Presser Bullets: Ryan Day Says Ohio State Needed “Fresh Start” on Defense in 2022, Says Sevyn Banks Will Move on From the Program

By Griffin Strom on January 31, 2022 at 3:06 pm

For the first time since immediately following Ohio State's Rose Bowl win, Ryan Day addressed members of the media on Monday.

With winter workouts underway at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, National Signing Day approaching on Wednesday and a slew of new coaching hires to introduce, the Buckeye head coach had no shortage of topics to delve into as January draws to a close.

Here's a rundown of everything Day talked about during his 30-minute press conference at the WHAC.

Ryan Day

  • Day says today is the first day in which all of the new Ohio State staff members are together at the Woody.
  • On Marvin Harrison Jr., Day says him catching three touchdown passes in the Rose Bowl was "excellent," and that his blocking was impressive as well.
  • Day says there will be a "great competition" in the quarterback room with Kyle McCord and Devin Brown this offseason.
  • On Jerron Cage, Palaie Gaoteote and other Buckeyes that had yet to announce their intentions about returning next year, Day says "all of those guys will be back."
  • Day says the Buckeyes are still figuring things out at tight end, and that they want to have five on the roster.
  • On new defensive coordinator Jim Knowles, Day says everyone he talked to about him during the hiring process had "phenomenal" things to say. Day says "when this thing is running well, there's a head coach of the offense, head coach of recruiting, head coach of the defense."
  • Day says Knowles will try to maximize the abilities of Ohio State's players while also implementing his defensive scheme.
  • On Tim Walton and Perry Eliano, Day says "having two guys back there with their résumés" will be a great thing for the Buckeyes.
  • Day says there was a lot of carryover at Ohio State when he took over in 2019, but that the new defensive coaching staff he has assembled allows him the chance to have "a little bit of a fresh start." Day says "this will give us the best chance."
  • Day says that along with their new titles, he's giving Brian Hartline and Tony Alford more responsibilities and a bump in pay to recognize what they've accomplished.
  • On bringing in defensive coaches with NFL experience, Day says recruits are often attracted to coaches that have worked with the best players in the country.
  • Day says the Buckeyes are in "a little bit of a tough spot" with roster numbers.
  • Sevyn Banks will be "moving on" from the Ohio State football program, Day says. Day said he will have a meeting with Banks and his mom tomorrow.
  • Day says "I called Tim Walton" when assembling the defensive coaching staff, and not the other way around.
  • On the Bengals going to the Super Bowl, Day says it's exciting for the entire state of Ohio. Day says he's particularly excited to cheer on Joe Burrow, but he's pulling for all the former Buckeyes on the roster. Day says the Bengals have "a real chance to win that game."
  • Day says the Buckeye players have been "chomping at the bit" to figure out what the changes in the defensive scheme will be.
  • On the defensive coaching staff overhaul, Day says "It weighed heavily on me. I felt like a fresh start was the right thing to do." Day says he wanted a system that everyone believed in.
  • Day on hiring Jim Knowles: "I thank Gene Smith for allowing me to go and get the best." Day says Smith "didn't ask any questions" during the process.
  • Day says hopefully playing so many young players on both sides of the ball this past season will pay dividends for Ohio State in 2022.
  • On the new defensive coaches: "We've got some guys in here who know how to develop at a high, high level. It's creating a lot of excitement."
  • On going into the late signing period without much stress, Day says it allows him to focus on the next recruiting class even earlier, which is beneficial.
  • On recent defensive tackle commit Hero Kanu: "I'm very excited Hero's coming. ... Very unique situation coming over from Germany. His ceiling's gonna be really, really high."
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