The Ohio State football program broke its silence Friday with acting head coach Ryan Day sending out a letter sharing fall practice updates.
As the university investigates head coach Urban Meyer, who was placed on paid administrative leave on Aug. 1, Ohio State suspended all interviews with players and coaches on Aug. 2 “until further notice.”
Day provided updates on each of the nine position groups while the Buckeyes near their Sept. 1 game against Oregon State. Here are some important takeaways.
At quarterback, Day acknowledged that Ohio State has collectively “zero collegiate starts” in the position room and said both redshirt sophomore Dwayne Haskins and redshirt freshman Tate Martell have been taking the majority of the reps in practice. Day also said freshman Matthew Baldwin, who is recovering from an ACL injury, will not be 100 percent for another few weeks.
At wide receiver, Day said interim position coach Brian Hartline has “embraced” his role in leading a veteran room. He also called the tight end room “deeper and has a chance to be stronger than last year.”
On the offensive line, Day said redshirt senior Brady Taylor, redshirt freshman Josh Myers and junior Michael Jordan have each been taking snaps at center, adding the line as a whole has raised its competition in the battle for starting spots. He also said the development of fifth-year senior guard Malcolm Pridgeon has been a “bright spot” during fall camp.
Day called Ohio State’s depth at the defensive line position the strongest on the team.
Day said sophomore Baron Browning and junior Justin Hilliard are battling for the starting middle linebacker position while sophomore Tuf Borland recovers from an Achilles injury.
Led by Taver Johnson, the cornerbacks coach who Day says “is really enjoying being a Buckeye coach again,” the interim head coach said junior Damon Arnette and junior Kendall Sheffield “are poised to continue the tradition of great Buckeye CB play.” Day also mentioned sophomore Jeffrey Okudah who is “coming along well” after being sidelined with an injury in spring practice.
Under first-year safeties coach Alex Grinch, Day said sophomore Isaiah Pryor, sophomore Jahsen Wint, sophomore Brendon White and sophomore Amir Riep are in the mix for the second starting safety job alongside junior Jordan Fuller.
Day said fall camp ends on Saturday with a scrimmage and practice and preparation for the regular season will begin Tuesday when classes begin.