COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State football opened spring drills with practices on March 6 and March 8, but practice No. 3 didn’t occur until March 20 because of the school’s spring break.
With a gap of nearly a week and a half taking place right after practices begin, why not just wait until after spring break to open practice? At Ohio State, that split schedule is a feature instead of a bug.
Unless the Buckeyes want to start abnormally later or earlier than usual, the odds are that the university’s spring break will disrupt the schedule at some point. Ohio State coach Urban Meyer would rather start practice just before the spring break week to break in young players and get the team in football mode before they head off to different parts of the country for a week-long vacation.
The first two practices take place without pads and get returning players back into the swing. And the early enrollees get a chance to experience a few Ohio State practices before things really ramp up after spring break.
“I wouldn’t really count those [first two] as practices,” redshirt freshman quarterback Tate Martell said after practice on Thursday. “It’s more of a warm-up, getting the younger guys who just came in like I did last year up to speed and showing them what to do more than anything. And just kind of getting the layout of practice and getting back into it. It’s not so much like it is right now. This is more of a practice than it has been [before spring break].”
While the early practices aren’t as intense, they get players ready for what is to come and put them in football mode right before time off. The timing never is right for a long break, but the Buckeyes try to minimize the potential for rust and a lack of focus.