Buckeyes' offensive line was practicing without key cogs Pat Elflein and Billy Price during the open portion — presumably because they are part of Urban Meyer's 2,000-rep club — and as a result the rest of the offensive line play suffered. Quarterbacks J.T. Barrett and Joe Burrow were constantly under pressure throughout the day.
  • With Elflein and Price sitting out, Ohio State's first-team offensive line, from left to right, was Jamarco Jones, Michael Jordan, Brady Taylor, Demetrius Knox and Isaiah Prince.
  • The first-team defensive line — Sam Hubbard, Tracy Sprinkle, Michael Hill and Jalyn Holmes — had a field day. Barrett was wearing a non-contact jersey so he did not take any hits, but he was constantly under pressure and had trouble completing any passes. When Barrett did have time to throw, the Buckeyes' wide receivers had trouble getting open.
  • Noah Brown, Corey Smith, Curtis Samuel and Dontre Wilson were all held out so Ohio State's first-team wide receivers were James Clark, Austin Mack and Parris Campbell with Marcus Baugh at tight end. Terry McLaurin, Torrance Gibson and Johnnie Dixon also rotated in some reps.
  • Mike Weber and Bri'onte Dunn did split first-team running back reps, but it seemed like Weber got the majority of the run. Weber had some impressive reps in pass protection including one where he stoned Dante Booker on a blitz.
  • Burrow was live and took quite a few huge hits as a result of playing behind an offensive line that was mostly third-team guys with a few second-stringers, as well. The second-team offensive line Saturday, from left to right, was Kyle Trout, Matt Burrell, Aaron Parry, Evan Lisle and Branden Bowen. Kevin Feder did not practice and was seen in a walking boot.
  • Robert Landers, Jashon Cornell, Dre'Mont Jones and Rashod Berry — who all rotated on the second-team defensive line — landed huge shots on Burrow who barely had any time to get rid of the ball. He was constantly pressured as the defensive line dominated for the majority of practice.
  • Burrow did connect on a deep ball to Gibson for a 50-yard completion and he made a nice touchdown run on a quarterback option on a fourth-down play, so it wasn't all bad.
  • Antonio Williams, who ran primarily with the second team as Dunn and Weber rotated with the first, ran hard and had a nice 45-yard run down the sideline. 
  • On defense, Marshon Lattimore was again limited presumably as a precaution. Denzel Ward, Damon Arnette and Gareon Conley spent time rotating with the first-team defense at corner.
  • At safety, Malik Hooker and Damon Webb saw most of the reps with the first team. Cam Burrows ran primarily with the second group.
  • The first-team linebackers, as they have been all spring, were Chris Worley, Raekwon McMillan and Booker.
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