Ohio State Defense Observations: Schiano Fires Up Team, Corners Go One-On-One With Wide Receivers and More

By Tim Shoemaker on March 28, 2017 at 10:32 am
Chris Worley and Dante Booker go through drills.

As Ohio State finished its stretching Tuesday morning at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, Buckeyes defensive coordinator Greg Schiano clapped his hands together and shouted a message to the team.

"This is going to be on video today, boys!" Schiano screamed, "so let's get after it."

It was practice No. 6 of the spring for Ohio State. Thursday's workout marks the halfway point for the Buckeyes leading up to the spring game scheduled for April 15.

The first hour of Tuesday's practice was open for media viewing. Some of our offensive observations can be seen here, while some things we saw from the defense can be viewed below:

  • Once again, there didn't appear to be much change to the defensive depth chart. Sam Hubbard, Jalyn Holmes and Nick Bosa all rotated with the first team at defensive end. I didn't see Tyquan Lewis do much during contact drills as he's probably limited due to Urban Meyer's 2,000-rep club. Dre'Mont Jones was with the first team at one defensive tackle spot while Robert Landers and Michael Hill rotated with the ones at the other.
  • The first-team linebackers remained Dante Booker at SAM, Chris Worley at MIKE and Jerome Baker at WILL. Keandre Jones and Malik Harrison ran with the second-team LBs on the outside; I couldn't tell who was playing the MIKE with the second team. It appeared Justin Hilliard was wearing an orange non-contact jersey. Baron Browning injured his shoulder Saturday and is set to undergo surgery on Tuesday.
  • Denzel Ward and Damon Arnette continued to man the corner spots while Damon Webb and Erick Smith worked with the first-team safeties. Right now, Kendall Sheffield seems to be the third corner in that rotation with Shaun Wade, Rodjay Burns and Jeffrey Okudah behind.
  • Other defensive players who were limited included Tracy Sprinkle, Darius Slade and Jonathon Cooper. Cooper spent time running laps around the indoor field with tight end Marcus Baugh — who is also recovering from injury — while Slade and Sprinkle continued to work off to the side.
  • During the "mini field" portion of practice — 7-on-7 with the field split in half — both Ward and Burns picked off passes.
  • Arnette appeared to tweak something and came off to the field to get stretched out. As he was with a trainer, Eric Glover-Williams came over and jabbed him for not going 1-on-1 with him, saying he was getting "the Marshon treatment." Arnette responded: "You're bit-sized. You still wear youth clothes, man." It was pretty funny and Arnette then returned to action after sitting out briefly. 
  • Ward looks ready to take over the No. 1 corner spot. In every portion of practice we've seen he's locked down Ohio State's wide receivers for the most part. If he does get beat, his speed allows him to recover in time to make a play on the ball.
  • Arnette and Sheffield are both very physical corners at the line. Sheffield did get beat inside on a couple of slant routes today by Binjimen Victor, however.
  • The safeties had a tough time staying in front of Parris Campbell when he worked out of the slot.
  • It appeared Jeffrey Okudah was wearing No. 48 today. Not sure what the reasoning is for that one.
  • Former Ohio State cornerback and projected first-round pick Gareon Conley was in attendance. He came over and spoke briefly with Arnette when he was working with the trainer.
View 28 Comments