Less than 24 hours after news broke that redshirt-senior running back Rod Smith had been dismissed from the Ohio State football team, coach Urban Meyer closed the door on a potential return to the team during the Big Ten teleconference.
Meyer also addressed the College Football Playoff rankings — which are set to be released Tuesday at 7 p.m. — and talked about the status of redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett, who he said suffered a sprained MCL against Penn State over the weekend.
Rod Smith Updates:
- Just a matter of minutes before going on the teleconference, Meyer released a statement regarding Smith’s departure from the team: “Rod Smith has left the Ohio State football team in order to deal with some personal issues. We will continue to support Rod and we wish him the best.”
- When asked if Smith could potentially return to the Buckeyes, Meyer said “no.” He added Smith will stay on scholarship and said he is on track to graduate in the summer.
- Meyer said Smith has “had issues really since he’s been at Ohio State…It is disappointing, but we wish him well.”
- He said the rest of the running backs “just gotta stay healthy” without Smith in the lineup. Meyer added redshirt-sophomore running backs Bri’onte Dunn and Warren Ball are players who might have to make bigger contributions.
College Football Playoffs
- Meyer said he plans to look at the rankings tomorrow, but said he won’t watch the selection show tonight due to practice. “Tonight’s a heavy gameplan night, so I won’t watch it,” he said.
- He said he hasn’t kept a close eye on the process, added he doesn’t think there’s much difference from the BCS rankings, just “four teams instead of two teams.”
- Meyer said he has not spoken with the people involved with the process about how the College Football Playoff selection will work.
J.T. Barrett Updates
- Meyer said he wrote a note to Barrett’s parents with some DVDs of their son playing. “I think those ought to go in a shoebox somewhere,” he said.
- He said Barrett is “just a very serious guy who handles his business on and off the field.”
- He said he knows Barrett now, but didn’t a year and a half ago.
- Meyer on Barrett’s play against Penn State on Saturday: “It was a tough gritty performance, it wasn’t a great performance.”
- Meyer said Barrett is “getting treatment, and he’s gonna play.”
- He added he’ll “know more today” and said the trainers told him Barrett will be “somewhat limited today and full go tomorrow, on Wednesday.”
The Buckeyes are scheduled to return to the field on Saturday against Illinois at Ohio Stadium. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m.