That was one for the history books, the Ohio State 2018 preseason.

We hear the football camp was pretty high-energy, too. But that became almost an afterthought because, for the first time, an Ohio State head coach was not allowed to be a part of preseason. That was due to the school’s investigation of coach Urban Meyer's handling of domestic-abuse allegations against fired receivers coach Zach Smith.

Meyer was put on paid administrative leave Aug. 1, and after the school’s board of trustees and President Dr. Michael V. Drake reviewed the findings, he was suspended without pay on Wednesday. He won’t be allowed to return to work until Sept. 3, two days after the season opener with Oregon State, and he will suspended from being with the team for its Big Ten opener Sept. 8 against Rutgers and its major nonconference game of the season, against TCU on Sept. 15 in Arlington, Texas.

But preseason camp went on as scheduled, with offensive coordinator Ryan Day serving as acting head coach. With media access limited to 30 minutes during just a couple of practices, and with neither Day, the other coaches nor the players being made available for interviews, developments over the month had to be reaped primarily from a few welcomed notable visitors and from other back-channel sources.

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The consensus on the Buckeyes was the same as it had been heading into camp. They are talented and deep, and now they probably will be playing with a chip on their shoulders. But let’s delve a little deeper into what could be coming out of the Ohio Stadium southeast tunnel at noon Saturday:

MAY: Day will be at the front of that pack, and all reports indicate that he has not been out of his depth in playing the role of head coach for the first time. Given that Day is an offensive coordinator along with Kevin Wilson, and also the quarterbacks coach, it probably helped his workload that the coaches had settled on Dwayne Haskins Jr. as the starting quarterback. There have been no indications of that changing in the past few weeks, although insiders said backup Tate Martell, a top-notch runner, has improved as a passer.

RABINOWITZ: I have also heard that Day has acclimated well to his new role. It does help to have such experienced coordinators as Wilson on offense and Greg Schiano on defense. The entire staff is seasoned, with the exception of interim receivers coach Brian Hartline, and I've been told he has done well as Smith's replacement. Hartline has been aided by the experience of the receivers group — all six in last year's main rotation are back — and by the culture in that room being almost self-sustaining. But it still has to feel strange at practice not having Meyer there.

MAY: Among those receivers, word is Binjimen Victor has blossomed into the threat Meyer had thought possible for a couple of years. One observer said there was a definite chemistry between Haskins and Victor, who has benefited from Haskins’ ability to deliver passes in places only the receiver can reach. Austin Mack has found similar success. And observers say freshman tight end Jeremy Ruckert has emerged as expected as a sure-handed pass-catcher, while No. 1 tight end Luke Farrell has been steady throughout.

RABINOWITZ: I'm hearing that the offensive line is looking good but that some minor injuries have affected things in the short term. Thayer Munford, projected to be the left tackle, was off to the side in the second of the practices we were able to get a glimpse of. Fifth-year senior Brady Taylor, who had an edge entering camp at center, has supposedly missed some time because of a short-term injury. That has contributed to left guard Michael Jordan getting a significant number of snaps at center. Isaiah Prince is set at right tackle, and the competition at right guard continues, with Demetrius Knox apparently ahead. But Branden Bowen, Malcolm Pridgeon and others are certainly in the mix.

MAY: You left out Joshua Alabi, who at least could be that sixth offensive lineman and could be at left or right tackle, if injuries dictate. There is a thought that Jordan will be the center, as line coach Greg Studrawa seeks to put his top five on the field, and among that five could be Pridgeon at left guard. Among the receivers, Parris Campbell, Terry McLaurin, K.J. Hill, Mack and Victor are back, but Demario McCall, Jaylen Harris and freshmen Blue Smith and Jaelen Gill stood out in camp, reportedly benefiting from the energy and expertise of Hartline.

RABINOWITZ: Let's switch to defense, where there are some questions but some exclamation points as well. It starts with the defensive line, and the line starts with Nick Bosa, who should be a unanimous All-American. The Buckeyes are also excited about much bigger roles for Chase Young and Jonathon Cooper at end along with Bosa. The starting tackles should be Dre'Mont Jones and Robert Landers. I've heard that Jones has been an absolute beast in camp. Line coach Larry Johnson uses a deep rotation, and the buzz is that his line could go at least 10 deep.

MAY: Freshman defensive tackles Taron Vincent and Tommy Togiai have turned heads, as have freshman defensive ends Tyreke Smith and Tyler Friday. At linebacker, word is that outside linebacker Malik Harrison had a breakout camp, Baron Browning looks to be No. 1 in the middle, and Pete Werner, like Harrison, stepped forward at the other outside spot. Keandre Jones is still in the running, though, as is Justin Hilliard in the middle, a spot that could be further strengthened when Tuf Borland returns fully from an Achilles injury suffered in the spring.

RABINOWITZ: Damon Arnette is the most experienced cornerback, and the Buckeyes are also excited about the development of Kendall Sheffield and Jeffrey Okudah. A player to watch is Shaun Wade, back from an injury that wiped out his first season on campus. At safety, we're still waiting to see who emerges opposite Jordan Fuller. Isaiah Pryor was the favorite entering the spring but didn't seize the job, and Jahsen Wint is making a push. Don't count out Amir Riep, Brendon White or freshman Josh Proctor.

MAY: Which brings us back to Meyer, the major character who won’t be back to practice until Sept. 3 and won’t be on the sideline for a game until Sept. 22 against Tulane. How this will affect the team is unknown, but some expect it to be a galvanizer. I say that lacking the input of a person who is 177-31 overall, 73-8 at Ohio State, and considered to be one of the top two current coaches won’t be a plus.

RABINOWITZ: With the season less than a week away, it's tempting to turn all the attention from the ugly saga of the last month to football. But it bears repeating that there were no winners in this summer's saga. People's lives and reputations were seriously damaged, and Ohio State's reputation also took a hit. Much of the national media has been unmerciful in taking whacks at the Buckeyes. The healing will take a while, but the players are blameless in the mess. Now it falls on them to help change the narrative. Wins will help, but this August's pain won't recede anytime soon.