Presser Bullets: Ryan Day Wants “More Structure” With NIL And Transfer Policies, Issues Ohio State Roster Updates At Big Ten Media Days

By Griffin Strom on July 27, 2022 at 4:40 pm
Ryan Day

Ryan Day was available for media members for nearly a full hour as Big Ten Media Days wrapped up in Indianapolis Wednesday afternoon.

The Buckeye head coach had already spoken to reporters in a brief scrum prior to his on-stage press conference at Lucas Oil Stadium, but he closed out the day with one final interview session – his longest of the day.

With Ohio State opening up preseason camp in a week's time, there was plenty to ask Day about, and we took notes about all of it below.

Ryan Day

  • "There's no other place better than Ohio State to be head football coach."
  • Asked about the $13 million figure he requested from Ohio State boosters and Columbus business owners recently, Day says "the potential is off the chart" for NIL opportunities. "You have to do the best you can to project out what you think is right for your team. We're gonna be great advocates for our players."
  • Day says he was out on the golf course with UCLA head coach Chip Kelly this summer when they both got a text and found out they will soon be in the same conference. Day says he doesn't look forward to playing against a "close friend" in Kelly.
  • On NIL collectives, Day says the Buckeye program has to adapt to the changes going on in the college sports landscape. "Part of adapting are these collectives."
  • On the Michigan loss: "We had to sit on that for a calendar year, and that's not good. We don't want to go through that again." Day says that "everyone in the building is reminded of that game," but that the program must also move forward.
  • "I just think there needs to be more structure involved" with transfer rules and NIL in college football.
  • Day says there are nights where he "doesn't really sleep very well" because he "doesn't know what's coming" with all the changes in college athletics.
  • Day says "it showed" how young the Buckeyes were last season, and that experience should pay off in 2022.
  • Day says there were plenty of moments in the spring where the Ohio State defense under Jim Knowles gave him what he was envisioning. Day says the group is "edgy," and "that's how it should be."
  • "When you change a defense as drastically as we have, a lot of people want to see what it looks like."
  • On losing out on several high-profile recruiting battles on defense as of late: "I think our defensive guys have done a really good job recruiting, they're hustling like crazy, they're working at it."
  • Day says Tommy Eichenberg, C.J. Hicks and Chip Trayanum all did really well this offseason, and that he won't know who the starters at linebacker are until the start of the year.
  • It will be an "electric atmosphere" when Notre Dame comes to Columbus to play Ohio State in the season opener. Day says Notre Dame has "unbelievable tradition."
  • Day says he spends 80-85% of his time on things that aren't related to actual football.
  • Day says the Buckeyes named Mark Pantoni the "general manager" of the Buckeye program this year, and that the position will take on an even bigger role moving forward.
  • Day says "I don't think C.J. Stroud was the problem" in Ohio State's two losses in 2021. "He's a very good leader. In the offseason he has recognized that it takes everybody. ... I think his best football's ahead of him."
  • Last year's season opener on the road against Minnesota was a "really, really scary game" given the inexperience of Ohio State's roster. Day says it's similar to this year's Notre Dame game, but the Buckeyes have a lot more experience.
  • Day has "a lot of respect for Marcus (Freeman) as a coach, as a former Buckeye."
  • "Jaxon (Smith-Njigba) is a special player." Day says his ball skills and spatial awareness are "off the charts" and that he's also tough and competitive.
  • Day thinks a two-year commitment for college football players "would be healthy" for the sport. "We've been dealing with the one-time transfer rule since I got to Ohio State, if you think about the guys who have come and gone."
  • On Lathan Ransom, Day says the third-year safety will "ease into it" after suffering a leg fracture in the Rose Bowl. But Day says Ransom will be close to 100%, health-wise.
  • On the concept of toughness, Day says it's about being able to maintain "competitiveness stamina" throughout an entire season. Day says the Buckeyes have to be more consistent all throughout the season.
  • Day says the Rose Bowl was big for Ohio State to come back and win despite missing four of its best players.
  • Day says Ohio State can't have "long faces at halftime" of games in which they aren't up big early in 2022. Day says that type of thing happening in 2021 is why the program has focused so much on leadership over the offseason.
  • On TreVeyon Henderson: "As a freshman running back, he had a heck of a season." Day says he likes what he's seen from Miyan Williams and Evan Pryor as well this offseason.
  • Day says the Buckeye defense is "creating confusion" for the offensive line right now.
  • Day says Jim Knowles "sees the bigger picture" and doesn't just care about winning a particular drill. Day says Knowles will coach from the field this season.
  • "I know that they're looking hard at adding other teams and Notre Dame brings a lot to the table. I'll leave that to those guys. ... I'm trying to beat Notre Dame."
  • Day says the Buckeyes are gonna do whatever they can to beat Notre Dame in the season opener, but will explore some other personnel packages as the season goes on. "We do have a lot of guys to get the ball to."
  • Day says the veteran maturity and confidence level of Ronnie Hickman is "just off the charts."
  • "There were just certain things you saw" in the spring that were "really good" on defense. Day says the defenders have put a lot of extra work in over the offseason.
  • On the Buckeye defense: 'It's a system, it's not just a lot of defenses." Day says if there's a certain play that's beating someone over and over, Knowles has the tools to adapt to that play on the fly and stop it.
  • Day says "I think we're doing better than most" when it comes to retooling the Ohio State roster year and staying afloat amid all the changes in the college sports landscape.
  • Day "never felt" that there was a toughness issue with the Buckeye roster last season. Day says the Buckeyes got after Michigan State up front but couldn't do the same thing the next week.
  • On Zach Harrison, Day says "he looks great, we're expecting a big year from Zach." Day says "he looks awesome."
  • On the backup quarterbacks, Day says Kyle McCord has "really done a lot this offseason." Day says Devin Brown has "shown a lot of good things in his first six months."
  • Day says USC transfer kicker Parker Lewis is dealing with an eligibility issue which he's hoping will be resolved within the next week. But "we don't know for sure."
  • Day says the Buckeyes haven't yet figured out if Tim Walton or Perry Eliano will coach from the box in 2022.
  • Day says he's hoping Ohio State can "get a little more push inside" with Matt Jones and Donovan Jackson playing at guard in 2022. Day says Paris Johnson Jr. and Thayer Munford were built more like tackles.
  • On first-year standouts, Day says players like Kye Stokes, Devin Brown and other early enrollees have gotten an extra step on those that didn't.
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