First it was touch, then tackle football broke out. With this spring sprung, Joe Burrow or Dwayne Haskins will be a tough call for backup.


So THAT’S Johnnie Dixon

Since signing in 2014, Johnnie Dixon has been the big tease among the Ohio State receiving corps, and through no fault of his own. Knee-related problems have kept him more sidelined than on the main line. But when healthy he has flashed the ability of a big-time receiver. He went pretty much pain-free through the spring, he said, and capped it with a six-catch, 108-yard, two-touchdown performance for the Scarlet on Saturday in a 38-31 win over the Gray in the spring game.


Who’s the backup to J.T.?

Coach Urban Meyer wasn’t ready to make that call after the game, saying he still has work to do. Although returning starter J.T. Barrett played just two series, the real show was the duel between Haskins and Burrow, who started out on the same Scarlet team before Haskins replaced Barrett on the Gray. Burrow, last year’s backup, was 14-of-22 passing for 262 yards and three TDs. Haskins, who was redshirted last season, was 21 of 32 for 255 yards and two TDs. This one probably is too close to call until the fall.


Slow start for DBs

The secondary had a slow start when the proceedings were all about tag-you’re-down, because receivers seemed to be running free more often than not. But early enrollee cornerbacks Jeffrey Okudah, Shaun Wade and Marcus Williamson, especially, turned up their game as the game turned to tackle football. Wade knocked away a pass intended for Binjimen Victor in the corner of the end zone in the fourth quarter. Although Okudah gave up a TD pass to Terry McLaurin in the back of the end zone on a 22-yard flip from Haskins, replay review would have wiped it out.


Hints of what’s to come

Kevin Wilson, a former Indiana coach, is just four months into his gig as Ohio State’s offensive coordinator, but folks gained a few hints of what’s to come. There were a couple of wheel routes run by running back Demario McCall, some three-receiver sets from which Wilson orchestrated effective rub routes, and — to Meyer’s delight — a bevy of throws down the field. Of the seven TD passes, five were 22 yards or longer. The big pass play was a rarity for the Buckeyes in 2016.


Dropping into space

Sam Hubbard didn’t play long, but enough to show what could be in store for him and the defensive line this fall. The defensive end dropped into space on a zone blitz play, and though the ball went to the other side of the field, it proved Greg Schiano and the defensive staff are intent on taking advantage of the athletic ability of the 6-foot-5, 265-pound former high school safety.


He’s gonna throw it

No. 1 running back Mike Weber had just five carries, which wasn’t fair since all five were during the touch-and-tag part of the game. But he did throw once, to Barrett, who circled out after a handoff. Another Wilson wrinkle that begs for people to stay tuned in the fall.