Presser Bullets: Ryan Day Says TreVeyon Henderson is "Good to Go" And Craig Young is Moving to A "Different Role"

By Griffin Strom on October 5, 2021 at 12:34 pm

Ryan Day took the podium Tuesday for his weekly press conference at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

The Ohio State head coach reviewed the Buckeyes' impressive road win at Rutgers this past weekend, and looked ahead to this Saturday's meeting with Maryland at Ohio Stadium.

After Day, Buckeye safety Marcus Williamson, fullback/tight end Mitch Rossi and left tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere are all scheduled to get a turn at the mic to address members of the media as the team prepares for its sixth game of the 2021 season.

Here's a list of everything Day discussed Tuesday.

Ryan Day

  • Marcus Williamson has had his best week of practice this week, Day says his attitude has been "off the charts." Day says Williamson had to clear some distractions out of the way in order to focus.
  • Cam Brown is working through another injury, hoping he's going to come out of the back end of this most recent one.
  • Teradja Mitchell is a "unique situation" because he hasn't played a lot of football before this season. 
  • Day says he wishes the Buckeyes had more depth at linebacker right now, hopes to get Gaoteote back soon.
  • On Chris Olave, Day says he's practiced very well, is "highly driven" but needs to be unselfish as opposing defenses will look to take him out of the game.
  • Ryan Day says TreVeyon Henderson is "good to go" this week. The freshman RB was held out of the second half against Rutgers after taking a big hit.
  • Day says Mitch Rossi brings "a lot of versatility" and maturity to the table at the tight end position. Day says he had to embrace the role of walk-on, but that he's capitalized on his opportunity along the way as well.
  • On shuffling some things on the offensive line against Rutgers, Day says some guys are "nicked up" right now, and that he feels confident playing six to eight players. Day says he likes what he's seen from Matt Jones.
  • On the depth across the Big Ten: "It's very, very competitive. When you look at the history of the Big Ten, that's the way it's been." Day says "some of the top teams in the country are gonna be in this conference."
  • Day says he thought it would take Henderson "a little bit longer than it has" for him to produce at this level. However, Day says Henderson is mature and his own harshest critic. Day says the team wasn't going to be "foolish" by putting him back in a game during a blowout if he wasn't 100 percent.
  • "We had one good week, and now we gotta go do it again. But there is momentum there." Day says the team "isn't out of the woods yet."
  • On the defense against Rutgers: "We changed up some looks, we created some turnovers." Day says the team did a good job replicating the looks it was going to get against Rutgers.
  • On J.T. Tuimoloau: "Those young guys have had a lot on their plate ... it's kind of baptism by fire." Day says it's "going to pay off huge dividends for these guys."
  • On Taulia Tagovailoa: "We gotta bring it." Day says the Buckeyes expect to play against good teams in conference play.
  • On Craig Young and Ronnie Hickman not splitting time: "We're moving Craig into a little bit of a different role there." Day says the team is trying to get them both on the field at the same time.
  • Day says he tried to be steady and not panic after the Oregon loss. "When you hit adversity, you have to be really good about the team and understanding better days are coming." Day says the team has "steadied the boat."
  • Day says the team designs plays to put Rossi in the best position possible, and likes his body type at tight end despite it not being prototypical.
  • On Tyleik Williams: "He's had a lot of things he's had to deal with and I have a lot of respect for him as a young man." Day says "either way he'll be on the field."
  • Day says coaches have to embrace criticism to get things fixed, and that issues still exist whether the team wins or loses.
  • On creating turnovers, Day says it's been the secondary and pass rush both stepping up.
  • On Marcus Crowley: "I thought he's ran hard and played hard." Day says it was "encouraging to see" him pick up a third down against Rutgers.
  • In reference to young defensive linemen pushing the veterans, Day says "any time there's competition, it's a good thing."
  • Day says he always watches what is going on in the national landscape, but that his attention is always on Ohio State itself first and foremost.
  • "We've by no means all of the sudden arrived." Day says the team has to continue developing.
  • Day says the team has gone under center more the past couple years and done a lot of two tight end sets, says the "game is cyclical" and that a lot of defenses are now designed to shut down spread offenses.

