Observations: Gill, DBs Stand Out At Ohio State’s Second Spring Practice
The Ohio State football team hit the practice field at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Friday morning for practice No. 2 this spring. The Buckeyes, led by first-year head coach Ryan Day, head into spring break after the session before resuming practice the following week.
Media members were allowed to view the first our of practice, same as Wednesday, meaning there were a few notes and nuggets to take away. Here are some observations from Ohio State’s second practice this year.
Spring Practice No. 2
- For the second practice in a row, junior left tackle Thayer Munford spent time doing laps while walking. He’s out for the spring with a back injury but should be ready to go for the season. In other injury news, fifth-year senior defensive tackle Robert Landers was seen on crutches while a few others, including junior back Demario McCall and sophomore defensive tackle Taron Vincent, were limited as well. Senior safety Jordan Fuller is also out for the spring.
- During punt drills, fifth-year senior wide receivers K.J. Hill and C.J. Saunders were the deep men once again. You can expect them to serve in that role this year with McCall likely handling kick return duties.
- Junior safeties Brendon White and Jahsen Wint were once again working with the linebackers for much of the practice, although they’ll split time with the safety unit as well. Spring is a chance to experiment, and both are candidates to serve in a hybrid role in 2019.
- There’s plenty of talk about sophomore quarterback Justin Fields looking inaccurate/rusty so far. That’s not necessarily false, but people have sold him short. Fields is big, athletic and smooth and after a few more sessions with the Buckeyes the sharpness will be there as well. Fields is a high-level prospect and is going to be Ohio State’s starting quarterback in 2019, barring injury. You can write that in ink.
- That said, it wasn’t a highlight day for the signal callers. Fields missed on some throws and was intercepted twice while the media was watching. One of them, though, was an outstanding play by junior cornerback to break up a pass that was intercepted by junior cornerback Marcus Williamson.
- Okudah looks like a star. He’s going to start full-time this year and has all the makings of the next first-round pick from Ohio State at his position. He’s engaged in practice – regularly talking with secondary coach Jeff Hafley as they go through drills – and seems poised for a big year. Oh, and he was at times dominant during coverage drills as well. Okudah is the real deal.
- Williamson stood out as well, as did sophomore safety Josh Proctor, who had an interception of his own. It was notable that Williamson also spent time working with the safeties as the new defensive coaching staff sifts through the roster.
- On offense, the usual suspects looked good. It wasn’t the best day for sophomore wideout Chris Olave, but he still makes a lot of highlight catches. Perhaps one of the biggest standouts of the spring so far has been redshirt freshman H-back Jaelen Gill, though. Gill has all the tools to be a Parris Campbell type of player in this offense, except he’s already further along from a pass-catching standpoint. Gill needs to be on the field in 2019.