It was a newsy day at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Monday, when Ohio State coach Ryan Day officially named Justin Fields as the Buckeyes' starting quarterback, announced who the team's seven captains would be this year and reviewed the team's preseason camp, which is now complete as Ohio State prepares to begin classes and start practicing in the afternoons on Tuesday.
A bullet-point recap of what Day had to say on Monday:
- Ohio State has named seven captains for the 2019 season: Jordan Fuller, Jonathon Cooper, J.K. Dobbins, Tuf Borland, K.J. Hill, C.J. Saunders, Chase Young. Day said he was pleased with the players the team chose, and felt that the choices were representatives of the team as a whole, specifically noting Saunders as a player who was a former walk-on.
- In naming Fields as the starting quarterback for the season opener, he said that did not finalize him as the starting quarterback for the entire season: "All that really means is he's the guy to take the first snap."
- Day said Fields "kind of separated himself" over the past week. "I still don't think he's where he needs to be, but over the past week, I think he's played at a starter level." Said that Fields was not ready to lead the offense when camp began, but he's getting there.
- Day said the Buckeyes have not made a final decision yet on whether Gunnar Hoak or Chris Chugunov would be the No. 2 quarterback, noting that Hoak has still only been on campus for 15 practices.
- On his conversations with Justin Fields: "You can't go out and try to be what Dwayne was in game one. You can't go out and try to be what J.T. Barrett or Braxton Miller was. You got to be yourself."
- Day said the Buckeyes will emphasize some different packages with Fields leading the offense as a dual-threat, but "for the most part, it'll still be the Ohio State offense."
- On Fields: "I think he envisioned himself being the starter. Now he's got to go run with it."
- Day said Branden Bowen and Nicholas Petit-Frere are still battling for the starting right tackle job. "I anticipate both will play." Said Bowen has had his best camp at Ohio State, but Petit-Frere has also performed well and both deserve to play.
- Day said the expectations surrounding Justin Fields as a first-year quarterback are "almost ridiculous," but understands that comes with the territory of being Ohio State's starting quarterback and believes Fields understands and is prepared for that as well.
- On Fields running the ball: "I'm not comfortable with him taking a lot of hits in a game, for sure," and said the Buckeyes will be calculated "down to the last carry" about how they use him in that aspect of the game.
- Day said the Buckeyes had about 10-12 champions on both sides of the ball from Saturday's second scrimmage of fall camp.
- "I think J.K. Dobbins has really run hard in this camp."
- "We're still working to get tough. That's a daily process, getting tough."
- Day said he met with the Ohio State quarterbacks individually last week and today as a group to give them his decision for who will start.
- Day said Demario McCall has a leg up on the other running backs to be the No. 2 running back right now, but that competition is still ongoing, as well. "Demario has had a really good camp. I think he can be a weapon for us."
- C.J. Saunders and Jaelen Gill are still vying to be the backup H-back/slot receiver behind K.J. Hill.
- Day said he chose to name seven captains because the vote was close through the seventh player and there was a gap between the votes the top seven players received and everyone else.
- Asked whether there's a realistic chance Hoak or Chugunov could actually unseat Fields at some point this season, Day said he is "not trying to create a quarterback controversy," and Fields is the starter unless he loses the job, but doesn't want to rule out a change because he wants to see how the season plays out.
- Day said he has seen Justin Fields take command of the team, which is an important thing to see from a starting quarterback.
- Assistant coaches Kevin Wilson, Mike Yurcich, Jeff Hafley and possibly Matt Barnes will be in the booth during games, while the other coaches will be down on the field.
- Day said that any time anyone has a false start or penalty in practice, that player has to take a lap.
- On how the backup quarterbacks reacted today: "I think they've seen Justin maybe pull away a bit, but at the same time, they're competitive and they want to play."
- Day said this camp has been great from the standpoint of a lack of injuries.
Stay tuned with Eleven Warriors for more coverage from the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, as Ohio State's newly minted starting quarterback and captains are also set to meet with the media today.