Ryan Day's Summer Checklist As He Enters First Season As Ohio State's Head Coach

By David Regimbal on May 2, 2019 at 10:10 am
Ryan Day

It's going to be a busy summer for Ryan Day.

Oddly enough, the Buckeyes' new head coach got a small taste of what's to come last year. Day was named interim head coach last August while the Ohio State administration investigated Urban Meyer's role in the Zach Smith saga.

During that stretch, Day was at the helm of the Buckeyes' recruiting efforts, and after Meyer's suspension was announced, he was asked to orchestrate fall camp and the game-planning of Ohio State's first three games.

But with the entire program completely under his control now, Day has a few key tasks he needs to take care of throughout the summer.

Secure Buy-In from Coordinators and Assistants

This is something that has likely been in progress since the moment he was officially promoted in January. The last thing a head coach needs, particularly during his first stint, is dissension among his staff.

Nearly cleaning house on the defensive side of the ball was a key first step. Whatever armwrestling took place between former coordinators Greg Schiano and Alex Grinch produced some disastrous results in 2018. 

Day has to set the tone for his staff and clearly communicate his vision and expectations for every player and unit .

Map Out His Fall Camp Schedule

This is really when last year's experience comes in handy. Day was at the helm and oversaw last year's fall camp, but it was still Meyer's team, and ultimately, Meyer's show.

How will Day mix things up? How will he make the season preparation his own? He'll likely get input from the new faces on the staff, but he already has a solid blueprint to work from this summer.

Identify the Team Captains

A crucial step in building a contender during Meyer's tenure was strong leadership at every level, all the way from the coaches down to the player level.

On-field leaders are pivotal during the hard stretches of the season, especially on the road with the Big Ten offering some of the most hostile environments in the country. Having guys like John Simon, Evan Spencer, J.T. Barrett and Terry McLaurin providing that presence during the Meyer era was huge, and Day needs continue that momentum moving forward.

Recruit, Recruit, Recruit

Ohio State's 2020 recruiting class is off to an uncharacteristically slow start, but it's not surprising given the coaching transition. 

The Buckeyes currently check in at No. 8 in the recruiting rankings, but it's the only class in the top 10 that has fewer than 10 verbal pledges. Five-star offensive tackle Paris Johnson anchors the eight-man group, but as Andrew Ellis recently pointed out, the Buckeyes have some big targets on their radar.

Day and the Ohio State coaching staff need to keep the heat up on the recruiting trail as the summer draws closer.

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