Ryan Day Radio Show Returns, Coach is Thrilled The Season is Back
Now that the Buckeyes will take the field in a few weeks, the mood on today's Ryan Day Show on 97.1 The Fan in Columbus was noticeably better. Day touched on a number of topics, including the team's excitement to yesterday's announcement, some positional updates, Shaun Wade and Wyatt Davis' potential return, how the team would handle positive CoVID-19 cases and much more.
Here are some of the highlights from his conversation with Paul Keels and Jim Lachey:
On being excited for the season to return ... "They worked so hard to have an opportunity to play safely and compete for a championship and now they have that opportunity."
On the potential of Shaun Wade and Wyatt Davis returning, Day said both guys wanted to play but it was hard for them and their families because they didn't have any information on how things would play out. Now they have a season. Davis will be on campus very soon and has expressed interest in returning - the team is working on that. Wade has not made a decision yet (after the Ryan Day show ended, Lettermen Row is reporting Wade will tell ESPN his decision later today).
Regarding Dr. Johnson and Gene Smith's leadership, Day says he appreciates how hard they fought for the players considering the challenges that this situation has presented. "Kristina Johnson is someone who's played sports before. She gets what it means to be an athlete." Dr. Johnson played field hockey at Stanford.
Day credited conference leadership for having an open mind and adapting to the changing medical realm. "One thing that I really learned during this is that when you're part of a conference you need everybody to work together."
Day spoke about the challenges of potentially losing players because of positive tests. "If it happens, it happens. We're just going to have to find a way to adapt ... some walk-ons might have to have a chance to play this season. That's just the way we're going to have to do it." Including walk-ons, the team has 125 players on the roster.
The Buckeye head coach called his group of receivers young and inexperienced, but as talented as any group he's ever been around. He also praised Justin Fields dedication to his craft in the offseason, saying, "College football, Buckeye Nation and even us as coaches, to see him play for only one year would have been really tragic."
As far as the immediate outlook is concerned, Coach Day referenced they haven't put pads on since December and have a lot of work to do, but they're looking forward to game-planning for teams they are familiar with. He's not concerned with having new coordinators and referenced that they've had more time than usual to come up with some creative wrinkles.
As far as the defense is concerned, Day spoke to how happy he is for Jonathon Cooper, complimented the maturity of his linebacking corps and commented on his defensive backs. "While they're (DB's) inexperienced in starting and playing championship-level games, they have played football."