Quarterback Braxton Miller’s alarm clock went off at 4:30 this morning. Buckeye assistant Tom Herman called about ten minutes later to make sure he was up. However, the real wake up call came at 5:45. That’s when Ohio State’s veteran football players started the first practice of “Camp Meyer.”
Head coach Urban Meyer had promised a vigorous training camp, and day one, at least, seemed to deliver with several players saying their opening workout had a lot of “juice.” (Juice is apparently a term being tossed about quite a bit by the OSU strength staff.)
After that Miller, Bradley Roby, Garrett Goebel and Carlos Hyde met with the media at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.
Here’s what we learned from those interviews…
- Defensive back Bradley Roby now wears number 1 for the Buckeyes, and he called this upcoming season a “redemption year,” pointing out the Scarlet and Gray underperformed last season. (He wasn’t the only OSU player disappointed with last year. More on that in a bit.)
- Roby added five pounds this summer to reach 191, and he twice ran a 4.31, 40-yard dash. He pointed out that he ran it twice so we wouldn’t think it was a fluke. He also informed us his previous best was a 4.4.
- When asked the difference between the first practice this season and last, Roby answered that it was crisper now and credited the intensity of the coaches.
- There’s a new role in store for Roby this fall. He’s going to be one of the kick returners. He doesn’t want to stop there. “I always tell coaches that I can player receiver. One of these days they’re going to put me on the other side. I just need the ball in my hands, really.”
- Roby on quarterback Braxton Miller: “He just has that game-changing ability. You never know when he could break a long run. I feel like he’s probably one of the best scramblers since Michael Vick.”
- Miller seemed a lot more comfortable talking to the press today. He even interacted with the reporters with several playful back-and-forth exchanges. Still, he demurred when told Roby compared him to Vick. He laughingly suggested he’d need to talk to Roby about that. Then when pressed about which quarterback he might want to emulate, Miller said Cam Newton.
- Miller said when he ran into problems last year, it was because he had gotten too anxious. He thinks he’ll improve in that area this season because he understands the game better, especially when it comes to getting a pre-snap read of the opposing defensive front.
- When it came to receivers who’d had a big offseason, Miller felt there were two: Devin Smith and Corey “Philly” Brown.
- Calling Jordan Hall’s injury the result of a freak accident, Miller hoped that Hall defies odds and is back for game one.
- If Hall is out, Carlos Hyde is liable to see more playing time. Hyde has lost some of what Miller called Hyde’s “jelly fat.” Far from being offended when informed of his teammate’s remark, Hyde raved about offseason workouts. They helped him drop down from 240 pounds to 235. Coaches were asking him to try to get to 232. Hyde’s most recent 40-yard dash, in case you’re curious, was a 4.45.
- For all the talk about Miller being more of a vocal leader now that he’s a sophomore, Hyde still feels like Braxton let’s his actions speak louder. It’s not a criticism. “He still does his part,” Hyde insisted.
- Hyde’s disappointment over last season was palpable. He said he never wanted to transfer, but felt last year was a roller coaster. When his playing time started to dip, he was frustrated by the fact that he never really received an explanation, but teammates did encourage him to stay patient.
- Another reason Hyde is happy to turn the page is he’s now on the same page with the offensive staff. He’s really pleased that the philosophy now is to score as many points as possible. “Big plays, just long plays, those plays you see on ESPN’s Top Ten plays, expect that,” he told fans.
- After nursing an ankle injury this spring, Hyde feels he needs to prove to Coach Meyer that he can be a physical back. “I’m going to show them what I’m really capable of, getting out there and–I don’t want to say hurt anybody, because those are my teammates–but let them know they have to tackle me”
- According to OSU spokesperson Jerry Emig: “Sophomore Chase Farris practiced in a scarlet jersey with the offensive linemen today.”