Online courses make transition easier for Fields

Joey Kaufman
Freshman receiver Garrett Wilson has caught seven passes, two for touchdowns, but his 52-yard punt return last week might result in additional duties on special teams. [Eric Albrecht/Dispatch]

When Justin Fields transferred to Ohio State, his arrival brought plenty of adjustments.

New team. New coach. New playbook. New school.

To manage his workload in his first season as Buckeyes starting quarterback, Fields signed up for online classes.

“I can spend more time on football and studying, stuff like that,” Fields said.

The schedule left him with few visits to campus or the rest of Columbus.

Fields mused Tuesday afternoon that he hadn’t been around much, spending most of his time at home, where spare time involves watching Netflix, or at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center for workouts, meetings and other entertainment.

“But from what I have seen, the campus is beautiful and the people around are great,” Fields said.

After spending his freshman year at Georgia, Fields is in the pre-business program at Ohio State, according to his bio on the athletic department’s website.

On the field, the sophomore has acclimated quickly, leading the Buckeyes to a 4-0 start as one of the most efficient passers in the nation. Fields has thrown for 13 touchdowns and run for six more, a total of 19 touchdowns that are two more than Dwayne Haskins Jr. had through his first four starts last season.

As he discussed his acclimation ahead of this week’s prime-time showdown at Nebraska, Fields didn’t mind his limited involvement in campus life.

“I'm fine with the way my life is right now,” Fields said. “I wish nothing had happened differently in my life. I'm just embracing all the stuff that I do right now.

"You can't really hope to be somebody else or hope to have a different lifestyle than you have. You just have to have what you have right now and make the best out of it. I definitely enjoy my life right now.”

Day disappointed

in Pryor's decision

Buckeyes coach Ryan Day said he was “extremely disappointed” that safety Isaiah Pryor has entered his name in the NCAA transfer portal during the season.

Pryor, a junior, is expected leave the program and transfer to another school for his remaining two seasons of eligibility.

Day said he and Pryor remain on good terms despite the disappointment.

“There's no ill will there, and he left amicably,” Day said, “so we'll just kind of support him the best we can and wish him nothing but the best of luck getting his degree and moving on.”

Pryor started seven games last season, but this season he has been a backup behind Jordan Fuller at free safety.

Day said the coaching staff feels "pretty good about our depth" behind Fuller, mentioning Josh Proctor and Jahsen Wint.

Wilson option

on punt returns

Freshman wide receiver Garrett Wilson returned a punt 52 yards against Miami University.

It was the first time this season he had been used as a punt returner,

“He's aggressive,” special teams coordinator Matt Barnes said. “He's going to go attack the ball. That's where it starts.”

Punt return duties primarily have been handled by upperclassmen, including running back Demario McCall and wide receiver K.J. Hill.

But Day said Wilson could see more time as a punt returner.

“He's still a very young player, but obviously very talented,” Day said. “And the more he can take on, the more we'll give him.”


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