Coaches and players have just over two weeks before their skills are re-assessed by fans during the Spring Game on Apr. 18, and after the latest remarks from Urban Meyer they still have a lot of work to do. With so many position competitions heating up and the upcoming arrival of the 2015 class, this will be the first of many tests players will face.
With words that could pique the interest of OSU fans everywhere, Meyer specifically noted his assessment of the current state of the team: "We're not very good right now. That's alright, in the spring you don't have to be good."
- Ezekiel Elliott tops the list of running backs on Ohio State's roster, but is still recovering from wrist surgery and hasn't participated in contact workouts. Meyer commented on the status of the running back position, "Bri'onte Dunn has got a little momentum going. We're taking a look at Curtis Samuel as a receiver/H-back/running back since Ezekiel has missed some time. He [Samuel] is a guy we are looking at as a Top 5 playmaker for us. The days of Curtis Samuel playing 10 plays are over. It's our job to get him on the field for 40 or 50 plays."
- Meyer followed up on Bri'onte Dunn's momentum, "It is showing on the field. It started with his contributions last year on special teams."
- The Buckeyes were lucky to have 10 playmakers last year, and with Evan Spencer and Devin Smith gone, Meyer isn't sure who will step into their spots and the new order of touches. Although Meyer said that's one of the fun parts of coaching, figuring out who goes where and when. Noah Brown (already down 18 pounds from last season) and Marcus Baugh are vying for their chance to be playmakers this year.
- Wide receiver Michael Thomas will have sports hernia surgery following some issues he's had this off-season, but Meyer assuredly remarked that it shouldn't be a big deal. Former Buckeye star Ryan Shazier had similar surgery in 2013 and was able to make it back for a spectacular senior season.
- And because no Ohio State press conference would be complete without once again mentioning the looming quarterback competition, Meyer was asked about the possibility of having a specialty quarterback. To which he replied, "I don't know about that; you may have a specialty quarterback. I've thought about that a little bit, but I think it's one day at a time. Let's get Braxton healthy, get J.T. some reps and Cardale has still only played three games."
- Meyer was also asked about Braxton Miller's AdvoCare situation, "I shouldn't comment on things I don't know about. Everything looks to be okay."
- Known as one of the better recruiting schools in the country, Meyer was asked his take on the recruiting calendar being moved up, "People are giving out scholarships like Pop Tarts now." And while everyone else started to crave said breakfast treat, he continued, "We look for the best player. I just talked to the team and there are three characteristics we look for: competitor is No. 1; toughness is No. 2 and go hard. And obviously he has to have skill, but if he has those three characteristics, we're recruiting him."
- There are many position competitions in the making, but one of the toughest might instead be the defensive line. Meyer mentioned he'd like to rotate 10 guys, and was unable to do that last year due to lack of depth they had on defense from the young players. Tyquan Lewis is currently running with the first team at defensive end.
- While the defensive line may need some help, Meyer lauded the secondary as an area of strength for the Buckeyes. Both the starters and back-ups were highlighted, and although Marshon Lattimore is not back to full speed, he is close and Meyer has always been a fan. Meyer also likes the depth at the cornerback position and specifically noted Eli Apple and Gareon Conley.
- Representatives and scouts from all 32 NFL teams were in Columbus for Pro day, but Meyer specifically noted that the Cleveland Browns have been thoroughly examining draft prospects and even says, "I like their head coach. He's knee-deep."