With Ohio State holding the first of 15 spring practices Monday, Ryan Day met with reporters for 30 minutes to talk about the state of the team.
He also shared his perspective on a new contract that was approved last week by the Ohio State Board of Trustees.
Here are five takeaways from what Day had to say:
1. He is more excited about the extra years than the money on the new deal.
Day’s total compensation is set to grow from $5.375 million this year to $7.6 million in 2022, but he said a bigger celebration in his house is likely to be held over three years being added to what was originally a five-year deal when he signed it last year.
“Now it goes out to seven years, and that is a long time in college football,” said Day, who changed jobs five times in six years from 2012-2017.
“The people that were the most excited about that were my kids because they knew that they weren’t gonna be the new kid in school for a long time again. That’s the idea, that we’re here for a long time,” he added before thanking the Ohio State Board of Trustees, president Michael Drake and director of athletics Gene Smith.
“I owe everything to (Smith) and obviously Urban Meyer to be in this position because that’s a big deal,” Day said. “That changes our life as a family and we don’t take that lightly. But the number one thing that we’re the most excited about as a family as we get to be in Columbus again for hopefully the next 7-10 years, hopefully 20 years we want to be here as long as we can. We love it here. The kids love the school system. They have a set of friends. Nina loves it here and that’s what’s most exciting about this.”
2. He’s happy with the early enrollees so far.
“They came in here for a reason — to learn and get the spring practice under their belt and they’re learning everything for the first time,” he said of the 14 early-enrollees from the class of 2020.
“It’s a great opportunity to get that going and this is really important for us. They’ve been here now six weeks, so they’re picking it up good, but it’s different once you get on the field.”
3. Two members of last year’s class have switched sides of the ball
Cade Stover, a linebacker from Mansfield Lexington High School who was Ohio’s Mr. Football in 2018, saw time last year at defensive end but has moved to tight end.
Cormontae Hamilton, a native of Memphis, Tenn., who signed as a tight end and redshirted last season has moved to defensive line.
“I think both of those guys have a chance to be really good players for us this year,” Day said. “We looked at their skillset and brought them in and talked them through and suggested that we see a skillset that maybe they don’t see on their own and asked both of them what their input was and both of them are excited about being presented with a new challenge.”
4. Another sophomore is also in a new position that puts him closer to getting on the field.
Harry Miller has done nothing but impress the coaches since he arrived last summer as a five-star from Buford, Ga., so it came as little surprise he was with the first team one the first day of spring ball after a pair of Ohio State offensive linemen ran out of eligibility.
With Miamisburg High School graduate Josh Myers entrenched at center, Miller is getting a look at left guard this spring.
“You know we’re trying to find the best five guys to play,” Day said. “We’ve got Thayer (Munford), Josh and Wyatt (Davis) returning so now we’ve got to find four and five. However that shakes out, we’ve got to try to figure out, but we certainly don’t want to put guys into roles and then not have the best five guys on the field. So we’re going to try Harry at guard and see if he can be four and then figure out you know who plays at right tackle.”
5. Several players are out or limited.
After the first practice, Ohio State published a list of players who are out or limited this spring.
Without elaborating on any of the specific injuries, Day said all should be ready to go by the time preseason begins.
Most notable among those out is Josh Proctor, a junior safety expected to get the first shot to replace Jordan Fuller as the deep safety.
Also out are running back Marcus Crowley, receivers Kamryn Babb and C.J. Saunders and offensive guard Gavin Cupp.
The “limited” group consists of cornerbacks Shaun Wade and Cameron Brown, safety Ronnie Hickman, linebacker Baron Browning, defensive linemen Jonathan Cooper, Jaden McKenzie and Taron Vincent and receiver Jaelen Gill.
Wade, who is moving to outside cornerback after playing slot corner/strong safety last season, took part in a few reps during practice while Browning and Proctor watched the full-squad drills from behind the defense, presumably taking mental reps.
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