Ohio State head coach Ryan Day spoke to members of the media Thursday, Oct. 29, providing a final preview of Saturday night’s matchup at Penn State.
Day addressed the importance of quarterback recruiting, the performance of Nicholas Petit-Frere, Chris Olave’s status, COVID-19 canceling the Wisconsin-Nebraska game, and how he feels about the Big Ten’s decision to not allow the Huskers to take on a different team.
What follows is a bullet-point rundown of those topics and more, including his perspective on the Penn State quarterback and tight end duo of Sean Clifford and Pat Freiermuth.
- “It happens quickly around here. Young players have to make their impact early on. This is kind of initiation by fire.”
- Day on the importance of getting an elite quarterback in every recruiting cycle: “That’s where it starts. At Ohio State, if you come to be a quarterback, you’re the shortstop of the New York Yankees.”
- Day said they had to make sure the numbers on the travel roster were balanced and had to “make some really hard decisions.” The coaches met regarding the travel roster this morning and “have a pretty good feel for it.”
- Day said they want to have “spare” players. There is an increased need for depth due to COVID-19.
- Day added that they have been preaching versatility in a big way.
- Nicholas Petit-Frere’s season debut: “He graded out a champion, but this is a bigger challenge this week.” Penn State has the most talented defensive ends Ohio State has “seen in a while.”
- Day said they are driving some personnel members to Penn State instead of flying and trying to keep people away from each other on the plane. They had to “de-densify” the travel party.
- Day did not give an update on Chris Olave’s status, but he said, “He’s had a good, strong week of practice.”
- Day said it is “really hard” on recruits and their families right now not to be able to visit schools.
- Cancellation of Nebraska-Wisconsin? “It’s something that we worry about every day. Feel awful for [Wisconsin head coach] Paul [Chryst] and his staff and his players.” He said he is “very disappointed” Nebraska was not able to play.
- Per reports, the Big Ten did not allow Nebraska to schedule a replacement game when the Wisconsin game was canceled due to COVID-19. Day: “I thought they should have had the opportunity to play” against somebody else.
- He said he was told “a little bit” about the Nebraska situation and does not want to “speak on what-ifs.”… “But I also know there’s a team in Lincoln that wanted an opportunity to play and they’re not playing.”
- Day said Sean Clifford and Pat Freiermuth have a “good connection.” You have to put the right guys in the right position to be successful in that matchup.
- Day said you have to be good at multitasking these days. “Trust that people are doing their jobs.” He said sometimes that is hard because he likes to be in control, but he hired people for a reason.
- Day said peer recruiting is “huge” right now. He said Mark Pantoni and his staff have done a great job during this time.
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