Fall Practice Rundown

Written August 13th, 2010 by Eric

Orhian Johnson closely follows Sanzo

Fall camp always seems to produce the juiciest news of the year and this year has been no different.  For the next couple weeks I will be scouring the Buckeye-sphere for all the interesting tidbits to share.

So far there has been almost nothing but good news coming out of the WHAC.  Obviously the loss of Duron Carter plus the confusion regarding TE Nic DiLillo’s situation stings a little, but everything else has been overwhelmingly positive thus far.  Let’s take a look.

Offense

  • Mike Adams and Andrew Miller are continuing their battle for the starting Left Tackle spot.  The positive spin on this is that we have 2 interchangeable players at the position in case of injuries or exhaustion.  The negative spin is that neither player has displayed enough to put them over top of the other.  The rest of the line goes LG: Justin Boren, C: Mike Brewster, RG: Bryant Browning, RT: JB Shugarts.  Surprising, right?
  • The offensive line is (hopefully) starting to look better than it has since before the 2006 (and perhaps earlier) season.  That may have something to do with the experienced, talented blood we now have on the line; it may also have to do with having to defend beasts like Cameron Heyward, Nathan Williams, and their ilk on a daily basis in practice.  All we know, though, is that the offense was able to move the ball effectively during practice and seemed to give Pryor plenty of time in the pocket to find open receivers.

  • Speaking of Pryor, last season’s PCL injury may have actually been a blessing in disguise.  Given his inability to escape the pocket easily (despite evidence to the contrary) Pryor may have been forced to stand tall and really think about his throws.  The end result is a quarterback who is much more confident in his arm this season than last.  Perhaps a corner has been turned?
  • Taurian Washington is putting in the effort to be a better receiver, repeatedly practicing catching with a team manager while the other receivers perform separate drills in practice.  Obviously it’s too early to get excited about T-Wash, at least until we see him catching passes during a real game, but the fact that he has rededicated himself to solving the problem gives some hope for his future development.
  • T.Y. Williams is a monster.  He’s #18 in that picture below.  That is all.

photo by Josh Winslow

  • Jamaal Berry is making waves in practice, as is Carlos Hyde.  Berry is showing good toughness with his running.  Not surprisingly, so has Hyde, but Hyde has also displayed a talent for avoiding big collisions (h/t T. Gerdeman @ the Ozone).  That kind of skill is only going to help keep Hyde on the field and prevent injury to our finally deep tailback rotation.
  • As for Rod Smith, we still haven’t seen a practice sighting yet.  I have to wonder if the coaching staff is simply masking their concerns now, or if he legitimately is having trouble physically making it to Columbus.  If he does make it, it’s likely that the chances of him redshirting his first year increase significantly with each day of fall camp he misses.
  • Andrew Norwell and David Durham probably don’t like each other anymore, if they ever did.  Kudos to Norwell for fighting hard.  That’s definitely the kind of attitude we need on the O-line.

Defense

  • Despite the better look of the offensive line this season, the first play of fall camp saw Cameron Heyward destroy Mike Adams on the corner.  Heyward is clearly ready to get after it this season.
  • Tyler Moeller is so excited to be on the field that he’s even being told by the coaching staff to slow down.  The day before full pads went on he couldn’t contain himself and laid a bell-ringer on DeVier Posey.  He’s going to be a vicious defender this year at the Star position.
  • It’s rumored that Chimdi Chekwa is starting to look for the ball while in coverage.  Whomever got him to start doing this deserves a raise.
  • I’m a little worried about Devon Torrence.  His man coverage skills seem a little weak as he apparently would resort to holding during one-on-one drills.  That is going to have to stop if we want to be able to control the passing game.
  • The current heir-apparent to Kurt Coleman‘s spot is strong safety Orhian Johnson, who you may remember competently replacing Coleman during the Indiana game last season.  It seems like Johnson is being particularly vocal this year in the backfield and will likely

    Hankins will run you over and not look back.

    become an important leader of the team come Big Ten season.  Keep in mind, Johnson’s only a Sophomore!

  • Jermale Hines has officially made the switch to Free Safety after playing star the last couple seasons.  This is a good fit for him, especiallyafter he temporarily replaced Anderson Russell last season at FS and proved his mettle.
  • Johnathan Hankins is a big big boy and has already started to make a name for himself as the third string DT behind Dexter Larimore.  Unfortunately he has poor stamina and can’t stay on the field for more than a few plays at a time.  I’m sure this is something that Coach Lichter will fix in due time.

The good bit of this info comes from our compatriots at The Ozone and Eleven Warriors, both of whom have been doing a fantastic job keeping up with all of the news coming out of practices this year.  Here are a couple of other things worth your time.

  • Buckeye Football Analysis – one of the single best Ohio State sports sites for play breakdowns and discussion – posted an article on the development of the infamous Dave play that is worth a look.  Of greater interest, however, is the post of the 2002 OSU offensive playbook.  Commence fan-boy drooling.
  • Our Honor Defend continues his annual summer look at the OSU signees.  His breakdowns of how the recruitment went, and other miscellaneous details, are always worth a read.  Links to all of the previously covered signees are at the bottom in the “Better Known” table.
  • Last but not least, Men of the Scarlet and Gray is running a series of season preview videos.  Those should take the edge off the need-for-football jitters.
  • As always, Super Special thanks to Josh Winslow for allowing use of his excellent photographs.

1 Comment

  1. JimNo Gravatar
    August 13th, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Jermale Hines called Orhian Johnson the “most athletic player on the team”… when he was reminded that Terrelle Pryor was also on the team, he said the two are close athletically.

    Question marks at LT? Mike Adams is looking great.

    Question marks at SS? Orhian Johnson is the most athletic player on the team and is a natural leader and signal caller due to his time at QB in HS.

    Pyror? More humble and a team leader.

    Are there any other question marks? I don’t know, but yeah, encouraging news all around.

    [Reply]

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