Big Ten media days: Ryan Day calls Ohio State football 'edgy' heading into 2022 season

With the first day of the Big Ten Conference's football media days complete, it's Ohio State's turn to step up to the podium.

Ohio State coach Ryan Day along with safety Ronnie Hickman, wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba and quarterback C.J. Stroud are each expected to appear at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis Wednesday for the second day of the Big Ten's event. 

Day is scheduled to appear for his 15-minute press conference from 12:30-12:45 p.m. before his hour-long podium session from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Hickman, Smith-Njigba and Stroud are expected to appear from 1:15-2:15 p.m. 

Purdue coach Jeff Brohm, Illinois coach Bret Bielema, Michigan State coach Mel Tucker, Rutgers coach Greg Schiano, Penn State coach James Franklin and Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst are also expected to appear Wednesday. 

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Follow Day 2 of Big Ten media days live below. 

Ohio State coach Ryan Day sees growth in C.J. Stroud 

When Ryan Day thinks of what C.J. Stroud is becoming for Ohio State coming into the 2022 season, he thinks of how the quarterback reacted to his team's losses to Oregon and Michigan in 2021. 

"I think when you look at C.J. and just how he took on those two losses last year, he took it on himself," Day said on Big Ten Network. "And I don't think that was fair." 

But Day said that's just who Stroud is: embracing the team leadership and building into one of his main go-to players if the coaching staff needs to send a message. 

Along with Stroud, Day sees that potential in linebacker Tommy Eichenberg, safety Kourt Williams II and defensive end Zach Harrison on defense, along with wide receiver Kamryn Babb on offense, who has had a great offseason, according to the Ohio State coach. 

How Ryan Day found out about UCLA moving to the Big Ten

Ryan Day was actually with UCLA coach Chip Kelly when they found out the Bruins were going to join the Big Ten with USC. 

Day told Big Ten Network that he was golfing with his former offensive coordinator when he was a quarterback at New Hampshire, when their wives told both of them that UCLA was joining the Big Ten Conference. 

Day remembers him and Kelly, who coached with him with the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers, getting calls from their respective athletic directors soon after confirming the news. 

"We started off the round in different conferences and ended in the same one," Day said. 

"I think it's exciting. I think it's a big move. I think it's a bold move, but it's a good one." 

Ronnie Hickman loves what Jim Knowles has done with Ohio State’s defense

Ohio State safety Ronnie Hickman has been impressed with what he’s seen from new defensive coordinator Jim Knowles heading into the 2022 season.

"I love coach Knowles,” Hickman told Big Ten Network. “I love what he's done with the defense so far." 

Hickman said the mentality for the Buckeyes defensively is to be fast and physical, playing without thinking and being able to play “offense on defense.”

They are changes Ohio State’s offense has had to respond to. Quarterback C.J. Stroud said the defense was “challenging at times” this spring, while wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba said he sees “guys flying around, getting to the ball” with a lot of movement presnap.

Ohio State football players show edge heading into 2022 season

While Jaxon Smith-Njigba reminisced on Ohio State’s success in the Rose Bowl against Utah, saying it played out like a movie would, he quickly made clear that it wasn’t where the Buckeyes wanted to be.

“We fell short of our goals, and we're not too happy with it,” Smith-Njigba said on Big Ten Network.

Heading into 2022, that’s all the motivation C.J. Stroud and the rest of the Buckeyes have needed, going into the Sept. 3 opener against Notre Dame focused on being mentally tough and united to not let the season end like it did in 2021.

"That's been the entire offseason, just reminding ourselves to hold each other accountable,” Stroud said.

“Next year, we’ll show everybody what we are really about.”

Jim Harbaugh thinks Michigan can double OSU's NIL money

The shadow of Jim Harbaugh was still hanging over Lucas Oil Stadium a day after the Michigan coach addressed the media.

When Harbaugh wasn’t no commenting on whether his “some people were born on third and think they hit a triple” was aimed at Ryan Day after last year’s Ohio State game, he was proudly proclaiming that he thought the Wolverines could outspend on the Buckeyes in NIL compensation.

