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 Thursday’s opener at Indiana.
“He was about 100 percent and then he had another little tug on him the other day,” the Ohio State football coach said Tuesday on his radio show on 97.1 The Fan. “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 has 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 cameo appearances last year. McCall has spent much of his time working at the hybrid spot.
Other highlights of the show from Meyer and then offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson:
* Meyer said that offensive lineman Matt Burrell had a very good camp. "He just needs a little more consistency." Burrell lost right-guard battle to Branden Bowen. If tackles Jamarco Jones or Isaiah Prince are injured, Wilson said that Bowen would shift to tackle. It’s likely that Burrell would then take over at right guard.
* Meyer said after going through training camp, he supports the NCAA rule banning two-a-days. But he still thinks that camp is too long.
* Meyer on his defensive coaching staff: "All of them could coordinate anywhere in America. They all have great love for this program.” He added that all are selfless, which is needed. “An ego person wouldn't survive here very long."
* Meyer said cornerback Kendall Sheffield's family is locked in their house in Houston. They're safe but apparently can't leave.
* Meyer on his safeties: "I feel really good about Damon Webb. We're hoping he has a Vonn Bell-type season.” He doesn’t say who has the edge between Jordan Fuller and Erick Smith at the other safety.
* Meyer said K.J. Hill will be the punt returner. McCall also will be used, with Sheffield as the backup.
* Meyer said consistency remains the key for kicker Sean Nuernberger. "He's had a good camp."
Join the conversation at Facebook.com/BuckeyeXtra and connect with us on Twitter @BuckeyeXtra
* Meyer on new punter Drue Chrisman: "Nice kid. Hope you never see him. And he needs a haircut.” He called him "very talented."
* Meyer said walk-on WR C.J. Saunders has made the travel squad: "He's a helluva player. He just makes play after play after play."
* Meyer said defensive coordinator Greg Schiano will be in press box during game. Kevin Wilson and quarterbacks coach Ryan Day will be in press box on the offensive side. The other coaches will be on the field.
* Meyer on his tight ends: "Marcus Baugh is the starter. He looks very good and is ready to go." Baugh had shoulder/toe issues.
* Meyer on defensive tackle Tracy Sprinkle, who’ll start after missing almost of last season with a knee injury: "He is ready to go. That was a tough injury, a year-long injury. To see his family on picture day was awesome."
* Meyer on Dante Booker, also returning after missing almost all of 2016 with a knee injury: “Same thrill and same commitment to the program (as Sprinkle). I'm a fan of Dante and want to see him do well."
* Meyer said coaches call players' parents often, both for good reasons and bad. "There's been a lot more good around here."
* Meyer said he let players pick six candidates for captain. “Nine guys got a lot of votes. Why would you say, 'We're only going to have four?'"
* Meyer on having seven fifth-year seniors: "I can't ever remember having seven fifth-year guys. They're all very committed to Ohio St and our mission. The reason they all came back is they saw the signs of a potentially very good team."
* Kevin Wilson said Billy Price "is as good a center as I've been around."
* Wilson said he believes WR group has improved the most on the team, followed by the offensive line.
* Wilson said Barrett and QB coach Ryan Day "have clicked big-time."
* Wilson on learning OSU's terminology: "It's a little bit like learning a foreign language." He said it's been both challenging and fun.
Listen to the BuckeyeXtra podcast: