COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State football has finished its third week of preseason practice and has less than two weeks to go before its season opener at Indiana on Aug. 31.
Here are the key takeaways from interviews with players and coaches over the past week:
Mike Weber still rehabbing
Ohio State running back Mike Weber continues to rehab a hamstring injury.
He said Friday that he hasn’t participated in any full-contact work in practice, but still expects to be ready in time for that Thursday night season opener against Indiana.
“I’m getting close,” Weber said. “They’ve been holding me back all camp to make sure I don’t have problems with it throughout the season.”
J.T. Barrett looking good
J.T. Barrett’s accuracy has dropped in each of the last two years, but it sounds like the Ohio State quarterback might be able to reverse that trend this fall.
Speaking to reporters Monday, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said Barrett has looked really sharp in practice.
“His accuracy and just his energy level right now is incredible,” Meyer said. “He’s providing that energy for everybody. He’s got complete ownership of everything going on in that offense, his relationship with [quarterbacks coach] Ryan Day is incredible, and his skill set. The thing he’s most improved at right now is accuracy. Very accurate player right now.”
Cornerback depth clarity
Despite losing two first-round draft picks, Buckeyes cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs believes his position group has enough depth to rotate again.
“I think fast, fresh corners are the most effective way to go,” he said. “Our plan is to play and have fresh corners on the field.”
Denzel Ward and Damon Arnette are currently the first-team cornerbacks, with Kendall Sheffield next in line. Coombs said freshmen Jeffrey Okudah and Shaun Wade are also making a push.
J.K. Dobbins shining
If Weber doesn’t get healthy in time for Ohio State’s first game, a freshman may be the beneficiary. J.K. Dobbins has worked his way up to the No. 2 spot on the depth chart and is impressing coaches more and more each day.
“This guy loves football, and he’s smart,” running backs coach Tony Alford said. “I would say that in my 22 years — and I say this not to take anything away from anyone else — in my 22 years, this guy has picked it up faster than anybody I’ve ever been around. He’s picked up, he understands the offense and the nuances of it very quickly.”
Black stripe update
The black stripes continue to come off for Ohio State’s outstanding freshman class. Here’s a list of the players who achieved that honor over the past week.
- Tuesday: Jeffrey Okudah and Haskell Garrett
- Wednesday: Pete Werner and Thayer Munford
- Thursday: Shaun Wade
- Saturday: Brendon White, Tate Martell and Wyatt Davis
That means a total of 11 players have now lost their black stripes during fall camp. Dobbins, Isaiah Pryor and Chase Young also have had theirs removed.