Four Ohio State players will sit out spring practice because of shoulder injuries, coach Urban Meyer said Tuesday.
Receiver K.J. Hill, offensive lineman Michael Jordan and cornerback Jeffrey Okudah worked on the sideline during practice. Hill had a sling on his right shoulder.
Senior linebacker Dante Booker, meanwhile, was not on the field. A starter at the beginning of the 2017 season, Booker missed time because of a concussion and then did not regain his starting spot when he healed. Booker has had two shoulder surgeries this offseason, the second to repair torn labrum a week and a half ago.
Video: Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer not stressing about QB call, but is about center
An online report last week, since retracted, cited unnamed sources claiming that Booker intended to transfer, drawing Meyer’s ire.
He said Booker’s mother called him, “darn near in tears, saying, ‘Where is this coming from?’ ”
Meyer said Booker intends to stay. “He’s in a fight,” he said of winning his job back in a crowded linebacker group. “He does graduate (in May). His plan is to focus on rehab and to be an Ohio State Buckeye.”
New look O-line
With Jordan out and center Billy Price and left tackle Jamarco Jones graduated, the offensive line had a different look. Isaiah Prince, the starter at right tackle the last two years, was at left tackle. Malcolm Pridgeon was in for Jordan at left guard, and Brady Taylor was at center, Demitrius Knox at right guard and Thayer Munford at right tackle for the first drills.
Meyer singled out Prince and Munford for praise.
“There is always competition, but he has earned that right to at least get that first shot,” Meyer said of Prince playing the quarterback’s blind-side tackle.
Munford was a late addition to the 2017 recruiting class but quickly impressed last year.
“We had our champions dinner yesterday,” Meyer said, “and coach Mickey (Marotti, the head strength coach) gave a lot of awards to Thayer Munford. Talented guy.”
More injury news
Branden Bowen, who earned the starting right guard spot last year before his season ended with a compound leg fracture against Maryland in October, is still rehabbing.
“It’s a little bit slower than we thought, but it’s a tough injury,” Meyer said.
Freshman quarterback Matthew Baldwin had surgery to repair a torn knee ligament, which he suffered on the first snap of the Texas state championship game. Baldwin is expected to redshirt this year.