Ryan Day says Ohio State football depth chart is not settled, but team is building chemistry

Bill Rabinowitz
Ohio State coach Ryan Day watches the quarterbacks during practice at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Tuesday. [Kyle Robertson]

Ohio State completed its fourth football practice of training camp Tuesday, and it remains too early for Ryan Day to start settling on his depth chart.

But four days isn’t too soon for the Buckeyes coach to get a feel for his team. So far, so good.

“They like each other,” Day said. “There's a chemistry here. They like being around each other, you can just tell. There's not a lot of cliques. They kind of hang together, they like being here, they have a certain energy about them.

“And so the chemistry is there. I think there’s leadership capability. We'll see as we get going, (but) I think it's developing.”

Normally, that starts with the quarterback. But with the lack of experience in that room, Day said it needs to come from other positions.

“Until you really play in that first game, and you get in the locker room and someone stands up in front of the team and says, ‘Get on my back, here we go,’ you don't really know. But we do see it. I think we have some great candidates and some really good young men in the program — I mean, great people.”

Day said he is encouraged by the play of the Buckeye defense in camp so far. He said it had four interceptions Tuesday, two by safety Josh Proctor had two.

“They're flying to the ball,” Day said. “They're making plays on the ball. They're playing with vision, and they're producing right now. And so there's a lot of energy that way.”

As for the fact that his quarterbacks threw four interceptions, Day wasn’t overly concerned.

“They're competing,” he said. “They're learning. We're installing. It's not about really finding a rhythm with a game plan or anything like that. Any time you install, you’re still trying to figure things out. There's only one way to learn, and that's to fail.

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“Those guys are doing a good job. They’re learning and they’re going to make mistakes right now. If they're making the same mistakes a week from now, then we've got a major problem but all good so far.”

Day opened his news conference by expressing sympathy for those affected by this weekend’s mass shootings.

“Our prayers and thoughts are with those who got affected by the tragedies in Dayton, El Paso and and Dallas recently, and how mental health is squarely in the news and on our minds right now,” Day said.

“That's why Nina and I have decided to grow awareness through ‘On Our Sleeves,’ and why it's so important to break the stigma is in terms of mental health, because it shows itself so many different ways.”

In the spring, Ryan and Nina Day created the “On Our Sleeves” initiative as part of their foundation to promote youth and adolescent mental health through Nationwide Children’s Hospital.


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