Ohio State first-year head coach Ryan Day brought back Student Appreciation Day and the new-look Buckeyes interacted with students at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on March 23.
After talking about the new ‘Bullet’ position, which is a linebacker-safety hybrid, on March 21, the Buckeyes elected to not display the position in the portion of practice open to the media.
Junior safeties Brendon White and Jahsen Wint have been practicing at the ‘Bullet’ position, but did not participate when the defense and offense faced off. Instead, the starting defense featured sophomore cornerback Shaun Wade as a nickel corner.
Junior linebackers Tuf Borland and Baron Browning were not full go during practice either, and senior Malik Harrison, junior Pete Werner and sophomore Teradja Mitchell took reps at linebacker with the first-team defense.
Fifth-year senior offensive tackle Joshua Alabi came down with a fever and did not practice. Instead, redshirt freshman Nicholas Petit-Frere took reps at right tackle with the first-team offense. Fifth-year senior Branden Bowen worked with the first team at right tackle.
Sophomore quarterback Justin Fields and redshirt freshman quarterback Matthew Baldwin both took reps with the first-team offense, and threw the ball fairly accurately. Baldwin hooked up with fifth-year senior H-back K.J. Hill for an impressive sideline catch.
Junior running back Demario McCall was back practicing full go. He took reps at running back with the second-team offense.
McCall also worked on returning punts along with fifth-year senior C.J. Saunders and redshirt freshman Jaelen Gill.
Senior defensive tackle Robert Landers and freshman safety Ronnie Hickman did not go through practice, instead doing conditioning work on the side with senior safety Jordan Fuller and junior offensive tackle Thayer Munford.
In addition to welcoming students to watch practice, Ohio State hosted a large amount of 2020 recruits including, Dublin Coffman running back Michael Drennen, Miami (Fla.) Central cornerback Henry Gray and La Habra (Calif.) cornerback Clark Phillips, Eaglecrest (Colo.) four-star center Reece Atteberry, Williamstown (N.J.) three-star defensive end Aaron Lewis, Cincinnati Winton Woods three-star cornerback MiQuan Grace and Cincinnati Reading Community two-star defensive end Tanner Cromer.
In addition to the 2020 recruits, the Buckeyes welcomed recruits from the 2021 class as well, including, Nazareth Academy (Ill.) four-star quarterback J.J. McCarthy, Cheshire (Conn.) quarterback Jack Brandon, Central Catholic (Penn.) defensive tackle Elliot Donald, Lutheran North (Mo.) defensive end Travion Ford, Pickerington North defensive end Jack Sawyer. Columbus Franklin Heights quarterback Jeffery Beverly was also on hand from the class of 2021.
Class of 2019 commit, Cincinnati Elder offensive lineman Jakob James, made an appearance. Georgia Tech offensive guard Parker Braun, who is a potential transfer, was also in attendance.
Numerous former Buckeyes were in attendance, including 2018 team members Terry McLaurin, Johnnie Dixon, Michael Jordan, Malcolm Pridgeon and Dante Booker.
Former Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones also made an appearance as well as former offensive linemen Mike Adams and J.B. Shugarts.