Asked on Tuesday what he thought about Day saying Ohio State needed $13 million in NIL money to compete nationally, Harbaugh jumped in.

“My thoughts were, ‘I think we can do more. I think we can even double that at Michigan.’ I think that’s possible, and it’s going in a terrific directions that way,” he said.

Harbaugh pointed out he is a big proponent of NIL, even to the point of believing player should share in TV revenues.

“The Big Ten, even,” he said of where media money might come from. “They use their name, image and likeness on the TV broadcast. They’re the one signing the mega TV deals. A new one’s coming in 2024. Why can’t that be an NIL deal right from the Big Ten? Because that’s who’s negotiating the TV deals and where the big money is.”

C.J. Stroud, Ronnie Hickman, Jaxon Smith-Njigba talk NIL, Big Ten expansion

Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud sees the changes with Name, Image and Likeness as a blessing, but also something that is long overdo in college sports. 

"I think it gives the players more control," Stroud said on Big Ten Network, saying it's money that players earn and deserve.

Wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba agreed with Stroud, saying NIL deals has allowed him to look out for people and that it's been a blessing that came from the right time. 

While money from NIL is a benefit, safety Ronnie Hickman focused on the opportunities and relationships he's been able to build with it. 

"Just being able to collab with so many organizations and just give back... being able to to that is huge," Hickman said. 

Ohio State players talk additions of USC, UCLA

Even though quarterback C.J. Stroud, wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba and safety Ronnie Hickman admitted they will likely not be with Ohio State when USC and UCLA are admitted into the Big Ten conference, all three players are looking forward to the attention it will bring heading into the 2024 season

"It's going to be a big-time matchup each year," Hickman told Big Ten Network. "Change is good." 

Stroud admitted he had mixed feelings about the additions of USC and UCLA, with the California native saying he wanted to play in the Los Angeles Coliseum and in the Rose Bowl again. But the Ohio State quarterback said he feels that bringing in USC and UCLA will give players a similar opportunity that he had in choosing Ohio State.

Ohio State football's matchups with Notre Dame, Michigan: sold out

Buzz is already high for Ohio State's opener against Notre Dame and for its season finale against Michigan

Ohio State coach Ryan Day confirmed that both of the team's home games against Notre Dame and Michigan are sold out. 

Day said Notre Dame "has our attention." 

"That game, being a night game, it's going to be electric," Day said. "And our guys feel it." 

Day also called his 2022 team "a little scarred, a little calloused" after losing to Michigan for the first time since 2011 last season, something the coaching staff reminds the players about regularly.

Day's goals for Ohio State in 2022 are simple: beat Michigan, win the Big Ten championship and win a national championship, similar to what Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said Tuesday. 

"Maybe at some places going 11-2 and winning the Rose Bowl is a good year," Day said. "It's not at Ohio State." 

Ohio State offensive line 'a pretty good group' 

Ohio State coach Ryan Day called his offensive line "a pretty good group" heading into the 2022 season, saying he was excited by the development of Dawand Jones, along with Luke Wypler, Matthew Jones, Donovan Jackson and Paris Johnson Jr. 

Day also said Justin Frye, Ohio State's new offensive line coach, has brought some new life to the room. 

"We're not changing things, but he does have a different style of coaching," Day said. 

Ohio State coach Ryan Day describes team as 'edgy,' expects top-10 defense

To describe his team heading into the 2022 season, Ohio State coach Ryan Day described his team as "edgy." 

Day said that starts with the Buckeyes' quarterback C.J. Stroud. 

"This offseason, he has really had an edge to him," Day said. 

Defensively, heading into the first year with defensive coordinator Jim Knowles, Day said the summer has "excellent." 

"We expect a top-10 defense," Day said. 

Ohio State coach Ryan Day starts press conference by congratulating commissioner Kevin Warren

Ohio State head coach Ryan Day began his press conference by thanking  Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren for leading the conference "into the future." 

The Big Ten Conference is set to add USC and UCLA heading into the 2024 season

Penn State coach James Franklin talks Sean Clifford union reports 

Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford has been recently leading discussions with the Big Ten about getting a bigger voice in the future and adding a variety of benefits. 

