If an Urban Meyer pep talk can’t get the Buckeyes ready to face Central Florida, he’s hoping that a 9.50″ x 7.31″ mix of plastic, microchips and wire can do the trick.
“Our players have already seen film, so they have a touch of what’s going on with all these iPads floating around here. They have plenty of film to watch,” said the Ohio State football coach.
“You can get up here and babble all you want, but if they see it on film what they’re getting ready to play against, this will be a war and something we have to be ready for, and we will.”
OSU plans to distribute around 1,110 iPads to Buckeye student-athletes within the next two years. Already the school has given around 500 scholarship athletes the device in order to help them with their studies.
And if they also end up studying the playbook? There’s some value in that, too.
“It’s amazing,” said tight end Nick Vannett. “You can always be at home and if you’re not doing anything, just get your iPad and take some notes on the defense and study the film.”
Offensive lineman Reid Fragel loves it so much that within an hour and a half of beating the Miami Redhawks, he was already reviewing the victory, and the next morning he was previewing the upcoming opponent.
“I just wanted to look at a couple things,” Fragel said, adding that Buckeye football players have access to video of complete games, cut-ups and even practice film.
“It’s something guys utilize a lot now. It’s a lot easier to access. You don’t have to drive to the [practice facility].”
However, other players, like defensive back Christian Bryant, actually prefer meeting at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. “I come in here more, just so I can get together with our whole defense and watch it together,” he said.
“I like that better so we can all get a feel of each other and our communication calls throughout the secondary and make sure we’re on the same page.”
That being said, Bryant agreed that the iPad is invaluable on road trips.
Bryant, like all other Buckeye student-athletes, will be required to return their iPad to the school once their time with the Scarlet and Gray is over.
For some, handing back the technology will be easier than others.
Take, for example, defensive John Simon who loves to hit the film room with a notebook. His position coach, Mike Vrabel appreciates the old-school approach.
“I don’t think the film and paper game plan is going to give way to the iPad,” said Vrabel, “but it’s certainly going to enhance our preparation.”
“We do have some guys who are the new-age tech guys who like to…see the picture on the screen and then ago ahead and play the video right behind it,” Vrabel continued. “I think it works both ways.”