Real Pod Wednesdays: Takeaways from the Ohio State Football Coaches’ First Interview Sessions of the Offseason

By Dan Hope and Griffin Strom on February 8, 2023 at 11:35 am
Corey Dennis

We had our first opportunity of the offseason to talk to all of Ohio State’s football coaches last week, and it gave us plenty of early insight into where things stand with the 2023 Buckeyes.

We didn‘t want to avoid the elephant in the room, so we start this week’s episode with a brief conversation on the continued struggles of Ohio State men’s basketball.

The rest of the episode, however, is devoted to sharing our thoughts on everything that stood out to us from last week’s media availability, including what coaches had to say about Ohio State’s impending position battles, why Brian Hartline will likely be the offensive play caller and why James Laurinaitis will have a bigger role than his title suggests, the uncertain future of the Jack position in Ohio State’s defense and Mark Pantoni’s comments about how NIL is changing OSU’s recruiting strategy.

The full rundown of what we’re talking about this week:

  • 0:18: There’s no good way to spin it – things are going poorly for Ohio State men’s basketball right now
  • 2:33: Gene Smith remains committed to Chris Holtmann despite the recent struggles
  • 9:07: Why Ohio State wants to name a starting quarterback after spring practice – and whether the competition is truly a “blank slate”
  • 18:55: It sounds like Ryan Day is almost – but not fully – ready to hand the play-calling reins to Brian Hartline
  • 22:39: Day was more candid than usual when asked about the non-targeting call in the Peach Bowl, and we like that
  • 26:24: Tegra Tshabola and Carson Hinzman might be players to watch in Ohio State’s offensive tackle and center competitions
  • 30:55: Jakob James, Mitchell Melton, Kourt Williams among players who could be hurt by missing spring – but it could be a good thing for backup wide receivers and linebackers to get more reps
  • 35:19: James Laurinaitis appears poised to be far more than the typical graduate assistant
  • 39:38: Larry Johnson scoffs at the notion of retirement – and of moving Caden Curry to Jack
  • 42:48: Ohio State should consider giving C.J. Hicks or possibly even Sonny Styles a look at Jack
  • 45:27: Why it’s valid for Jim Knowles to say he can be more demanding in year two than he was in year one
  • 49:36: Keenan Bailey says there are tight ends on the roster who can play fullback, but Ohio State’s two-tight end sets could look different this year
  • 52:22: Mark Pantoni says Ohio State won’t chase recruits who are primarily focused on NIL, but that doesn’t mean Ohio State is sitting on its hands
  • 1:00:00: Ohio State is four above the scholarship limit right now, but that should work itself out after spring practices

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