Urban Meyer’s media day press conference featured plenty of positives, but they were overshadowed by one bit of bad news.
The Ohio State head coach announced that Darius Slade will miss the entire season with a ruptured Achilles and offensive tackle Malcolm Pridgeon will miss three months with a knee injury. The setback will effectively end Pridgeon’s first season in Columbus before it started and hand the right tackle job to sophomore Isaiah Prince.
“Those are two tough ones,” Meyer said. “With that said, the offensive line is obviously a concern of depth. That’s where Matt Burrell and Demetrius Knox have really got to come on. We just have to get depth there.”
Other updates from media day are as follow:
- Meyer said multiple times that he’s pleased with the way the first week of practice went. Ohio State will have nine practices over the next six days, something that Meyer said will make or break the team.
- Wide receivers Parris Campbell and Terry McLaurin were likened to former wide receiver Evan Spencer as team-first, unselfish guys.
- Meyer praised true freshman wide receiver Austin Mack for his readiness coming out of high school and said he’ll play this year.
- Mike Weber and Curtis Samuel are the top two running backs, especially from a blocking standpoint. Both still need to get better in that regard to reach Ezekiel Elliott’s standard, however.
- Meyer said true freshmen defensive end Nick Bosa walks, talks and acts like his older brother Joey and he joked that he was trying to convince their parents to have one more son.
- For those curious about the fastest player on the team, Meyer chose Denzel Ward.
- As of now, Dontre Wilson is Ohio State’s kickoff and punt returner. True freshman Demario McCall is also in the mix.
- Meyer said true freshman offensive guard Michael Jordan is for sure playing, but he stopped short of naming him the starter at left guard. Other true freshman Meyer said were likely to play this season: tight end Jake Hausmann, wide receiver Binjimen Victor, linebacker Keandre Jones, cornerback Jordan Fuller and safety Jahsen Wint (special teams).
- Meyer said he thinks Cincinnati should be in the Big 12 but added that he was saying that from the perspective of someone who played there.
- Wide receiver Noah Brown still isn’t quite back to the level he was at before he broke his leg last year.
- Meyer said he has an idea of what the starting lineup might be but wants more time before he makes final decisions.