CHICAGO – Urban Meyer held his first press conference of the season on Monday as the seventh and final coach to hold his opening press conference at Big Ten Media Days on Monday.
Meyer addressed a variety of topics, including upcoming position battles and what new offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson has brought to Ohio State, during his 15-minute press conference inside McCormick Place in Chicago. Here's a sampling of what the coach had to say:
- Meyer: "Last year, we were the youngest team in college football, and this year, we're not."
- Meyer said he believes it is the first time he has ever had three fifth-year seniors representing his team at media days.
- Meyer: "Kevin Wilson's the first established offensive coordinator I've ever hired." Wilson has already had a lot of influence on the Ohio State offense, even though Meyer is an offensive-minded coach.
- Seven players will have an opportunity to compete to start at right guard: Matt Burrell, Malcolm Pridgeon, Branden Bowen, Demetrius Knox, Josh Myers, Wyatt Davis and Thayer Munford.
- The Buckeyes have moved on from last year's Fiesta Bowl loss to Clemson. It is to be determined whether Meyer will use that loss as motivation in fall camp.
- Ohio State tight end Marcus Baugh is currently dealing with inflammation in his toe and is wearing a walking boot. With A.J. Alexander out for the season, redshirt freshmen Luke Farrell and Jake Hausmann are competing for playing time at the position.
- Kendall Sheffield and Damon Arnette will compete to start opposite Denzel Ward at cornerback.
- Erick Smith and Jordan Fuller are competing to replace Malik Hooker at safety.
- The wide receiver position battle is "wide open."
- "I don't think there's a gap at all," Meyer said when asked if he felt the Big Ten had closed the gap with the SEC.
- Ohio State will continue to spend some time practicing defending against the triple option, as the Buckeyes did in spring practice, to prepare to play Army in Week 3.
- Is it fair to compare Saquon Barkley to Ezekiel Elliott as a running back prospect? "It's probably pretty fair," Meyer said. The Ohio State coach is impressed with what he has seen from the Penn State running back.
- As he has said in the past, Meyer said Ohio State's rivalry with Michigan is "the greatest rivalry not just in college football, but in all of college sports."
Eleven Warriors will have further updates this afternoon and evening as Meyer is scheduled for a one-hour interview session with reporters from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m., while Ohio State defensive end Tyquan Lewis, center Billy Price and linebacker Chris Worley will meet with reporters from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Check our Big Ten Media Days primer for the full interview schedule.