Despite reports saying otherwise, Clifford said he and other players had no intention of creating a union or entering a contentious negotiation with the Big Ten.  

"One thing I'm very, very proud of is the relationships we have built with our players at Penn State," Penn State coach James Franklin said when asked about Clifford. "I'm a believer in having these open dialogues with out players. You'd better be willing to have those discussions." 

Franklin said Penn State athletic director Pat Kraft has "jumped in with both feet," and has begun open conversations with players to build relationships. The Penn State coach declined to go into specifics. 

"Our players, especially Sean, want what's best for the Big Ten," Franklin said. 

When  asked about his conversations with the Big Ten Conference this offseason, Clifford said he's been pleased, but that his focus is on fall camp. 

"To say that I want to make a difference for college athletes moving forward, of course," Clifford said on Big Ten Network.

"It's one of those things, we're a week away from camp. That's the main thing... Proud of all the conversations we have had. 

Ohio State will take on Penn State Oct. 29 in State College, Pennsylvania. 

Michigan State coach Mel Tucker responds to Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi

Michigan State was at the center of Pat Narduzzi’s mind last week.

The Pittsburgh head football coach said Michigan State would have gotten “their butt kicked in” if quarterback Kenny Pickett would have played instead of sitting out to protect his draft status.

“If that’s one of the best Big Ten teams,” Narduzzi continued, “let’s go to the Big Ten and win it every year.”

Michigan State coach Mel Tucker was asked about Narduzzi’s statement Wednesday, but didn’t want to speak on it.  

“I would really prefer not to get into hypotheticals, especially with games that were played in the past and were decided on the field,” Tucker said.

The Spartans scored 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to beat Pittsburgh in the Peach Bowl.

Ohio State football coach Ryan Day gives injury update

Ohio State Buckeyes safety Lathan Ransom (12) is carted off the field with an injury during the second quarter of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. on Jan. 1, 2022.

Speaking with a scrum of reporters for about 12 minutes, Ryan Day mentioned safety Lathan Ransom should be “ready to roll” when preseason training camp begins on Aug. 4.

Day said Ransom, who injured his left leg in the Rose Bowl, might still be limited in practice and held out 11-on-11 drills.

Offensive lineman Josh Fryar is also poised to return after sitting out spring practice with an undisclosed injury. Fryar is a likely backup behind Paris Johnson and Dawand Jones at either left or right tackle.

Michigan State coach Mel Tucker: 'We need to bring a championship to East Lansing' 

Mel Tucker said the culture has been shifted at Michigan State. 

The Spartans coach called his team's 11-2 record in 2021 was "a step in the right direction," but that "nobody cares what you did last year." 

"The goal for us is to win every game on the schedule," Tucker said. "We need to bring a championship to East Lansing. That's what this is all about. I feel really good about this coming season." 

Ohio State will take on Michigan State in East Lansing Oct. 8. The Spartans will be the Buckeyes' first road game of the year.

C.J. Stroud, Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Ronnie Hickman make it to media days

Ohio State is in the building. 

Quarterback C.J. Stroud, wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba and safety Ronnie Hickman are at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis to represent the Buckeyes at Big Ten media days. 

Stroud, Smith-Njigba and Hickman will take the podium to speak to reporters at 1:15 p.m. 

It's a little unusual for the Buckeyes to bring a group of players that doesn't include any seniors, but coach Ryan Day thought Stroud and Smith-Njigba had earned the chance to represent the program.

"When you combine the leadership they had in the offseason with the way they played last season," Day said, "I thought they were the right guys to bring on offense."

Hickman is a redshirt junior in eligibility.

Big Ten media day 2 schedule 

Wednesday, July 27

11-11:15 a.m. Jeff Brohm, Purdue 

11:15-11:30 a.m. Bret Bielema, Illinois 

11:30-11:45 a.m .Mel Tucker, Michigan State 

11:45 a.m.-noon Greg Schiano, Rutgers

noon-12:15 p.m. James Franklin, Penn State 

12:15-12:30 p.m. Paul Chryst, Wisconsin

12:30-12:45 p.m. Ryan Day, Ohio State 

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