With just one more practice to go until Saturday's spring game at Ohio Stadium (Noon, BTN), Ryan Day met with the media at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Wednesday morning for his final press conference before his first spring game as Ohio State's head coach.
A bullet-point recap of what Day had to say:
- Day said he wants the Buckeyes to focus on continuous growth from the spring to preseason, not on them being two separate entities, and he wants to treats the Buckeyes' position battles the same way. "We're not in a rush to name starters or anything like that. I don't think that's appropriate."
- Day said Dwayne Haskins told him he never planned to go to the draft because he wanted to spend the draft with his family back home. Day said he has a lot of conversations with NFL teams about Haskins. He said almost all 32 teams, including general managers, scouts and even owners, have been at Ohio State in the pre-draft process.
- Day said the spring game will be "thud" and not full tackling.
- There are several things that Day will be looking to see out of the quarterbacks in Saturday's spring game, but said the body of work over 15 practices will determine who wins the competition, and the spring game is only a small part of it.
- Master Teague has been battling a nagging injury this spring, while Demario McCall still hasn't practiced due to his calf injury.
- Day named true freshman wide receiver Garrett Wilson when asked about a player who has impressed on offense this spring, while defensive backs Shaun Wade and Josh Proctor have made a lot of plays for Ohio State's defense this spring.
- The spring game is a "huge selling point" for recruits because the amount of people who show up to watch the game. "As a head coach in college football, that's what you do, it's recruit."
- On Justin Fields: "His physical traits are tremendous, just in terms of his size, his ability to move, he has a strong arm, but also he has good intangibles."
- Day said that while he has the final say on depth chart decisions, most of the time all coaches are on the same page in regards to who should start based on their body of work in practices.
- Day said he believes the spring game is most important to watch the young guys who don't have much experience playing in actual games.
- Tuf Borland and Marcus Williamson are among the players who will not play in Saturday's game due to injury, along with guys like Thayer Munford, Robert Landers and Jordan Fuller who have been out all spring. Chris Olave will be a game-time decision after suffering a hamstring injury on Friday.
- Day says Nicholas Petit-Frere is "one of the more improved guys on the whole offense." "Is he perfect? No. Is he ready yet? No. But he's close."
- Day said there will not be a spring game draft this year, because they want to have "good on good." Since players like Chase Young will only play sparingly, some players will play for both teams.
- On the coaches' clinic Thursday and Friday: "I just really want to show people, especially the coaches in Ohio, how important this is to us."
- On Matthew Baldwin: "I think he's building his confidence every day. And I think the best practices he's had is probably the last four or five." Day said Matthew Baldwin has shown he's committed to being a Buckeye and that's not contingent on whether he wins the starting job. "Really impressed with the way he goes to work every day. He's a Buckeye, and that's important. That's really important to our team. And he's getting better. Throwing the ball really well, improving in other areas."
- The spring game will feature 10-minute quarters. The clock will stop during the first half, with a running clock in the second half.