The 2018 college football is less than five months away, and spring practices are in full swing across the nation.
With Ohio State’s spring game 12 days away, coach Urban Meyer held a news conference on Monday afternoon and provided several updates on the team. Meyer addressed the quarterback race, Tuf Borland’s Achilles injury and Baron Browning being graded a champion in the team’s scrimmage from the week before, among several other topics.
For highlights on what Meyer said on Monday, see below.
What Urban Meyer said on Monday
On Borland’s progress:
“The normal guy takes longer than a guy like him, so we’re anticipating September.”
On where he is in the process of placing leadership on the team:
“Average right now. When you lose that many quality guys like you said, all those fifth-year seniors, guys that invested so much, I see promise. I see there is some very good promise. So today was a better day. But it’s day-to-day. We’ll know more after spring ball, but it’s nothing like it was last year.”
On players who were graded champions in last week’s scrimmage:
“[Middle linebacker is] one of our better units as far as getting better. Baron Browning graded a champion for Friday’s scrimmage. [Justin] Hilliard was honorable mention, and Pete Werner graded champion. So they’re getting better. Really talented guys.”
“Offense, none. Offense was not a good day. I mean, I shouldn’t say none there were a couple guys that made some plays. But overall not a good day for the offense, and had a bundle of them on defense. I don’t have the list in front of me, so I just don’t want to — defense played very well.”
On how the quarterbacks looked in that scrimmage, and if it helped sort anything out:
“No, the quarterbacks, I’m not making excuse for quarterback, but we’re playing and I’m protecting some of the older receivers. It looks like it’s awful when you start pulling those guys out, so that’s alarm for down the road. We’ve got to get much better. But they were better today. The receivers played better.”
On individual growth for quarterbacks:
“It’s day-to-day. Tate [Matrell] had much better day to day. He’s got a skill set that’s a little bit JT [Barrett]-ish as far as the Q run, the Q, he’s just built for that and he actually threw the ball. He threw the ball well too. Joe [Burrow] probably had the better scrimmage on Saturday, but then Dwayne came back.
“So, once again, where have I seen the individual growth. I would take too long to go through each guy.
“I think the quarterback situation you’d wish one would take it, but then again, you like having the day-to-day competition, which is what I’m seeing. They started very poorly today, and the quarterback receivers got much better as the day went on, which is encouraging.”
His general assessment of where the team is versus where he hopes to see it:
“I think the defense is way ahead of the offense. You’re also being cautious with guys like Nick Bosa and Dre’Mont Jones, so we’re developing depth on the defensive line. And the linebackers, you get one of your best players who is going to miss several months with Tuf. So I’m actually pleased our safety position is not solid, the one is, Jordan Fuller, we have to keep him healthy because he’s playing excellent right now. We don’t have mistakes at corner. We have very good rotation at corner right now.
“So there are so many strengths on defense right now. Offensively you’re trying to find the right five up front, and that’s hard with Michael Jordan who is not practicing, and there is one other Bowen. Then you also have KJ Hill, and I’m protecting Parris [Campbell] and Terry [McLaurin]. So it’s a little herky-jerky out there. The answer is go play those guys and put them in harm’s way too much, we’re not going to do that. We just have to fight through it.”