Less than a week away from the Buckeyes taking the field for the Spring Game, Urban Meyer took some time to talk to the media after practice about the players he thinks will stand out and those who have yet to answer the call.
Meyer also noted, that the team had a moment of silence and said a prayer following the tragic loss of former Ohio State player Will Smith, who was fatally shot and killed over the weekend.
"Luke Fickell sent me a text, Fickell knows him as well as anybody. He was very unassuming, didn't expect the world to stop for him. He was a wonderful guy with a wonderful family."
-- On newly named No. 2 quarterback Joe Burrow, Meyer said he's "doing pretty good. I don't think he's quite the athlete that J.T. is right now." Meyer continued that the team would lean on the tailback for now, but that the young signal caller is getting close to being game ready.
-- Meyer said Barrett's development was "outstanding." Since his time at Ohio State, Barrett has never fully participated in spring practice and the spring game -- especially as a starter -- and is finally making use of this year's opportunity. "He's having a great spring," Meyer noted. "He's a fast player, and we need him to play as fast as he can."
-- No. 2 Joe Burrow and No. 3 Stephen Collier will play a little bit live on Saturday, during the spring game. Barrett will play, but they haven't decided how much just yet.
-- When asked who stood out in Monday's practice, Meyer listed, Tracy Sprinkle, James Clark -- who is "really coming on, highly recruited guy with a lot of ability" --, Dre'Mont Jones "had a good day today", and Marcus Baugh.
-- On Sprinkle's development since his off-field issues, "If we think it's a character flaw, we try and move on, but Tracy has grown out of that mess he was in, so they're on probationary status, but you don't just forget it." Meyer also mentioned Marcus Baugh, and how he's stood out this spring despite early issues.
-- Meyer also noted how impressed he was with the players who haven't been able to go full speed on the field, and how they've done all they can to help and prepare with the team, including: Dontre Wilson, Curtis Samuel, Corey Smith and Noah Brown -- Noah "looked really good today on the side".
-- On running backs at the spring game, Buckeyes are currently pass heavy "on purpose", and Bri'onte Dunn and Mike Weber are still fighting it out. No front runner as of yet.
-- On satellite camps, "The biggest thing, which I didn't realize, now the MAC schools can't come here, and probably hundreds of scholarships were earned here. Sometimes there's knee-jerk reaction when people complain, but it's a slippery slope." Meyer isn't not worried about the top players, who will find an opportunity somewhere, but there are a lot of mid-range players that should get a chance. He's waiting until after spring practice to decide whether he wants to pursue this concern at a higher level.
-- Meyer continued about NCAA rules, and noted the new texting rule put in place. The head coach didn't mince words when he claimed it was, "the most ignorant thing I've ever heard in my life." He noted several issues with it already, among obvious loopholes, and how rules should be enacted to help these young athletes.
-- Meyer will make public statements on things he doesn't agree with, because it churns conversations, like it did when he fought for travel help for families during the first year of the CFP. He wasn't sure which of the new rules he might balk at, but will think about it after the spring.
-- On Tim Beck, he was "just OK" last year, but Meyer does expect more from him this year, along with the other offensive coaches.
-- Spring game is "obviously" more important than last year, to see how some of the younger guys -- like Joe Burrow and Mike Weber -- will perform in front of thousands of fans. Meyer plead to fans. The weather should be perfect, and he's hoping to have 100,000 fans in the stands.