Saturday's Ohio State Spring Game Will Not Include Tackling

By Dan Hope on April 15, 2021 at 6:38 pm
Craig Young tackling in practice

There will be no tackling in Saturday's spring game.

After saying Monday that Ohio State had not yet determined whether there would be tackling in Saturday's intrasquad exhibition, Ryan Day said Thursday night on 97.1 The Fan that the coaching staff had made the decision not to allow tackling in this year's spring game.

“We’ve actually done a good amount of tackling this spring, more than I can ever remember,” Day said. “There’s been three or four practices where we’ve had 60-plus snaps of guys getting tackled to the ground and live scrimmages, because we’re so far behind fundamentally, just coming off of last year. So we’re gonna stay up to kind of stay healthy here for the game.”

As has been the case in many recent Ohio State spring games, Saturday's spring game will be played with a “thud” tackling format, which means there will be contact but players will not be taken to the ground. The quarterbacks, however, will wear non-contact jerseys and defenders will be instructed not to hit them.

The decision not to tackle on Saturday comes in a spring where a multitude of Buckeyes have been sidelined by injuries, including offensive lineman Harry Miller, defensive tackle Haskell Garrett, linebackers Dallas Gant and Mitchell Melton, cornerbacks Sevyn Banks and Cameron Brown, safety Kourt Williams and wide receiver Kamryn Babb, among others.

While the spring game has been broken up by Scarlet and Gray teams in past years, Day indicated Thursday that this year's teams will instead be called “Brutus” and “Buckeye.” Those two teams will play a simulated half against each other for the first half of the game, but the second half will be what Day described as a “controlled scrimmage” broken up by offense and defense.

Per an Ohio State spokesperson, the rosters for Saturday's spring game will be released on Friday afternoon.

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