Presser Bullets: Malik Harrison Out for Spring, Urban Meyer Updates Progress of Each Position, Says Ohio State Has Four 'Elite' Defensive Ends and More

By Eric Seger on April 4, 2017 at 11:26 am
2017 Spring Preview

Ohio State hit the practice field for the ninth time in 2017, officially in the latter half of its spring slate at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

Cloudy skies and cooler temperatures forced the Buckeyes to work out indoors once again. Urban Meyer met with reporters briefly in the team room after practice ended.


  • On Kerry Coombs saying he wouldn't mind playing "six or seven" cornerbacks, Meyer said "Kerry gets a little excited. We can't play six or seven corners."
  • But the depth at corner helps: "It's amazing what our corners do. Obviously, Coach Coombs, we were very good on defense the last two years and that starts at corner."
  • "The NFL never comes and says 'we want a zone corner.' So that's why our guys when they wake up they go play man and they go to sleep playing man."
  • The defensive line the strength of Ohio State's team. Dre'Mont Jones has turned into "a really nice player."
  • "We'll be as good as anybody in America at defensive end."
  • Joe Burrow still leads at backup quarterback. Burrow is "a little ahead" of Dwayne Haskins and Tate Martell. Said Martell had his best day recently.
  • Ohio State's deep ball percentage is the best it's ever been since Meyer has been here last week. Meyer said they are charting everything: "J.T. and the boys are doing a really good job. We didn't catch all of them but as far as accuracy, it was almost 90 percent."
  • Terry McLaurin "has had his best spring." Austin Mack is battling through a hamstring injury. Ben Victor is dealing with a sore shoulder.
  • Luke Farrell is a little ahead of Jake Hausmann at tight end, which is the most improved unit on the team. Those two trail Marcus Baugh, who is out after a shoulder procedure, and A.J. Alexander, who Meyer said "is really coming on."
  • Demetrius Knox is still running with the first-string offense. Matt Burrell is the most improved offensive lineman.
  • Mike Weber has separated himself from the other guys at running back.
  • Chris Worley is having "a heckuva spring" at middle linebacker. Sophomore linebacker Malik Harrison "is going to play" this fall but is out for the rest of the spring with a shoulder injury, Meyer said. He said Harrison stands off to the side with Baron Browning, who is also out with a shoulder injury.
  • The lone returning starter in the secondary Damon Webb is "having a very good spring."
  • On J.T. Barrett's footwork, he and Ryan Day "are working their tails off" at that part of his game: "You can see that he's really improving."
  • Asked about early enrollees, Meyer said there is at times a numbers crunch and it depends on how many guys go pro and how many graduate in order for the player to be on scholarship. He mentioned Josh Myers, Marcus Williamson and Brendon White as having discussions with their families. He said only one has to pay his own way this far.
  • Are there any other updates on roster attrition to get to the NCAA-mandated 85 scholarship limit? "I don't want to give you anything yet. We will be fine at 85. I think we're right at it."
  • On the kicking game, Sean Nuernberger "is OK" but the starting job is not his due to Blake Haubeil arriving this summer. Focus on field goal comes later this week.
  • Meyer did added Nuernberger "has worked hard" and is in the best shape he has been since coming to Ohio State.
  • The 2015 recruiting class was a "misfit class," but Meyer sees some guys starting to buy in: "That's a good thing."
  • Meyer wanted to do the student appreciation day on Friday night but it didn't work out logistically with this weekend being family weekend: "I'm just trying to keep that thing fresh."
  • Meyer said in his mind Ohio State has four "premier" defensive ends and they're trying this spring to figure out a way to get them all on the field along with Jones at tackle.
  • Have the early enrollees hit a wall yet? "No. Not yet. I just wish that Baron Browning would have stayed healthy and on the field ... They're doing great. I love them."
  • Ohio State has missed on "more than a few" players in offensive line recruiting: "Very disappointed in that. We can't miss again." He added that Michael Jordan, a true freshman, shouldn't have needed to play in 2016.
  • On defensive end Sam Hubbard, Meyer called him "the definition of elite. He's just working and working, shows up every day with the same demeanor, does special teams."
  • "If you have to work on toughness with a lineman, you've made a mistake."
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