Ohio State center Josh Myers has heard the litany of proposals for how a college football season might be staged this fall.
The ideas range from a shortened season to games with limited fans in attendance. Further questions linger, too, about the sport’s feasibility if most students are not on campuses for classes.
But Myers made one point clear in a teleconference with reporters Thursday: He wants to suit up.
“I would do anything to play this season,” Myers said. “I don’t know what I would do without football, to be honest with you, but with that would come sacrifices, and I’m personally willing to make those sacrifices.”
The sentiment was shared by two Buckeyes offensive lineman at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has shut down athletic facilities at Ohio State and left no clear timeline for when workouts might resume.
They were last at the school for practices in early March, since scattering across the country to rejoin families at home.
Myers has been living in southwestern Ohio, while right guard Wyatt Davis has been in southern California, both finishing their spring semester classes online and working out each morning.
Like his teammate, Davis expressed openness to alternatives that would pave the way for them to return to the field, especially for games at Ohio Stadium.
“Would it suck not having fans there? Yes,” Davis said. “But would it affect me not playing this season? No. Because I just love the game of football and I miss being in that type of atmosphere. Fans or no fans, I would want to play.”
Both linemen returned for a fourth season at Ohio State rather than pursue early entry into the NFL draft.
Last season had been their first starting for the Buckeyes, who returned to the College Football Playoff before falling to Clemson in the semifinals.
“I was looking so forward to this season, because I felt like last season I was just barely breaching the surface,” Davis said. “I know this is a very big year for me. And more importantly, this is a very big year for our team, coming off that bittersweet season this past year, how hard we worked in the offseason leading up to this pandemic. I’m not going to say it would be a waste, but I would hate to not use that for this season.”
Myers held similar concerns over the fate of the season, which has been scheduled to begin on Labor Day weekend against Bowling Green.
“It’s a nightmare, to be honest with you,” Myers said. “That’s time we can never get back. I was so excited for this season, and I’m still hoping and praying that it happens, and I’m trusting that it will.”
Some additional health protocols will likely be in place if the season is held, or if players return to the Woody Hayes Athletic Center for workouts this summer.
Davis mentioned the prospect of temperature checks as a layer of safety that had been discussed, along with wearing masks.
Myers thought they might first go through workouts in groups of 10 or fewer players. He is currently training with his brother, Zach, a former offensive lineman at Kentucky, at their home gym.
As eager as they are for a return of football, they acknowledged some apprehension.
Myers raised the concern that he could spread the coronavirus within his family, though he noted the risk would be mitigated once he returned to Columbus.
Davis pointed out that a full-scale practice could pose some challenges.
“It’s tough when you play football because you got about 100 guys on a field, sweating and grinding with each other,” he said. “Stuff gets passed around.”
For the time being, though, weeks until the earliest point in which team activities can return, they planned to wake up early Friday and go through another regimen on their own.
“At the end of the day, you can only worry so much and you just got to do what you got to do to put yourself in a position to be ready if that time comes,” Davis said.