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Buckeye Bits: NPF taking first-team reps, Justin Fields wants to be the best QB in the nation, more

All of the latest Ohio State news from around the beat and beyond.

Big Ten Football Championship - Ohio State v Wisconsin Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Hope everyone enjoyed their three-day weekend. While today feels like the most Monday a Tuesday could be, it’s made a little easier by the fact that we are now only 11 days away from Ohio State football.

There is lots to talk about today, as we got to hear from Ryan Day and Justin Fields this afternoon as well as quarterbacks coach Corey Dennis. Without further ado, let’s get to today’s headlines.

From around Land-Grant Holy Land...

2022 five-star linebacker talks Ohio State
(Dan Hessler, LGHL)

Ohio State already has an impressive linebacker haul in 2022, but it could become one of the best units the Buckeyes have ever recruited in one class with the addition of this Virginia standout who seems to be at least highly considering hopping on board.

Column: Ranking Ohio State’s most exciting regular season games
(Matt Tamanini, LGHL)

There is a lot to be excited about this fall, even though the Buckeyes will only be playing eight regular season opponents. Matt gives his opinion on which of Ohio State’s games he is most looking forward to, and as you can tell by the comments it is the most perfect list ever created and everyone 100% agrees.

Buckeye Clips: NFL Week 5 highlights
(Gene Ross, LGHL)

Ezekiel Elliott scored two touchdowns against my 0-5 New York Giants, Marshon Lattimore made a game-saving tackle for the New Orleans Saints, and benching Dwayne Haskins did not make the Washington Football Team any better at football (who woulda thought?). Check out the highlights of this week’s NFL action from your favorite Ohio State alums.

From around the gridiron...

As previously mentioned, the Ohio State QB braintrust in Day, Dennis and Fields met with the media on Tuesday. The Heisman Trophy-contending second-year QB was up first.

Fields said he wrote down all of his goals this offseason and then went to work to try and get better to achieve those goals. Heading into year two, he feels he has gotten better in almost every aspect of his game.

Just like you and me, Fields said he cannot wait for the season to start. He and Day have gotten together every weekday Monday through Friday while he was in Columbus during the offseason to go over film and pick Day’s brain about the ideas behind different plays.

He and the rest of the team are still not over the way the season ended last year, but Fields feels as though the whole team has worked that much harder because of that loss to Clemson. Admitting that he may be a tad biased, Fields said he thinks that Ryan Day is the best quarterback coach in the country.

Corey Dennis was on the mic next, and he was asked about the development of the guys behind Fields on the depth chart. He recognizes that with everything going on right now in terms of COVID-19, all of the QBs on the roster must be ready to start because you never know what could happen.

Dennis said both freshman QBs are coming along, but wouldn’t name either one the official backup just yet. He did, however, say that C.J. Stroud, Jack Miller or Gunnar Hoak would be ready to go if they needed them to play in a game tomorrow.

Like Fields before him, he praised Ryan Day’s coaching, and compared Ohio State’s system to that of an NFL offense. On Fields himself, he said that the QB has always been a smart guy, but all the extra time this offseason has really allowed him to build a deep understanding of the offense and improve his craft.

Day was the last to speak on Tuesday, and he talked about how it is an exciting time to be a part of this Ohio State passing game. His goal is to have the Buckeyes’ quarterback in the Heisman race and play his way into a first-round NFL Draft pick.

He and the rest of the staff have noticed how poorly other defenses have looked around the country early on this season, and so they are working hard to prevent that on their own team.

Day said the team has been working on all of the little things, and while Ohio State has a chance to do something special this year, he can't let he and the guys get too ahead of themselves. They have to play smart, take care of the football, and play with toughness.

The second-year head coach talked a bit about his young defense, especially in the secondary. He called Jordan Fuller an “unsung hero” and that his current crop of safeties have “shown flashes” in practices as they look to find his replacement. His biggest area of concern, however, is the depth along the interior of the defensive line.

In perhaps a bit of gamesmanship from Day, he says Ohio State has been toying with the idea of using some two running back sets — an added look opposing defenses will now have to gameplan for. The Buckeyes have no shortage of weapons on offense, and Day says the freshman wide receivers have all made big plays as they continue to improve.

Like everyone else that has spoke to the media this offseason, Day could not have enough good things to say about Justin Fields and everything he has done to improve to this point.

We also may have gotten a little peek into how Ohio State’s only undetermined starting offensive line spot will shake out, as Day says Nicholas Petit-Frere has spent most of his time practicing with the ones. He says that both he and Paris Johnson Jr. will play this season, but specifically discussed how impressed he is with NPF in practice.

Ryan Day feels your pain of Ohio State-less college football Saturday’s, calling it “torture” to have to watch all these other teams play while the Buckeyes are still on the sideline.

In other news, Austin Mack may get his first chance to play a game in the NFL this weekend.

From everywhere else...

J.T. Barrett was a very polarizing player among the fanbase during his time at Ohio State, but it is impossible to deny that he seems like a really kind human being off the field.

The New Orleans Saints are trying to play their games at LSU to get fans into the stands. I don't quite understand the rush to get thousands of people together in a crowd during a pandemic, but then again I don't understand a lot of what happens in SEC country.

Two GOATs discuss their greatness via memes on the internet. 2020.

Apple has solved the problem that millions of iPhone users have been complaining about for eons: the box the phone comes in is too big. Thank you for your service, Tim Cook.