Urban Meyer staged his fourth student appreciation day practice late this morning at Ohio State, and a robust crowd conservatively estimated at more than 1,700 – and they weren't all students – turned up and turned it up, bordering the indoor field as the Buckeyes staged a two-hour workout.

Urban Meyer staged his fourth student appreciation day practice late this morning at Ohio State, and a robust crowd conservatively estimated at more than 1,700 – and they weren't all students – turned up and turned it up, bordering the indoor field as the Buckeyes staged a two-hour workout.

"It's great to have the fans out here," said sophomore running back/hybrid back Curtis Samuel, who had a breakaway kickoff return to sort of swing the session into gear. "They come to support us every weekend for our games, so it's great to have these guys out here, and to go out there and just put on a great performance for them."

Actually, it was more like a typical practice than a highlight reel extravaganza of huge plays. But there were a few:

Tight end Marcus Baugh, being counted on as a backup to Nick Vannett in the fall, beating the backup safety to haul in a 50-yard pass from Cardale Jones, one of many catches by the heavily worked Baugh in the practice. An interception in the end zone by Gareon Conley, who is competing with Damon Webb for the cornerback job left open by the departure of Doran Grant. A 17-yard pick six by backup walk-on cornerback Trevon Forte of a pass from backup quarterback Stephen Collier, who was being pressured. A 4-yard touchdown plunge by running back Bri'onte Dunn behind backup left tackle Jamarco Jones during a red-zone session.

Many of the regulars, such as left tackle Taylor Decker, right guard Pat Elflein and defensive end Joey Bosa saw limited action as the coaches focused on bringing along backups. That might be what fans see a lot of in the spring game next Saturday at Ohio Stadium, too.

But there was other action for the students to watch, even participate in, as today's practice ensued, including the 40-yard dash competitions at the end of the session. A highlight of that, though, was watching running back Ezekiel Elliott – he is sitting out the spring on-field work as he recovers from surgery on his left wrist – outrun one of the groups, even as he sprinted sideways while recording it all with a video camera he held out on the end of an extended monopod.

tmay@dispatch.com

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