Fall camp is in full swing at Ohio State. After moving into the team hotel on Monday, where the Buckeyes will stay until August 17, they held their fourth practice in five days on Tuesday morning as the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, with members of the local media in attendance for the beginning of practice and Big Ten Network in town for its camp tour.
After the practice, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day met with the media for his second press conference of fall camp.
A sampling of what he had to say:
- Day opened his press conference by expressing his thoughts and prayers for those affected by the mass shootings in Dayton and El Paso this weekend, and said that's one reason why he and his wife Christina have taken steps to address the issue of mental health in the United States.
- Branden Bowen is practicing only at the right tackle position right now, but Day said there's still the possibility that he could play other positions if needed. Day also feels good about Bowen's health after Bowen missed last season with a leg injury: "I think he feels confident, really for the first time, on that leg."
- Day said he thought quarterbacks coach Mike Yurcich was the "perfect fit" for what Ohio State needed to fill that position on his staff, "and he's been that so far."
- Day said he and the Ohio State coaching staff sat down with Damon Arnette after last season and advised him that they didn't think going to the NFL would be the best decision for him.
- Day said Arnette had work to do coming into this spring academically, but he "dug himself out of that hole" and was able to graduate on Sunday.
- Day likes the progression he's seen from wide receivers Jaylen Harris and Ellijah Gardiner entering their third seasons, and thinks Jaelen Gill and Garrett Wilson are coming along well. Jameson Williams "is a little bit behind because he just got here."
- Will Harry Miller be the No. 2 center this year behind Josh Myers? "I don't know if he should be. I think he has the ability to." Said he expects Miller to get playing time this season, but will see how the depth chart shakes out as camp continues.
- On whether highly touted recruits are treated differently than other players: "Stars don't mean a thing." It's all about what players do when they arrive at Ohio State.
- On Garrett Wilson: "He has a lot of talent," but Day said he still has to develop his discipline and skill as a freshman.
- On Demario McCall: "The first thing he's gotta do is become the backup running back." While McCall has worked at wide receiver and has a wide variety of skills, the Buckeyes are challenging McCall to emerge as the No. 2 back behind J.K. Dobbins. "I don't know if we have to him on the field, but he's a weapon ... Do I think he has a chance to be a good player? Yes. I just think he's gotta prove it."
- On the offensive line: "We want to recruit big guys who are athletic."
- Enokk Vimahi has grown from 257 pounds to 293 pounds since he arrived at Ohio State this summer.
- Day said the Buckeyes will be aggressive on punt blocks, but want to be careful not to pick up penalties. On punt returns, they want the most dynamic guy back there, but ball security is at a premium.
- Day said there are many receivers and defensive backs battling to be the gunners right now. He said that finding gunners for the punt team is “just as important as finding our X receiver."
- On this team's personality: "They like each other. There's a chemistry here. ... There's not a lot of cliques ... They have a certain energy, about them, they're positive."
- Day said there are many great and mature guys in the program, but they're still looking to see which guys step up as true team leaders.
- On the quarterbacks, who threw four combined interceptions on Tuesday: "They're competing. They're learning. We're installing. It's not about finding a rhythm in a game plan or anything yet."
- Josh Proctor had two interceptions during Tuesday's practice while Jordan Fuller also had one.
- Ball security is the No. 1 priority for the backup running back, Day said. Also have to do an excellent job in protection. Said both Dobbins and Mike Weber did an excellent job with that last year. "I don't think our offensive line and our running backs got enough credit last year for the protection they gave Dwayne." Running back also has to be able to gain a hard five or six yards when he's in the game.
- Today was the first time Urban Meyer came to practice in camp so far. "It's always good to have him around."
- Day said the Buckeyes don't take many people to the ground during team drills in order to be careful and try to prevent injuries, but they make sure they work on tackling throughout camp, as well.
- Day said "it's still too early" to say how the quarterback stacks up, but said Justin Fields had a "really good practice" over the weekend.