clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Urban Meyer says Ohio State's running back battle is 'neck-and-neck'

Mike Weber and Bri'onte Dunn are competing for the starting RB role this fall.

Now with a few weeks of spring practices under their belts, the Buckeyes are inching toward the season, and filling in spots on the depth chart. Urban Meyer took some time to talk to the media following Tuesday's practice, and gave updates on several injuries, how position competitions are shaking out and which newcomers could stand out this fall.

* The running back position is one of the biggest voids that needs filled following Ezekiel Elliott's departure for the pros. Meyer noted Bri'onte Dunn -- who missed practice due to class -- is neck and neck with Mike Weber for the starting role, and that freshman running back Antonio Williams could be the first one in his class to have his black stripe removed from his helmet.

* Meyer noted that the D-line was the area of most concern, but added that Michael Hill and Sam Hubbard are doing good and Jalyn Holmes is coming along, so their focus will probably shift over to the O-line now.

* He noted that they were really concerned with offensive line, but that Michael Jordan really stood out at Saturday's scrimmage, and showed a lot of energy, along with Isaiah Prince. "Isaiah Prince is doing better and better and so is Jamarco Jones", there are a few players who are close to rounding out the starting five on the line, noting too that Demetrious Knox is close, but rolled his ankle Saturday.

* Saturday's scrimmage saw a lot of young talent take the field, and some players to stand out for Urban Meyer included: Davon Hamilton, Sam Hubbard, Jalyn Holmes, Austin Mack and Michael Jordan.

* Michael Jordan impressed so much that he took first team reps at practice Tuesday. Meyer got animated when talking about Jordan's love for the game -- whether it's on the right or left -- and how he comes in for extra work, enjoys the game, enjoys the work and that the head coach is "really impressed by him".

* Joe Burrow was "just OK" during the scrimmage, but noted there was some issue with pressure due to the right guard missing a block, and that four of their top receivers are out with injuries right now. Meyer and coaches are still trying to assess what the young quarterback can bring to the offense.

* Meyer was asked about last season's quarterback competition compared to this year, and despite what he enjoys, he'd rather have four quarterbacks to choose from, rather than a given starter. The team likes to have four scholarship quarterbacks on roster, and he says college football learned a valuable lesson in 2014 when the Buckeyes won with their third signal caller.

* On the thin wide receiver group heading into the season, Meyer says a lot of guys have potential, but that's only a positive thing for the first few months. After six months if you're still saying a guy has potential, that means he's not living up to it and either he or the coaches aren't doing enough to get that to evolve.

* DL Donovan Munger was noted as having some health concerns, and is not practicing due to a potential blood clot issue, which will be re-checked soon. Meyer said that the team doesn't know enough yet to make any further decisions.

* Next Saturday, the Buckeyes host their student appreciation practice, one of Urban Meyer's favorite events. "Oh, I love it, don't ever forget about the students," Meyer quipped. "The minute you forget about thanking them, the minute people feel unappreciated." It trickles down to alumni and boosters, it's an important vibe to put out.

* In lieu of the press conference scheduled to discuss upcoming renovations for the Horseshoe, Meyer was asked about the importance of state-of-the-art facilities. He noted that it's important for the current players and is also a big part of recruiting. He promises these incoming players that they will get the very best academic support, the best nutrition and the best locker room. Specifically on the Horseshoe, he thinks "the 'Shoe is as fine a facility as there is," also noting that he wasn't here during the last renovations, but that they did a "wonderful job."