Presser Bullets: Urban Meyer Discusses Ohio State's Position Battles, Recaps First Spring Practice of 2018

By Dan Hope on March 6, 2018 at 11:57 am

After Ohio State held its first practice of the spring on Tuesday morning, head coach Urban Meyer met with the media at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center to answer questions about the team's position battles this spring – with an emphasis on quarterback questions, of course – as well as other notable players and storylines as the Buckeyes begin their preparation for the 2018 season.

Here's what you need to know from Meyer's press conference:

  • Meyer implied that Dwayne Haskins and Joe Burrow will have an equal opportunity to win the starting quarterback job, but Tate Martell will be in the mix as well.
  • J.T. Barrett, Jalyn Holmes, Tyquan Lewis, Chris Worley and Denzel Ward were among the former Buckeyes who made appearances at practice today.
  • Meyer said he has had conversations with Burrow and his family about the potential of transferring if he doesn't win the job. "It is something we will watch very closely."
  • Early enrollee quarterback Matthew Baldwin had surgery for an ACL injury in his knee and is out this spring.
  • On the NCAA's proposed change to allow kick returners to fair catch the ball in the field of play for a touchback, which would affect Meyer's typical strategy of keeping kickoffs within the field of play: "I haven't really thought about it. I'll have an opinion at some point."
  • Meyer said he is more stressed about the competition at center than the competition at quarterback. Brady Taylor, Josh Myers and Matthew Burrell are currently competing to start at center.
  • Meyer expects there to be a lot of second-year players from the 2017 recruiting class who make an impact for the Buckeyes this year.
  • Meyer said he expects Demario McCall to be both the kickoff and punt returner. "Had a very good day on Tuesday," and will be a full-time H-back who plays a role like Curtis Samuel this year.
  • On Dante Booker, after Meyer expressed displeasure with the report last week that indicated he was transferring: "He plans on being a Buckeye."
  • On wide receivers: "We have been good, we have not been elite." Added that Ryan Day will spend more time working directly with the wide receivers this season as well.
  • Another position of concern for Meyer is the center-field safety position, where the Buckeyes are replacing Damon Webb, but he was pleased with what he saw from Jordan Fuller in his first practice of the spring. "He looks fantastic."
  • Meyer said he believes Isaiah Prince will be the starting left tackle and that Thayer Munford is penciled in as the starting right tackle.
  • Defensive line coach Larry Johnson is still evaluating whether Jashon Cornell will make a full-time move to defensive end.
  • Michael Jordan, Jeffrey Okudah, K.J. Hill and Dante Booker will all miss the spring with shoulder injuries, but are expected to be back in time for the fall. Branden Bowen's rehab from his broken leg is taking longer than expected.
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