With spring football ramping back up at Ohio State this week, the offensive line and the secondary are the first two areas on head coach Ryan Day’s mind.
Then the defensive line. Then the reserve linebackers.
And all of those positions follow the quarterbacks, of course.
“I like the way the corners are playing,” Day said. “We’ll see how the safeties did today (after watching the film), but the depth of the D-line, it’s good to get a couple of guys out there. Now that Tommy (Eichenberg) is not gonna be practicing here this spring, it will be good to get some other guys going at linebacker.
“But those are the areas that we’ve got to really do a great job.”
The tests are just beginning for the offensive line with Tuesday being the first day of spring in pads, but Day said he likes what he has seen from redshirt freshman Carson Hinzman as he competes with transfer Victor Cutler at center.
With Cutler still learning the offense, Hinzman could have an early lead in the race to replace Luke Wypler, but Day said he expects Cutler to come on later in the spring.
The coach offered no update on the status of the competition between Tegra Tshabola and Zen Michalski to be the new No. 1 right tackle, but he predicted he would have more information to work with after a hard practice involving some run game drills and a full-contact scrimmage set for Saturday.
“I think coming off the week, we’ll have a better feel for it, but so far there’s been some good thing and some things that we want to get better at certainly, but we’ll take a look at the film today with the pads on because when we don’t have pads on, it’s very difficult. I think guys have to take care of each other, learn how to practice without pads the first two days, but we had them on today, and there was a lot of good things out there.”
As for the quarterbacks, Day did not divulge much about how he sees the competition between Kyle McCord and Devin Brown so far.
Most important is just that they are competing.
“I think that they’re doing a good job,” Day said. “I think the one thing that I can appreciate about both of them is their work ethic, their intelligence level, and it’s been fun to get up there and see them now take the reps with the (first team).
“Because when you’re when you’re taking the reps to the 2s and the 3s, it’s a little bit different, especially in season, but now they’re getting pushed up there. And we’ll see as we continue to go. We haven’t even put third down (play packages) in yet. We haven’t put in any of that stuff in, so we’ll see, but so far I’ve just got to kind of like their mentality. And I think that the team believes in them, and I think that’s important as well.”
Day did not name any names on the defensive line, but he said he is looking for consistency there as coach Larry Johnson tries to fill out his depth chart from five through eight or more.
“Consistency over a whole spring, I think that’s one of the things about playing the D-line that’s probably talked about not enough,” Day said. “Sustaining the certain level of play for an extended period of time, you know, play seven, eight and nine of a drive. Playing into the fourth quarter.
“You want to see the ability of guys to make plays and flash and that’s great, but can you consistently put days back to back? Can you consistently put plays back to back over time? And and that’s what we need.”
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