Before Buckeye Nation turned it’s eyes to shootyhoops on Saturday, the 2012 football team took to the field for it’s first full-pad practice of the spring. Here’s some of the things we’ve learned after three days under Coach Meyer:
Saturday was a chance for the media to meet with the linebackers, and you can find some great footage from Sabino and Shazier after the jump. Coach Meyer has been pretty vocal about Grant needing to fulfill a major role in the defense moving forward, and with Klein dinged up, it’s definitely been his time to shine. Today, in pads, it sounds as if the lights are coming on- some big hits, involved all over the field, and even a pick at one point. For Ohio State to use it’s speed on the outside (Shazier/Sabino), they’ve got to have a runstopper at Mike; Grant looks to be ready to fill that role.
Still a lot of questions about the receivers; is there a “playmaker” in this group? While that question is being sorted out, though, it’s great to hear that TY Williams has gotten past his problem with the drops and is catching everything that comes his way. With his size, he could definitely be a great weapon in the passing game.
While Braxton is still learning the offense, there seems to be a ton of confidence coming from him and he’s been reported as being much more vocal with his team. His passes are much more crisp than in the past, although Coach Herman is still concerned with some of the timing with his reads. Today, though, it sounds like he did a great job in some of the red zone drills. KennyG is the clear #2- Cardale has all the tools, but is still picking things up. Again, check out the videos below- our friend Lori Schmidt makes a great cameo in Coach Herman’s.
The OL remains Mewhort, Norwell, Linsley, Hall and Fragel; although Heuerman is also seeing time. Taylor Decker continues to get great reviews, and many believe that Bobek will also allow the line to shuffle in case of injury without missing much of a beat.
Photos by Josh Winslow
The running backs have been seen as a strength coming into spring practice, and thus far have not disappointed. Hyde has been with the first team pretty often, although Hall is also getting time (even being used in the slot). Boren has dropped weight and has even been called upon to run a bit of wildcat. Rod Smith and Brionte Dunn are excelling as well- and with Rod’s brother visiting today on a recruiting visit, that’s got to be a good thing.
Doran Grant is still at the nickle position and running with the second team- although he also had an interception today.
Meyer’s “Always Compete” philosophy was evident today; numerous chances for guys to go against each other. While the Defense came out on top today (as is to be expected), the offense and offensive players have made flashes that have excited folks who’ve gotten to be at practice. Again, they’re learning a completely different offensive philosophy with key coaching changes- it will be a while before they are firing on all cylinders.
Hankins may be lighter, but he’s no less imposing. If anything, he’s more aggressive and mobile than last season. Simon is being moved around to several positions; mostly, it seems, as they find the way to best use his talent and abilities. In addition, until Williams returns, experience is needed in the rush end position.
Several of the rookies are standing out: we mentioned Dunn and Decker, but there are numerous reports that Se’Von Pittman is already creating a name for himself with his play. Jacoby Boren has also received praise for his hard work; Coach Meyer called him a “hard nut”.
The Buckeyes are off until Monday; there’s sure to be some guys dinged up after the first day of hitting, so the respite will do them good. This will also allow the coaching staff to focus on the huge recruiting weekend they have begun- we’ll have updates for you on this as news breaks.