OSU center snaps back

Bill Rabinowitz
Ohio State Buckeyes guard Michael Jordan (73) runs through a drill during fall camp football practice at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Aug. 18, 2018.

The player who most frequently puts the ball in the air for Ohio State isn’t Dwayne Haskins Jr.

After all, Haskins hands off sometimes. Because the Buckeyes operate from the shotgun, center Michael Jordan tosses the ball every play. Considering that Jordan hadn’t played that position until this season, some growing pains with his snaps should have been expected.

It was a problem against TCU. Jordan’s low snaps consistently forced Haskins to reach for the ball, though it didn’t result in any fumbles.

Jordan said the issue was mental.

“I think I just made TCU a much bigger game in my head instead of calming myself down,” he said Tuesday night.

Jordan worked extra hard on snaps in practice last week, and the snaps weren’t an issue against Tulane. He is confident it won’t be in Saturday’s showdown against Penn State.

“After the TCU game, he did beat himself up a lot,” left tackle Thayer Munford said. “But everybody on the unit knows he’s going to get it. If he had a couple bad snaps, he had a couple bad snaps. What center doesn’t? But he’s working on it and we love him for that.”

Haskins said the low snaps didn’t bother him.

“I tell Mike, ‘Just get me the ball and I’ll make it work,’” he said. “Not every snap has to be perfect. I just want the ball in my hand.”

Offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson used a golf analogy to describe the challenge of snapping in a game. Doing it in practice is like going to the driving range and finding a groove.

“But put a very angry person very close to me and do the same thing repeatedly,” he said. “Sometimes it’s hard.”

Against TCU’s speedy defense, Wilson said, Jordan rushed his snaps as he hurried to get into blocking mode. Against Penn State in what promises to be a hostile Beaver Stadium, Jordan has to make sure his snaps are on target consistently.

“As we play this week in a stressful environment, that will be key for him,” Wilson said.

Taylor out

Ohio State offensive lineman Brady Taylor underwent arthroscopic knee surgery Saturday, according to a story in the Catholic Times.

Taylor was the front-runner to be the starting center as a fifth-year senior entering training camp, but he was slowed by a knee injury. That was part of the reason Jordan was moved to center.

Taylor had surgery to remove a loose piece of cartilage and repair meniscus, according to the Catholic Times. The Bishop Ready graduate hopes to be ready to play in about four weeks.

“I’ll come back and can pretty much play any position on the line,” Taylor said in the story. “If anything happens, I’ll be there to go in and take care of my job.”

An Ohio State spokesman declined to confirm the surgery.

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