Presser Bullets: Ryan Day Recaps Ohio State's First Five Spring Practices Following Student Appreciation Day

By Dan Hope on March 23, 2019 at 12:38 pm

Following Ohio State's fifth practice of the spring, which was also Student Appreciation Day, Ryan Day met with the media to answer questions about how the spring has gone so far.

A sampling of what he had to say:

  • Joshua Alabi had flu-like symptoms Saturday, so he did not practice. Branden Bowen filled in at left tackle, while Nicholas Petit-Frere took his spot on the first-team offensive line at right tackle.
  • Baron Browning is battling a hamstring injury, while Tuf Borland was held out of practice for precautionary reasons after taking a shot to knee. Teradja Mitchell took the first-team reps at middle linebacker on Saturday.
  • Day mentioned Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave, Nicholas Petit-Frere, Wyatt Davis, Josh Myers and Dallas Gant among the young players who have flashed so far in practice. Said Gant has had 5-7 knockdowns in three days of padded practice.
  • Day confirmed that L'Christian "Blue" Smith has left the Ohio State football program. Said he will remain on scholarship through the end of the semester, and the program will support him as he decides what's next for him.
  • Robert Landers has had issues with his shoulder, back and knee, and is day-to-day. Ohio State is being cautious with him right now.
  • Austin Mack has been going back and forth between the X and Z receiver positions, with Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson also playing Z, while Binjimen Victor, Mack and Jaylen Harris have been getting reps at X. K.J. Hill, C.J. Saunders and Jaelen Gill have been getting reps at H-back, with Jeremy Ruckert also getting some reps at H in 12 personnel.
  • On Justin Fields: "He's a pretty quick learner."
  • Demario McCall is battling a calf injury, which has limited him in practice.
  • Day named Gavin Cupp, who has been the first-team left guard this spring, as someone who has had a great offseason.
  • While Justin Fields has taken nearly all of the first-team reps at quarterback during the portions of practice that have been open to the media (including today), Ryan Day said Matthew Baldwin has been taking reps with the ones as well.
  • On Jaelen Gill: "He can have a big role." Said he believes Gill has a similar skill set to K.J. Hill.
  • On the rising sophomores: "They're not freshmen anymore. They have to play. If we're going to be good, those guys have to step up."
  • Does Teradja Mitchell look like he can handle it when he's the first-team middle linebacker? "Absolutely. We're excited about Teradja."
  • Day said he believes the linebackers are playing fast with the new defensive scheme this spring.

Stay tuned with Eleven Warriors for more coverage from Saturday's practice, including observations from the practice, which was the first practice fully open to the media this spring.

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