Presser Bullets: Ryan Day Breaks Down Ohio State's First Five Spring Practices, Top Factors in “Open” QB Competition

By Zack Carpenter on March 29, 2021 at 11:45 am

We don't have to wait much longer to see the Buckeyes get back to live football in The Shoe.

As we head into April and hurtle toward Ohio State's spring game, Ryan Day's crew completed its first full week of spring practice last week and began its second week on Monday. The Buckeyes are also set to hold their pro day on Tuesday afternoon at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

Day met with the media on Monday to further break down his team's practice sessions thus far and preview some of his former players who will be participating in drills tomorrow.

A bullet-point rundown of what he said (with video above):

  • Day opened by talking about the latest on name, image and likeness. He said "we're kind of in a holding pattern" until more is discovered about it: "Certainly, with Ohio State and the amount of exposure these guys get, there's gonna be unbelievable opportunity for our guys."
  • He said the program can't provide much more than opportunity and support for his players in that regard.
  • Cade Stover, like many Buckeyes, suffered from not having spring ball in 2020 and was unable to get much experience. Day believes that puts even more emphasis on Stover over the next few weeks: "This is a big spring for him."
  • No game experience, less practice experience and less reps throws more of a wrench into this year's quarterback competition: "You'd like for them to have a couple years of experience in the program ... but they don't have that luxury. ... They're gonna be jumping in with two feet in the pool."
  • Learning from their mistakes is the top factor that Day mentions as what will help the three quarterbacks get a leg up in the three-way race to become the starter.
  • On the quarterback competition: "There's no incumbent starter. The competition's open, and guys are competing every day. ... You can't win the job in one day or one throw."
  • Day believes that competition is still very tight and no one has emerged as the leader yet. He says all three throw the ball very well: "They all look the part and throw the ball very well, but now it's who's gonna be the leader?"
  • He says leadership and taking care of the ball are two of the top factors as to who will win the job.
  • The Buckeyes just installed third-down plays and situations on Thursday.
  • Lejond Cavazos "flashes and does some good things early." Consistency is probably the biggest trait Day believes the coaching staff needs from Cavazos.
  • He believes the young cornerbacks who are fighting for the starting spots benefit from going against the Buckeyes' top talent at receiver.
  • "Cornerback is a unique position. You have to have a short memory, and you have to bring it every play."
  • On Lathan Ransom: "He really came on for us and played well, especially against Clemson. He showed that he could do that in practice, and we gave him an opportunity to do it."
  • Day says seeing Ransom play like that as a freshman who didn't get much game experience was "really encouraging to see."
  • On Tuesday's pro day, Day believes the current Buckeyes can learn a lot from seeing that experience: "The first thing you recognize is it's gonna get here a lot faster than you think. ... You have to have urgency about you."
  • Diets are another major factor that the current Ohio State players need to look at when they see the 
  • On the prolonged recruiting dead period: "It's been really hard for us and really hard for our families. ... We're always gonna do things the right way here, and if there are people out there who don't then shame on them. ... We're always gonna do things in a first-class manner here and do things above board. ... I think our recruits and their families understand that and respect that."
  • A handful of projected starters, including Harry Miller, Dallas Gant and Haskell Garrett, are not participating in spring ball due to injuries, meaning they're missing two springs in a row without getting on-field reps: “It's a shame, but that's football ... We're just going to have to push through it. The good news is there are a lot of guys healthy.”
  • Effort, fundamentals and technique are the three things Day believes are the most beneficial aspect of spring ball.
  • The way that Justin Fields competes on the field "speaks for itself," Day says. His size, arm strength, ability to make plays and toughness are what stands out immediately about Fields, in addition to his intelligence and propensity to learn the playbook quickly.
  • If you were trying to build your ideal NFL quarterback, "Justin fits that prototype."
  • Day on TreVeyon Henderson and Evan Pryor: “Two young running backs that both look really, really talented. I think those guys have a chance to get on the field for us.”
  • Matt Jones, Luke Wypler and Jakob James are the three players taking reps at center while Miller is out.
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