Ohio State football | Ryan Day, Greg Schiano fill in for Urban Meyer on radio show

Bill Rabinowitz
Acting head coach Ryan Day said right tackle Isaiah Prince has made great progress as a leader the past six months. "I'm really proud of him." [Barbara J. Perenic]

The first Urban Meyer radio show of the football season aired Thursday on 97.1 The Fan without Meyer, who is serving a three-game suspension. In his absence, acting head coach Ryan Day and defensive coordinator Greg Schiano filled in to take questions from OSU radio announcers Paul Keels and Jim Lachey.

Here are the highlights:

* Day said he told players and coaches at the first meeting of training camp that everybody had to raise their game without Meyer. "That has made our team stronger."

* Day on Saturday opponent Oregon State, which has a new coach, Jonathan Smith: "They like to spread you out and use tempo." But said it's hard to know with a new staff.

* Day praises new coaches Taver Johnson (cornerbacks) and Alex Grinch (safeties). He said Johnson, who's also the special-teams coach, has to provide energy like his predecessor Kerry Coombs did, and said he has.

* Day repeated that Luke Farrell will start at TE.

* Day on the transformation of new starting quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr.: "He was a little doughy when he got here. Now he's harder. I think he changed physically and I think he's changed mentally (because of the demands of OSU’s strength program)."

* Day on running backs J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber: "It's a big deal to have guys like that in the program. They know they need each other. They're not selfish about the carries."

* Day on freshman running backs Master Teague III and Brian Snead: "I think they both have strong futures here." Said Teague is more of a downhill runner. Snead is a little shiftier.

* Day on right tackle Isaiah Prince: "Some of the most progress I've ever seen” in terms of his leadership growth in the last six months. "I'm really proud of him."

* Day said it will be important for players to keep emotions in check on Saturday and have a short memory to move past the inevitable bad plays.

* Lachey with the OSU injury report: He said linebackers Tuf Borland (Achilles) and Dante Booker (shoulder) could be available on Saturday.

* Day on backup QB Tate Martell: "The plan is to get him on the field and play. He brings a different skill set." Said he's dynamic with his feet and can also throw. Day said coaches haven't put in a specific package for him. He will just work from the regular OSU offense.

* Day said that Austin Mack is the starter at the X receiver spot with Ben Victor his backup. Buckeyes will have 8-10 receivers who could see action.

* Day on strength coach Mickey Marotti: "Mick is the heart and soul of our program. He spends the most time with the guys. He has the best pulse on the team. The respect level players have for him and whole strength staff is amazing." Day said Marotti excels with having an old-school mentality but incorporating the newest technology and techniques.

* Day on some of freshman who've made mark: Mentions Teague, Snead, WR Chris Olave, H Jaelen Gill, TE Jeremy Ruckert, QB Matthew Baldwin (when healthy), DE Tyreke Smith, DE Tyler Friday, LB K’Vaughan Pope, LB Dallas Gant, LB Teradja Mitchell.

* Day on new redshirt rule, which allows players to play in four games without losing a year of eligibility: "We're having some of those conversations with the guy. It's not something you have to decide now. Our goal is to play as many guys as we can who are young."

* Day on new kickoff rule allowing fair catches: "We've had a lot of conversation about the new rule. Does it change (strategy) a little bit? Yeah, I think it does. We've had those conversations and have made the adjustments going into the season."

* Day on OSU's special teams, who are all returning players: "The thing about those guys is as a specialist you almost have to self-police yourself. For the most part, those guys have to work on their own."

* Greg Schiano on preparing for opponent with new coaching staff: "It's hard when you have a new staff." Said they're studying Washington tape (head coach's ex-school) and Colorado (offensive coordinator).

* Schiano on Ohio State’s linebackers: "It's a deep group. Not a very experienced one but a deep one." Schiano said Dante Booker is available. "We may for the first time may rotate some linebackers in there in the middle of the game, not just at the end."

* Schiano on Pete Werner: Said he played some safety in HS but has bulked up as LB without losing speed. Said he impressed on special teams last year and continued to take major strides in the offseason, spring and camp.

* Schiano described OLB Malik Harrison, listed at 6-3, 240, as "gigantic."

* Schiano on emerging players on the defensive line: Said he expects Tyler Friday to play. Also mentions Tommy Togiai, Tyreke Smith, Haskell Garrett.

* Schiano on the safety position opposite Jordan Fuller: "Jahsen Wint has played very well this preseason, as has Isaiah Pryor." Also praises Amir Riep and Brendon White.

* Schiano on Fuller: "He works so hard, whether physical training or mental preparation. And he's very bright. As coaches, we rely on him on the field to get things right."

* Schiano said defensive coaches don't use the term “turnover.” They prefer “takeaway” because they believe that happens because of something the defense causes as opposed to an offensive mistake. "We talk a lot about disrupting the football. Don't be satisfied with a sack. Get a sack/fumble."

* Schiano on defensive end Nick Bosa: "A lot of guys with his level of achievement and ability might rest. He hasn't done that. He's worked really hard with coach Johnson to hone his skills." He said that he has a rare ability to contort his body while going full speed.


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