Presser Bullets: Ryan Day Discusses Ohio State's Quarterbacks, Spring Scrimmages, Defensive Tackles

By Colin Hass-Hill on April 5, 2021 at 11:47 am

Spring camp just keeps rolling.

Head coach Ryan Day joined the media on Monday morning to offer some updates on the latest of how practice is progressing. He talked quarterbacks, defensive flexibility and more.

A bullet-point rundown of Day's comments:

Ryan Day

  • On Jalen Suggs' buzzer-beater: "Unbelievable. What a game and what a shot. Really happy for him. Spent a lot of time recruiting Jalen." Suggs came to an Ohio State camp. "As a quarterback, we thought he was really athletic." He told his family that if he's as good of a basketball player as people say, then "Glad to see it all worked out for him."
  • On Mitchell Melton being on crutches: "It's going to be a long-term injury." He says they'll be a bit thin heading into preseason at linebacker, but he has confidence in Al Washington.
  • About Craig Young playing safety: "I think Craig has had a really good spring so far. I think he's finding a role that he feels more comfortable at." He says it's exciting for Ohio State that he can play in the box, he can move back to play safety and blitz. He mentions Ronnie Hickman and Kourt Williams will also play the position.
  • Day says Matthew Jones has "found a little bit of a rhythm" at center in spring with Harry Miller being out. He mentions it's important for centers to process a lot of information while also blocking.
  • On the versatility to play nickel packages: "We want to have flexibility there and be able to adjust based on what we're seeing."
  • He says the biggest concern so far is that the younger players still haven't been able to play a ton of football at college. "Certainly quarterback's one. Linebacker's another." He thought "last Friday we had a pretty good quote-unquote scrimmage." They'll have another scrimmage on Saturday.
  • On the running back situation: "Too early to create a pecking order. But I am very impressed with how they ran on Friday."
  • He says Lejond Cavazos and Ryan Watts are being thrown in the fire in practice. "They're going to come out of this spring a lot stronger."
  • On the quarterbacks: "We're just rotating the quarterbacks. Change it every day. Splitting up the reps every time we can." He says he wishes they had 18 months to get them ready, but they don't. 
  • Chris Olave remains out of practice with a non-COVID illness.
  • If he had any big takeaways from the scrimmage last week: "Nothing more than the overall, man, we've got to play more football." He says it wasn't bad, but they just need more reps.
  • Day on the cornerbacks: "These younger guys have got to step up. That's the good thing. They don't have a choice. They have to step up." 
  • He says this team had a lot of meetings last year, and "our young guys are pretty sharp," so they have to go out onto the field and get used to translating what they've learned out there. "I think our IQ's pretty strong."
  • On players being injured: "You have to push through it. That's just the way it is." ... "We have to be tough. We have to be physical." He says some of the injuries this spring have been in non-contact situations. They want to keep everybody safe, "but at the same time 
  • "I'm very excited about our interior defensive linemen." He says Antwuan Jackson is "playing as good as he has played" and Jerron Cage is "playing his best football." He mentions Noah Potter has worked inside and Tyleik Williams has flashed.
  • "I think Taron Vincent has a chance to have a breakout year for us." ... "Now, he's about to take off." He says his work in the weight room with Mickey Marotti has him on a good path.
  • Day says he supports players who transfer, but he mentions it's a "slippery slope" if college athletes are allowed to transfer more than once without sitting out.
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