Coach Urban Meyer said running back Mike Weber had a minor setback in his return from a hamstring injury recently but expects him to ready for Ohio State's opener Thursday against Indiana.

“He was about 100 percent and then he had another little tug on him the other day,” Meyer said Tuesday on his weekly radio show. “We’re being very cautious with him, but he should be ready to go.”

The Buckeyes feel much better about their depth behind Weber this year compared to a year ago. True freshman J.K. Dobbins dazzled during training camp and is the clear backup to Weber. Demario McCall and Antonio Williams are also options.

Meyer said McCall had hernia surgery in the spring and is still working to be the dynamic player he showed in cameos last year. McCall has spent much of his time working at the hybrid spot.

Safety stalemate

Meyer said on the Big Ten coaches conference call that he’s not ready to declare a winner in the competition at free safety between Jordan Fuller and Erick Smith.

“I think they’ve both playing well, and I think they’re both going to play,” Meyer said. “In my mind, there’s not been that much separation between the two.”

Walk-on Saunders travels

Meyer said walk-on C.J. Saunders, a junior from Dublin Coffman, has earned a place on the 70-player travel squad for the Indiana game.

“He's a hell of a player,” Meyer said. “He just makes play after play after play.”

Saunders began his Ohio State career as a cornerback but was switched to receiver in the spring.

Lots of captains

Asked about the Buckeyes having nine captains this season, Meyer said he had players vote for six players apiece. He said there were enough votes for nine players to justify honoring all of them.

In fact, some players said that as many as 12 or 13 were worthy of being captains. Meyer said he had players sign their ballots so they wouldn’t vote frivolously.

Meyer said he became in favor of having more rather than fewer captains when former assistant coach Mike Vrabel informed him that he hadn’t been selected as a captain despite being a standout Buckeyes player.

Who’s where

Meyer said that during games defensive coordinator Greg Schiano will be in the press box, as will offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson and quarterbacks coach Ryan Day. The other assistants will be on the field.