Urban Meyer loves themes. The Ohio State Buckeyes coach labeled the 2014 season “The Chase.” Last season was “The Grind.”
Every week of spring practices revolves around a certain theme. Last week, the theme was chaos, and the players practiced Saturday in front of hundreds of students at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, trying to replicate the atmosphere at Ohio Stadium on game days.
This week, on Thursday and Saturday, Meyer said he will shut down practice to all outsiders so the team can focus.
“We want it extremely quiet,” Meyer said. “We have to get better now.”
Meyer spoke Tuesday after the ninth of 14 practices leading up to the April 16 spring game at Ohio Stadium. Here are other highlights from his press conference:
• Meyer responded to criticism from a University of Kentucky recruit, Landon Young, who told SECCountry.com Meyer and his staff treated him “like a piece of meat” and “like crap” during the recruiting process.
“We have a lot of respect for him as a player,” Meyer said Tuesday. “I was very disappointed in our staff we didn’t offer him (a scholarship) earlier. About that treatment thing, we didn’t do that on purpose. I went back and talked to our staff. I don’t want that be out there.”
• A number of Buckeyes preparing for the NFL draft remain on campus. Meyer doesn’t look at them and wish he had them on the depth chart.
“I did that in January when they told me they were leaving,” Meyer said. “I went through withdrawal. That ship has sailed. The good thing is they’re helping our young guys. … Taylor Decker is here for a lot of reasons, wanting to lift and train, but he’s also helping Jamarco Jones. (Ezekiel Elliott) was here the other day spending time with Bri’onte Dunn and Mike Weber.”
• Asked about the status of the defensive line, which lost three starters, Meyer said the unit is doing OK.
Michael Hill is fighting through a nagging ankle sprain. Dre’Mont Jones is in the mix. Jashon Cornell has a pulled abdominal muscle but will be fine. He said Davon Hamilton and Wayne grad Robert Landers are improved.
Meyer expects Sam Hubbard to be the leader of the unit.
“Sam has to be one of the next stars,” Meyer said. “I really think he will be.”
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