Ohio State head coach Ryan Day met with the media for roughly 30 minutes on Thursday morning to discuss the first practice of fall camp.
Day touched on a number of topics, including his expectations for the team during the preseason, where the Buckeyes need to improve before the season opener against Notre Dame and much more.
Below is a bullet-point recap of everything Day had to say:
- Day said the main focus of fall camp is building toughness, discipline and skill and finding a balance between the run and pass game offensively.
- “We have to keep each other upright,” Day said. “At the same time, we’ve got to build that callous and that edge.”
- On redshirt sophomore kicker Jake Seibert, who was practicing at cornerback this morning: “He wanted to bring some different value,” but will continue to work on his kicking.
- "Everyone was jacked up today, flying around."
- Day believes the tight end unit had a really good summer. He likes the depth, though there isn’t a lot of experience at the position. Mentioned redshirt junior Cade Stover specifically. "It'll be a really important three weeks there."
- On freshman linebacker C.J. Hicks, who arrived in the spring: “He looks like one of the guys who has been around a while. You don’t think of him as a freshman anymore.”
- Day noted freshman offensive linemen Tegra Tshabola, Avery Henry and Carson Hinzman will start their careers as tackles, but could move inside down the line.
- On sophomore quarterback Kyle McCord and freshman Devin Brown: "You've got to develop those guys. They're going to get plenty of reps."
- “If we play complementary football this year, that gives us the chance to win our first game.”
- Despite leading the country in yards and points per game last season, Day said the offense “hasn’t done anything. We have to go prove ourselves.”
- Day on his expectations for the defense under new coordinator Jim Knowles: “I’m not saying that it has to be (top 10) I’m saying it’s the expectation.”
- Day said there’s a lot of optimism about the defense because of the scheme and fundamentals.
- “This is Ohio State. We want to be the best in the country at what we do.”
- Day said this year’s team is different than last year given the returning experience. Mentioned how COVID didn’t allow them to play younger guys in 2020, but there were many opportunities last fall. “We were young.”
- On the group replacing first-round picks Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave at wide receiver, including junior Julian Fleming and sophomores Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egubka: “When you look at them, they’re strong and tough.”
- He added that Fleming “had the best offseason he’s had to this point.” He was named an Iron Buckeye this summer.
- Day said sophomore cornerback Jordan Hancock and freshman safety Kye Stokes are going to play an important role for the Buckeyes this fall.
- Day said the Buckeyes have not received word from the NCAA on the status of USC transfer kicker Parker Lewis, who is dealing with an eligibility issue.
- Day said he slept well last night, but “as we get close to Sept. 3, not so good.” Added he didn’t like fall camp as a player. “It’s the first step in a long, long journey.”
- On sophomore defensives tackle Tyleik Williams: “I thought he had a really good offseason in terms of his body. He’s lost some weight,” but they hope he takes another step forward in fall camp.
- "I think the whole defensive line unit has a lot of talent and great depth."
- Day said players were given the option to wear the Guardian caps on top of their helmets, which have gained popularity in the NFL.
- On the importance of checking into the off-campus hotel this weekend: “It just allows us two weeks to focus, just be together and not have the distractions.”
- Day said fifth-year senior wide receiver Kamryn Babb is doing great and is “100 percent” after suffering an injury setback in the spring.
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