Ohio State Buckeyes: No. 1 QB rests as Buckeyes press through middle of preseason

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Caption
Ohio State football coach Ryan Day talks more about his QBs

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Ohio State opened the doors to football practice Wednesday, and local reporters and the Big Ten Network got to see a team in the middle of the dog days of the preseason.

A handful of players were out or limited, including No. 1 quarterback C.J. Stroud and senior offensive lineman Thayer Munford, but head coach Ryan Day downplayed the severity of any health issues at this time.

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“This is the third week of camp, and we’re battered and bruised,” Day said in a previously unscheduled meeting with the media. “I gotta give this up — there’s some guys out there that are working through some some injuries right now. A lot a lot of credit to them. A lot of guys have been practicing hard and taping up their ankles and their wrists and everything like that. It’s part of camp.”

He spoke briefly about the state of the team in what is expected to be the last time he or anyone else on the team meet with local reporters until next week.

As for Stroud, a redshirt freshman who has not been declared the starter for the opener at Minnesota yet but is ahead in the race to replace Justin Fields, Wednesday was just a rest day, according to the head coach.

“Just wanted to let you guys know since some were asking, that’s just something typically we do in camp, just shutting them down at times with their arm,” Day said. “That’s all that was.”

He called it a great opportunity for Jack Miller III and Kyle McCord, who took most of the first-team reps as the team practiced in helmets and light pads.

“We’ll have a big evaluation this week for those guys,” said Day, who has not identified a front-runner for the No. 2 spot yet. “By Friday we need to find out who is game-ready. This is a big week for everybody, but certainly those guys.”

Wednesday was also the first opportunity for reporters to see quarterback Quinn Ewers on the field with the Buckeyes.

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The No. 1 recruit in the class of 2023, he reclassified earlier this month and decided to enroll at Ohio State to begin his college career and take advantage of opportunities to do endorsements.

“Just learning where to go and where the locker room is and everything else,” Day said with a laugh.

“There’s just so much for him to learn in such a short period of time. You know, usually we have months upon months of time to prepare them before they even step on the field,” Day said. “He just got showed up and is learning formations and everything like that so it’s just individual drills and keep him after practice and try to teach him the offense but we’re certainly not just going to throw them in there. I mean, that’s not fair to him and also you know it’s not fair to the other guys.

“He’ll pick it up quick, and he’s learning. I think the guys are doing a good job of helping him along because they understand this is a very unique situation.”

As for Munford, Day was tight-lipped but said he would be able to return to practice soon.

Munford has been Ohio State’s starting left tackle the last three seasons, but he has been getting a look at left guard during this preseason. That is so the coaching staff can evaluate junior Dawand Jones at right tackle with Nicholas Petit-Frere (last season’s No. 1 right tackle) on the left side, Harry Miller at center and Paris Johnson Jr. at right guard.

Day said no decision has been made about what the starting unit will be up front.

“We’ve gotta get to the end of the week,” Day said. :Then we’ll kind of sit down and some decisions have too be made, but we’re very, very impressed with those guys. We’ve created some depth there and some versatility at different positions. We have a couple more practices here this week, then we’ll decide as we start to prepare for Minnesota.”

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