Presser Bullets: Ryan Day Meets with the Media on National Signing Day to Discuss Ohio State's Recruiting Class, Offseason Developments

By Dan Hope on February 5, 2020 at 11:59 am

It wasn't a busy day of signings at Ohio State, but it's still been an active morning at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

After all 14 of Ohio State's midyear enrollees met with the media on Wednesday morning, Ryan Day held his National Signing Day press conference to talk about Ohio State's recruiting class of 2020 – which added its 25th and final player on Wednesday with the signing of Cameron Martinez – and other offseason developments, including the hiring of defensive coordinator and secondary coach Kerry Coombs.

Coombs and quarterbacks coach Corey Dennis are also set to meet with the media on Wednesday, and we'll have updates from them later today as well, but for now, here's a bullet-point recap of what Day had to say in his press conference:

  • Day started out his press conference by remarking about how different National Signing Day is now than it used to be because of the early signing period in December. Signed only one player on Wednesday, but excited to land Cameron Martinez.
  • Day said the Buckeyes will give Cameron Martinez the opportunity to play on both sides of the ball, as well as in the return game, which he described as “unique.”
  • "He's one of the most under-recruited kids in the entire country," Day said of Martinez.
  • Day said he expects there to continue to be great collaboration on the defensive coaching staff with Kerry Coombs coming in as defensive coordinator and replacing Jeff Hafley. He said Coombs will have the “final say” in the room, but “they're all team players.”
  • Day said Ohio State "had to walk away" from a couple players it would have pursued as February signees because he didn't want to be put in a situation where the Buckeyes would have too many players on scholarship.
  • Ohio State is still waiting to hear on whether C.J. Saunders will get a sixth year of eligibility.
  • On Julian Fleming: “He's big, he's strong, he's mature.”
  • Day said Ohio State is going to start Martinez out at H-back on offense, while he could also play nickelback or corner on defense. He's going to practice on both sides of the ball at first, and they'll get feedback from Martinez throughout the process. “We're gonna let him have a say in where he wants to play.”
  • On whether Ohio State will stick with the single-high safety defensive philosophy: “We're definitely going to start off with where we started, and then figure out what the adjustments are going to be from there.”
  • Day said Dawand Jones is “only going to play tackle.”
  • Day said Mitchell Melton will play linebacker, even though he potentially has the size to play defensive end.
  • Day said Coombs was his “No. 1 pick” to replace Hafley on the defensive coaching staff.
  • Greg Mattison's title will still be co-defensive coordinator, while Kerry Coombs is defensive coordinator.
  • Day said he doesn't know yet whether Paris Johnson Jr. will start at left or right tackle.
  • Day said he expects the Buckeyes to continue use a mix of both man and zone coverage, not exclusively press man coverage like in Coombs' previous tenure at Ohio State.
  • Day on Coombs: "He had more tweets and hashtags in his first day than I had in the past month." He also said Coombs drinks "four pots of coffee" per day.
  • Day said he has "always had a lot of respect" for Coombs and his ability to develop and build relationships with players.
  • Day said he believes the continuity Clemson has had with its coaching staff, including Brent Venables at defensive coordinator, has been a big part of its success, so he's hoping to build the same at Ohio State.
  • Day said all of the four freshman wide receivers will have a chance to earn a spot on the two-deep.

Corey Dennis

  • Dennis said he has tried to “be a sponge” and soak in everything that Day and Ohio State's other coaches have taught him, but then also be himself.
  • On Jack Miller and C.J. Stroud: “Those guys have been nothing but great.”
  • Dennis confirmed he did have an opportunity to join the staff at Colorado State, but it was a “no-brainer” to stay at Ohio State once offered the quarterbacks coach job with the Buckeyes.
  • On having two quarterbacks in the same recruiting class in Miller and Stroud: “You want guys that want to be Ohio State, that want to compete.”
  • On his rapport with Justin Fields: “Justin and I have a great relationship. We've always had a great relationship.” Said Fields wants to get better and enhance his skill set, so that's Dennis' goal, to enhance it.
  • Dennis said he still always calls Urban Meyer “Coach” even though Meyer is his father-in-law.
  • Dennis said “it definitely gave me a little boost of confidence“ that former players like Joe Burrow, Dwayne Haskins and Michael Thomas applauded Ohio State's decision to promote him to quarterbacks coach.
  • “I've interviewed for this job every day for the last three years.”
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