FB/TE Mitch Rossi

  • Says getting on scholarship was a "really special moment" for his parents when he called to tell them.
  • Rossi says it's "good to be trusted" and thrown into the game early on.
  • Rossi had a meeting with Day and Kevin Wilson after graduating last year about getting on scholarship.
  • Would Rossi rather be called a tight end or a fullback? "Call me whatever you want, man."
  • Both of Rossi's parents are from Ohio and he grew up a "huge fan" of Ohio State. Rossi says he initially came up to visit with Max Wray.
  • Rossi says Ohio State hasn't had a fullback in the offense since Zach Boren, but thinks his involvement is a testament to the work he's done.
  • "I was just glad coach Day trusted me enough to call that play in the game." Rossi says a lot of teammates were excited for him after he scored his touchdown Saturday.
  • Rossi says his Buckeye career has "way exceeded" his expectations. Says he was considering just being a "regular college student" at one point.
  • In his years playing running back, Rossi says he had never run with a fullback. Rossi says fullback blocks are more aggressive and downhill than tight end blocks.
  • Rossi says his fullback role is more of an H-back role than a tight end.
  • Rossi says coach Day is constantly watching film looking for a new wrinkle to add to the offense.
  • On C.J. Stroud: "We don't falter behind him, and every week we think the best guy's in the position to play."
  • Rossi says standing out on special teams is "super important" and that it's been a great way for him to get recognized for more than one skill.
  • Rossi says he always liked watching guys like Mike Alstott play fullback, and that he never hesitates in his approach.
  • Rossi credits C.J. Saunders among other walk-ons that have shown him a path over the years.
  • Rossi says his parents were at Rutgers for the game, and that his dad had "a couple tears" down his eye afterwards.
  • "It's not 'the Mitch Rossi position,' but I'm glad to have it now." Rossi says he doesn't want the hybrid FB/TE role named after him.
  • Rossi cites Justin Hilliard as a big-time recruit that cut his teeth on special teams for years.

LT Nicholas Petit-Frere

  • On playing right tackle a little bit against Rutgers, Petit-Frere says it was fun to be back out there next to Paris Johnson.
  • "Everyone around me is probably some of the best players I've ever played with." Petit-Frere says the whole unit trusts each other.
  • On Matt Jones: "He's just been having great weeks of practice... we always have faith in Matt." Petit-Frere says the group has "all the confidence in the world" in Jones jumping in at guard.
  • On Maryland being tied for the Big Ten lead in sacks: "They have an amazing front seven." Petit-Frere says it may be amongst the best group in college football as a whole.
  • Petit-Frere says this is "probably one of the most unselfish groups we've had here at Ohio State."
  • Petit-Frere says the five-star talent on the Buckeye offensive line doesn't matter, and that it's more the unity and love for one another in the group that makes it a special unit.
  • On Greg Studrawa missing some time due to a back surgery: "We knew that coach Stud was with us the whole way through." Petit-Frere says the OL coach told his group to "revert to your training" while he was gone.
  • Petit-Frere says a lot of guys have stepped up and stepped into vocal roles since the Oregon loss. Petit-Frere says some guys weren't comfortable stepping into that role at first, but now they are.
  • On Mitch Rossi, Petit-Frere says he's "probably one of the better glue guys that we have here on our team."
  • On Matt Jones: "Just his level of dedication to the game." Petit-Frere says he's "grown a lot."
  • On Paris Johnson: "Him being a young guy and stepping into a role like this is one of the most impressive things about our offensive line unit, and maybe about our whole team."
  • On Haskell Garrett blocking an extra point after a Rutgers TD: "We're gonna always fight, we're gonna always compete and we're not gonna waver when something goes wrong."

S Marcus Williamson

  • Says it was second nature to second guess some things when they weren't going his way in terms of playing time. Williamson says it's "human nature to think that I'm the guy."
  • On the distractions that Day alluded to: "This season didn't go how I thought it would go." Williamson said he has had to put his ego to the side this year.
  • On Craig Young: "Craig is a guy that can be used in a lot of roles, and we're glad to have him." Williamson says Young is the biggest defensive back in the room.
  • "I think we have an excellent coaching staff. They coach with intent, they coach with confidence." 
  • "I guess it just comes down to humility." Williamson said "you're only hurting yourself when you put yourself above the team."
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