Ohio State football | Archie Griffin impressed with Buckeyes' work despite the distractions

Tim May
Former Ohio State running back Archie Griffin addresses the crowd at the Buckeye Bash for the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on Dec. 31, 2014. (Adam Cairns)

Archie Griffin doesn’t want to comment on the investigation going on with Ohio State coach Urban Meyer in regards to the Zach Smith-Courtney Smith situation, but the only two-time Heisman Trophy winner was eager to share observations from his visit to practice Tuesday. 

“I sense that things are going smooth,” Griffin said of his overall impression. “They seem to have a lot of enthusiasm, and guys were working hard. It was just what you would expect, actually. … That shows me they are focused and want to be the best team they can possibly be.”

That’s even though the Buckeyes are working, for the time being at least, under the overall direction of Ryan Day, who was named acting head coach on Aug. 1 after Meyer was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

With the media barred from practice, except for a brief window a week ago, Griffin was asked for his impressions. What stood out, he said, was the talent he watched running around, and he was on some of the more talented teams in the Woody Hayes era back in the mid-1970s.

“Absolutely this is a talented team, you see that from the way they were working and their skills,” he said. “The offensive line is a good size and moves well. The defensive line I think is going to be awesome.

“Certainly when you look at their skill positions on offense with the running backs and receivers, you see talent. And though he has a lot to prove, (quarterback Dwayne) Haskins showed us what he could do at Michigan.”

He referred to last year’s game at Michigan when Haskins entered late in the third quarter for an injured J.T. Barrett and led the team to a come-from-behind win.

“Hopefully he can take that same attitude into the season and really shine, that would be great,” Griffin said. “It won’t be easy for him. There are some great teams in the Big Ten, and some other tough teams to play.

“They’ve just got to focus on what’s important and take it one game at a time, as they always say.”

THE LEGEND Archie Griffin came to check out @ToteNation #GoBucks #WinTheMoment

— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) August 14, 2018

Specifically about Haskins, “Watching his demeanor, he looks very confident,” Griffin said. “To me that’s one of the key qualities you need to have in a quarterback, and he looks the part to me.

“Hopefully that can spill over into the season and lead this team, because this team certainly has a ton of talent.”


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