Presser Bullets: Ryan Day Sees "Very High Ceiling" For Jelani Thurman, Wants Offensive Linemen to Step Up And Discusses Injuries to Steele Chambers and Xavier Johnson

By Griffin Strom on April 7, 2023 at 12:05 pm

Ohio State closed its penultimate week of spring camp with a hard-fought practice at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center Friday.

The Buckeyes opened up more than an hour of their 11th spring practice to media members, who watched the scarlet and gray go head-to-head in 7-on-7 action and situational 11-on-11 drills on Friday morning.

After practice, Ryan Day held a brief interview session to discuss his overall thoughts on the day, what he wants to see from both the quarterback position and offensive line moving forward and the recovery timeline for both Steele Chambers and Xavier Johnson, who have both suffered recent injuries.

We took notes on everything Day said below.

Ryan Day

  • Overall thoughts on the day: "It was good today. That's about what we wanted to get done with the practice. A lot of back and forth. We had some different situations there, first down, red-zone pass, third down, short-yardage, red zone." Day says the Buckeyes "competed well" and now need to get some rest over the weekend.
  • On offensive line rotation and pulling players out after committing false start penalties, Day says "there has to be consequences for making mistakes. We try to simulate the game as best we can. Just to make a mistake and think it's gonna be OK doesn't work. If there's a penalty, there's a lap, get them out of the game. On both sides of the ball."
  • On coaching the quarterbacks harder on Friday than he has previously this spring, Day says "we had some fun today. I liked the way the quarterbacks competed. ... I was getting after them today but they both embraced it. I thought it was fun, we had a blast."
  • On Jelani Thurman losing his black stripe: "(He's) working hard. He's out here every day, shows toughness. He kind of got banged up a little bit but continues to practice. He has a very high ceiling."
  • On Steele Chambers' injury: "He'll have a procedure done but he'll be back for the preseason and should have a pretty good summer."
  • Day says Xavier Johnson, who was wearing a boot and on a scooter at practice, will likely be out longer than Chambers, but that "we'll have him for summer, it's not gonna be something that affects him in the preseason."
  • Day says he isn't ready to say Carson Hinzman has locked down a starting spot at the center position just yet.
  • On QB play, Day says "today was a step in the right direction. I liked the way they competed today, took the classroom to the field. And again, if they're gonna let us coach them hard like that, then they're gonna get better faster."
  • Day says it's "hard to tell" where Ohio State is at on the offensive line. "I think there's some good things going on, but we need some guys to step up."
  • On Victor Cutler, Day says he's making "good progress" but is still adjusting to practicing at Ohio State on a day-to-day basis. Day says eventually he'll look up and see a lot of improvement made by Cutler.
  • Day says Dallan Hayden is "becoming a really good back" and "building" in his pass protection ability.
  • Day says there are times in evaluating Kyle McCord and Devin Brown when he sees them doing things that his previous QBs weren't doing at this stage of development, but that other times he thinks they're "a little behind."
  • Day says he wants to see "starter-level play" from the offensive line. "We grade every play and we want them to grade out a champion."
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