Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer said this would be a “make or break” week for his Buckeyes. So with the week almost over, how did defensive backs coach Kerry Coombs think the team had progressed?
“Well, I think the kids are surviving, and I think that’s an awesome thing,” Coombs observed. “I’ve coached for a long time and I’ve never seen a training camp this tough, this hard, this physical, this demanding. It’s very exciting to watch how our kids respond. We have great kids.”
The bottom line for Coombs? “I don’t think you can break them.”
Running backs coach Stan Drayton was similarly impressed. “They’ve answered the bell,” he agreed. “I love the way our kids have responded.”
Friday marked the end of two-a-days for the Scarlet and Gray. Saturday the Buckeyes will practice for the last time at Ackerman field.
- Adam Bellamy has left the team for family reasons, but defensive line coach Mike Vrabel said they’d like to have him back if that personal situation is resolved.
- This is a banged up bunch. Among the players we’ve been told are nursing bumps and bruises up are Armani Reeves, Michael Bennett, Michael Thomas, John Simon, and Jake Stoneburner. Adam Griffin may be out for some time with what was described as a “substantive” shoulder injury. OSU confirmed that freshman offensive lineman Joey O’Connor will have to redshirt this season after having surgery on his left knee this week, and Zach Domicone tweeted this today…
- Some good news on the injury front when it came to Jordan Hall, though. Despite the fact that he’s still wearing a walking boot, Drayton confirmed that Hall is likely on pace to reach his goal of playing in Week Two.
- Coombs stressed how important it is for the Buckeyes to have depth at cornerback. “Corners can’t play 75 snaps a game. We’ve got to be able to be out there and be fresh and be ready to go,” he said. He added that he would need four high-caliber players rotating at the position in order for him to feel comfortable. How many do they have? “We have three guys who are game ready. We do not have enough, so we’re continuing to work on our depth.” The three players Coombs has confidence in right now are Travis Howard, Bradley Roby, and Doran Grant.
- Reid Fragel said that he and Taylor Decker continue to split time at right tackle.
- Fragel, by the way, has his weight up to 310 pounds, Chris Carter is down to 340, Adam Homan told us he dropped 15 pounds from 260 to 245. “It’s a lot more appealing for us being out and being regular people also,” Homan joked.
- Carlos Hyde had told us that he hoped to show the coaching staff this fall that he was a much more physical back than they thought he was. Judging by Drayton’s reaction today: mission accomplished. Drayton also praised Hyde’s leadership and grasp of the offense in saying that he’s stepped up in the absence of Jordan Hall. That grasp of the offensive gameplan is what is holding Rod Smith back at this point, we were told.
- Drayton is holding off on naming a second-string running back, at the same time that wide receivers coach Zach Smith is refusing to say what his plans are beyond professing to be very pleased with Devin Smith and Philly Brown.
- Smith did also point out that Tyrone Williams has completely turned things around the past week or so, and it’s caught the attention of all the coaches. Oh, and, yes. It is Tyrone now, not T.Y.
- Finally, Smith confirmed that Jake Stoneburner started meeting with the wide receivers on an occasional basis in the spring. The fact that he’s now with them full time basis is kind of cosmetic, Smith insists. “He’s always been an athletic receiving tight end. Not a whole lot changed.”
PLUS TWO FOR MEYER:
- My co-worker, Alicia Barnhart, did a really nice job of giving you a sense of the atmosphere over at the Woody Hayes Athletics Facility today, and she has audio from all of today’s speakers.
- Backup running back Bri’onte Dunn was found not guilty of disorderly conduct charges today.