Meyer makes appearance at Buckeyes' practice

Joey Kaufman

Former coach Urban Meyer attended Ohio State’s fourth football practice of preseason training camp Tuesday morning.

It was the first time that Meyer had visited with the team since preseason camp began Friday.

“He said he was going to stop by the other day, and it's always good to have him around,” first-year coach Ryan Day said.

Get the news delivered to your inbox: Sign up for our BuckeyeXtra newsletter

Day was hired by Meyer as co-offensive coordinator in 2017 before he was promoted following Meyer’s retirement after last season. He had also been a graduate assistant under Meyer at Florida in 2005.

Reporters observed Meyer on the sideline of the practice fields outside the Woody Hayes Athletic Center during the first half-hour of the workout. He was joined by his son, Nate.

Meyer remains on campus as an assistant athletic director and will serve as a college football analyst for Fox Sports during the upcoming season.

During his news conference Tuesday, Day grinned when asked a final question about whether Meyer appeared more as a frustrated former coach or an eager reporter during the practice.

“I don't know, I don't know,” Day said. “I know his golf game is going good, and he seems happy.”

Camp initiations

Offensive lineman Jonah Jackson, a graduate transfer from Rutgers with one year of eligibility remaining, was the first player to lose the black stripe on his helmet in preseason camp.

The tradition, which began under Meyer, involves freshmen and other newcomers wearing a black helmet stripe that must be shed. Other veterans have a scarlet stripe on their helmet.

Through the first four practices, Jackson has been with the first-team offensive line as the left guard.

Young receivers

Day mentioned sophomore Ellijah Gardiner and junior Jaylen Harris as two of the team’s younger wide receivers who saw opportunities to carve out larger roles.

“They've been in the program here for a couple years, so now it's time for them to step up and really help on special teams, fill that gap there,” Day said, “but then also help on the field at receiver.”

Harris, who is listed at 6 feet 5, is the Buckeyes’ tallest scholarship wide receiver. He has four career receptions. Gardiner has none, having appeared in games mostly on special teams.

Quick hits

As he began his news conference Tuesday, Day offered “prayers and thoughts” for the victims of the recent mass shootings in Dayton and El Paso, Texas. “Mental health is squarely in the news and on our mind right now,” he said. Earlier this summer, Day and his wife, Christina, began a foundation focused on mental health. … Day will hold his weekly news conferences on Tuesdays this season. Meyer had met with reporters on Mondays. … The Big Ten Network was at Tuesday’s preseason practice as part of its training camp tour.


Listen to the BuckeyeXtra Football podcast: