On Wednesday morning, exactly one week after he became the third-highest-paid coach in the country, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day made an unexpected offseason appearance on 97.1 The Fan in Columbus.
He discussed a variety of topics during his 12 minutes on the show, including his contact extension, expectations for this year’s team, the challenges of name, image and likeness, the season opener against Notre Dame and more.
Below is a bullet-point recap of what Day had to say:
- On his new contract extension: “There’s just so many people to thank when something like this happens. This is obviously a wonderful place, and like I’ve said before, I want to be here as long as I possibly can and our family loves Columbus, so we are just very blessed and thankful for making something like this possible.”
- Day said they’re still trying to figure out what name, image and likeness is going to look like moving forward, especially given how the rules are enforced. “The biggest challenge is just finding what's right for Ohio State. Right now, there’s a bunch of risk. The risk of doing nothing is that you fall behind, and as we know, that's not an option here at Ohio State. If you're too far out in front of it, you can put yourself at risk in another way.”
- On preseason rankings that have the Buckeyes as one of the top teams in the country: “You look at them, but the last thing we want to see is ourselves on the top of anything (in the preseason) because you have to come in and want to prove yourself every day … We don’t have the ability to trip up at all. We have to start right from the get-go, build as the season goes on and then play our best football at the end of the season.”
- Day said redshirt sophomore quarterback C.J. Stroud has a bullseye on his chest heading into this season. “At this time last year, he hadn’t thrown a college pass and then went on to play some really, really good football as the season went on and got better as the season went on. But just because he did it last year doesn’t mean it’s just going to happen this year … He’s going to have to bring it right from the jump, and there's a lot that comes with that.”
- On how Stroud dealt with the praise and criticism during his first season as a starter: “He’s going a great job of just keeping the main things the main thing, focusing on the little things, staying disciplined and knowing, again, that’s he’s going to have to prove himself every week.”
- Day believes the Big Ten is strong and feels good about where the conference is headed. “I think our conference is strong. I think we have the right mindset heading into the future here.”
- On the conference potentially scrapping divisions and pitting the top two teams in the title game: “It’s interesting in a lot of ways when you play out the last few years. I know Gene (Smith) is in the middle of those conversations. I think we’re well-positioned when you look at our brand and The Ohio State University and what that brings to the table. It means a lot. I think it will be very interesting to see how some of these conversations shake out over the next few months. I think we do need to take a hard look at everything that’s going on right now and make sure we’re doing what’s best for our players and for the schools and for the Big Ten Conference.”
- Day said they’re already prepping for the season opener against Notre Dame on Sept. 3. “At Ohio State, we have to win every game. You can't all of a sudden put so much into one and then lay an egg the next week. But that being said, we’re talking about a top-10 matchup, night game at home. It’s going to be an unbelievable atmosphere, a lot of emotion. We're going to be all over this … It’s a very good team, great program, very good coaching staff. Big challenge, so we’re going to work all summer to make sure we’re prepared to play our best football in that game.”
- On a recent team building activity, where the Buckeyes played paintball: “I think they liked taking a few shots at the coaches, which was good. We had a lot of fun with that. We haven’t done a lot of team stuff coming off of COVID, and that was something that our leadership committee really asked for … The leadership and the brotherhood is going to be important as we head late into the season. This team is going to go as far as our leadership takes us.”
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