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Football: Urban Meyer says Brendon White is fighting for starting safety job in Big Ten teleconference

Urban Meyer looks up at the scoreboard during the second quarter of the game against Nebraska on Nov 3. Ohio State won 36-31. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo Editor

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said in Tuesday’s Big Ten teleconference that sophomore safety Brendon White has earned his way into the rotation for the safety spot opposite junior Jordan Fuller.

Meyer said White would be splitting reps with redshirt freshman Shaun Wade at safety, saying the starting job will be determined through their performances week in practice.

Even though he is not in the  rotation, sophomore Isaiah Pryor will be back healthy against Michigan State and will battle for playing time, according to Meyer,.

“The good news is that I think we are going to be relatively healthy back there,” Meyer said. “We have all three corners and some good depth finally at safety.”

White recorded 13 tackles and two tackles for loss in Ohio State’s 36-31 win against Nebraska, while Pryor was sidelined during the game with a shoulder impingement.

Despite allowing 31 points and 450 yards to a two-win Cornhuskers team, Meyer said he thinks his defense made progress coming out of its bye week after its 49-20 loss to Purdue on Oct. 20.

“So when you ask if we are confident, I will know more after this week, but I thought we took a good step last week,” Meyer said. “Even though we gave up some yards, we are getting better.”

Wyatt Davis to receive more playing time

Meyer continued to praise redshirt freshman offensive lineman Wyatt Davis in the teleconference after earning playing time against Nebraska on Saturday.

The head coach said the offensive lineman is “going to have a fine career” at Ohio State and considers him one of the most-improved players on the roster.

“He did play well, we are hoping to get more involved,” Meyer said. “It’s hard to break up when you have five guys playing together, but he’s the next guy in and he played well in the game on Saturday and deserves more time.”

Meyer also highlighted the fact that all five offensive lineman were graded champion after Ohio State’s five-point win against the Cornhuskers. The Buckeyes recorded 229 rushing yards, the most the team has scored since the Sept. 1 opener against Oregon State, and scored three rushing touchdowns.

Tate Martell is ‘frustrated’

After earning playing time in three of the first four games of the season, redshirt freshman quarterback Tate Martell was considered to be an answer to the struggles of Ohio State’s red zone play. However, he has not received a snap since the Buckeyes’ Sept. 22 win against Tulane.

Meyer said there are still conversations regarding Martell’s role in the offense, but that he is eager to get on the field.

“He’s frustrated, but I mean positive,” Meyer said. “He wants to play. He’s an elite competitor.”

In three games, Martell has completed 82.1 percent of passes for 269 yards, throwing one touchdown. On the ground, the No. 2 dual-threat quarterback in the country, according to the 247Sports composite rankings in 2017, has averaged 6.7 yards per carry, scoring two rushing touchdowns this season.

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