Presser Bullets: Ryan Day Discusses Palaie Gaoteote, Running Backs, Ohio State's First Day Of Camp

By Colin Hass-Hill on August 4, 2021 at 10:38 am

Day 1 is in the books.

Ohio State opened preseason camp bright and early on Wednesday morning, allowing the media to get a 30-minute glimpse and giving Eleven Warriors a chance to put together our observations. Afterward, head coach Ryan Day met with reporters to discuss the first day of practice and how he feels about his team. 

Here's a bullet-point rundown of Day's comments.

Ryan Day

  • On Palaie Gaoteote: "Too early to tell. He still has to get a waiver, so we're kind of just taking it slow with him." He'll be put on scholarship if/when he gets the waiver. He doesn't think they'll get an answer for "another week or so." They don't want to put him with the first-team or second-team until they know whether he'll play for the Buckeyes this season.
  • He says the running back room is "as talented and deep" as it's been since he's arrived. "All those guys have great attitudes when they're out there." He also mentions it's difficult to evaluate them so early in camp with no pads on yet, and says they'll learn a lot – especially about the underclassmen – later in camp.
  • On Steele Chambers at linebacker: "He looks excellent out there moving around." He says "there's a great opportunity for him to get on the field there" but they're going to get his feedback on working at linebacker later after the practice.
  • Day says Josh Fryar worked hard in the summer to change his body, which he believes was important because he needed to get more consistent based on his spring.
  • He says Miyan Williams has looked good as a pass blocker and his body is "hard" after all the work he's put into it.
  • On the running back rep rotation: "We're trying to even them out the best we can."
  • He says there are 117 players in camp, which is the most they've ever had – due to the seven super seniors. There were "a lot of reps to go around" today.
  • Day says Cade Stover was one of those recognized as an Iron Buckeye, indicating he had a strong 11-week summer workout session. "We need him to replace Luke (Farrell). That's really what we're looking for."
  • On Gee Scott Jr. at tight end: "He's learning the position."
  • They had more "Iron Buckeyes" this year than in the past, which he likes because it shows the work they did in the summer.
  • Asked for his general thoughts on this team: "I don't know. There's a lot of guys on the team who have played a lot of football." He says there are a ton of young guys. He says they might not know until the games begin. "I don't think we know yet." 
  • Several guys are "easing their way into camp" after missing some time earlier this year due to injury.
  • He says Tyler Friday won't be available for preseason camp and potential the entire season. He declines to give any details on the injury since they haven't talked yet.
  • On the linebackers: "My guess is it's going to be a little bit by committee." 
  • On Jack Sawyer and J.T. Tuimoloau and what will be asked to do now that Friday will be out: "They're going to have to get onto the field maybe a little before we thought."
  • Day says they've "always kind of had the bullet idea," and they'd like to get Ronnie Hickman and Craig Young onto the field. "That gives us a few more options, for sure."
  • He, not surprisingly, says he doesn't have any new thoughts on the quarterbacks. But... "I thought, as a whole, I thought we threw and caught the ball well for Day 1."
  • Day says the depth was evident in the secondary because they could go harder and longer than last year: "We looked a little sharper today."
  • Special teams has to "be an advantage for us," he says.
  • Day says Ohio State football's vaccination rate is over 90 percent.
  • He jokes that he's still learning the new jersey numbers of incoming freshmen and guys who switched numbers. "I think Marcus Williamson was in 5. I didn't know who that was."
  • "Emeka Egbuka, unbelievable. had a really, really good spring, he had a really good summer – I mean an excellent summer." He said he's "excited to see" what he, Marvin Harrison Jr. and Jayden Ballard do this fall because he believes they can contribute.
  • They're starting Harry Miller at center as fall camp begins. "He's had a very, very good summer. Worked really, really hard on his body." They view him as being able to play guard, too. 
  • On TreVeyon Henderson: "He's very serious. Very serious about his football." He's says he's low maintenance and has a "lot of talent." ... "I think he has a chance to be special, yeah."
  • He says the Buckeyes have the ability to move Haskell Garrett and Taron Vincent between 3-technique and nose tackle, though he notes that's not something they've done a lot of.
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