Receiver Michael Thomas will have sports hernia surgery, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said yesterday, which will cause him to miss the rest of spring practice.

Receiver Michael Thomas will have sports hernia surgery, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said yesterday, which will cause him to miss the rest of spring practice.

"It's not that serious," Meyer said.

Thomas suffered the injury in the Sugar Bowl victory over Alabama, a College Football Playoff semifinal. Meyer said the surgery will be similar to ones that safety Tyvis Powell and former Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier have had.

>> Not following @buckeyextra on Twitter? That's just madness

Thomas, who will be a fourth-year junior, had a breakthrough season in 2014 after sitting out in 2013. The 6-foot-3 Californian led the Buckeyes with 54 catches, and his 799 receiving yards and nine touchdown catches ranked second on the team.

Thomas had several key touchdowns, including a 79-yard catch against Michigan State that helped turned the tide against the Spartans and a dazzling catch of wideout Evan Spencer's pass late in the first half against Alabama.

Meyer clarifies

At a speech in Canton on Monday, Meyer told The (Canton) Repository that Braxton Miller's Instagram post promoting AdvoCare products would present "no issue" in terms of being a possible NCAA violation.

Meyer said yesterday that he should have deferred comment.

"I shouldn't comment on things I don't know about," Meyer said. "(But) it's been told to me that everything looks to be OK."

Ohio State's compliance office has forwarded its findings to the NCAA.

"Waiting for NCAA response," athletic director Gene Smith told The Dispatch.

Blueberry or brown sugar?

College programs are offering scholarships earlier and earlier, hoping to convince prospects how much they are wanted. Ohio State has been forced to follow along, however grudgingly.

"I'm not a huge fan of that," Meyer said. "The calendar has been pushed up so far because people offer scholarships now like Pop-Tarts. It's unbelievable."

Although Meyer didn't mention Michigan by name - or his preferred "Team Up North" moniker - it's no secret that new coach Jim Harbaugh has been more aggressive in offering scholarships.

Meyer said the accelerated timetable often means that coaches don't have as much time to get to know prospects. He added that isn't the case with Ohio State's eight commitments for 2016.

"The ones who've already jumped in, we know well," Meyer said.

Student appreciation practice

Ohio State will have its fourth annual Student Appreciation Day practice on April 11 at 11 a.m. Students will be admitted with a valid BuckID. Buses will transport students from the Ohio Union, Archer House and the RPAC. Doors at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center will open at 10 a.m.

Students will be able to have their picture taken with the College Football Playoff national championship trophy and with a band member's sousaphone for a dotting-of-the-I photo.

brabinowitz@dispatch.com

@brdispatch