COLUMBUS — Ohio State officially kicked off its fall practice the morning of Aug. 7 with a group primarily composed of true and redshirt freshmen. While it’s been customary under Urban Meyer to break in the newcomers with no upperclassmen present, this year’s edition featured more players than usual with roughly half the scholarship roster still holding freshman eligibility.
What follows are updates and observations from the four periods of practice that writers were allowed to view:
- We’ve yet to see how this will play out when the full team is out there and coaches are spread more thin, but offensive coordinator Ed Warinner spent time with both the offensive line and the tight ends Sunday morning. The former O-line coach opened practice by teaching shotgun snaps to true freshman center Jack Wohlabaugh while offensive line coach Greg Studrawa worked with the remaining linemen. At one point, Warinner asked assistant strength and conditioning coach Jeff Uhlenhake — who played center at OSU and in the NFL — about where Wohlabaugh should grip the football.Shortly into the practice, however, Warinner worked his way over to coach the three true freshman tight ends: Jake Hausmann, Kierre Hawkins and Luke Farrell.
- There’s a different Bosa out there on the field for the Buckeyes, but you’d hardly know it from watching practice. Nick Bosa is built slightly different from his brother Joey, but the brothers share the same mannerisms on the gridiron. Being coached by Larry Johnson Sr. was a big draw for the younger Bosa, and he responded well to OSU’s defensive line coach in his fall camp debut. In the limited amount of drills we saw, Bosa has the look of a player who can make an impact this season just as his older brother did as a true freshman.
- While the rule is generally that the youngest players practice the morning of the first day of camp followed by upperclassmen in the afternoons, there are always exceptions. A trio of true freshmen who enrolled early — wide receiver Austin Mack, offensive guard Michael Jordan and running back Antonio Williams — weren’t spotted this morning and will presumably work out with the older players this afternoon.
- Studrawa is one of the more colorful coaches to come through Ohio State during Meyer’s tenure, and his personality shines through his teaching methods. The first-year OSU assistant is a mix of enthusiasm and gruffness, and his players will always be quick to hear what he thinks about their performance.
- Sophomore defensive end Sam Hubbard won’t practice until this afternoon, but that didn’t stop him from roaming around the premises this morning. The Cincinnati Moeller product was one of a few older players walking around the Woody Hayes Athletic Center this morning while the newcomers took the field.
- In the midst of a warm Columbus summer, the coaches were really pushing hydration on the players. Warinner made his players go back for seconds when he felt they didn’t drink enough, and Studrawa was liberal in his use of water breaks, encouraging the youngsters to avoid dehydration and the health issues that come with it.
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