Ohio State offensive coordinator and tight ends coach Kevin Wilson and tight ends Luke Farrell, Jake Hausmann and Jeremy Ruckert, spoke to the media over a Zoom call Friday to discuss training camp, as well as talk on the state of the tight end position and what they have seen from other positions, including at running back and quarterback.
- Wilson said that Justin Fields has grown into becoming more of a leader in his time at Ohio State.
- He said that he works frequently with his position coaches and that his job is “a lot of group stuff.”
- He said that him and head coach Ryan Day have a lot of the same thoughts and are “pretty compatible” with each other. Said that Wilson sees things more as an offensive linemen, while Day sees things from a quarterback’s perspective.
- Wilson said Master Teague “has a chance” and that both him and Trey Sermon have looked really good at running back this season. Also said that Marcus Crowley is “a little bit out there” with his injury.
- Wilson said that Sermon and Teague may be splitting reps 50-50 going into the season at running back for Ohio State.
- Said that building the volume up as far as contact in practices will be key to avoid potential injuries before games begin.
- Wilson on Fields: “My wife would be pleased for me to tell you that he’s been on a vegan diet.” Said he is leaner, faster and a more complete player this season.
- On the tight end unit, Wilson said he thinks “it’s got a chance to be the best we’ve had since we’ve been here.”
- More on splitting carries with the running backs, Wilson said that it is helpful to have two that can go so you can play up tempo. He said that running back coach Tony Alford would like to get to a point where he can play three running backs.
- “We had a lot of guys opt in. The key is we need to make sure guys keep buying in.”
- Wilson said that he believes this tight end unit is being undervalued by many as it heads into the season.
- In the time where the Big Ten season was postponed, Farrell said “it was frustrating for a lot of it.” Said the ups and downs were difficult, but that he leaned on the team and the tight end unit a lot to stay positive.
- “I think as an offense, we can be one of the most prolific offenses we’ve seen around here, if not in all of college football.”
- He said the tight end unit does not worry about hitting any sort of yardage benchmark, but that the group does always talk about trying to get the ball to the position more in the offense.
- Farrell said he didn’t realize he could really take his football talent somewhere further until he got a call in high school from Urban Meyer, which made it all real to him. He also said he originally played defense and his coaches told him to just go to the ball.
- Hausmann said that the tight ends have all worked on their route running and ways to get open during training camp.
- He said that Fields has been helping out the tight ends with figuring out the routes, to the point where he will run the route to show the tight ends what he is looking for. Also said that he has become a much more vocal leader since he has been at Ohio State.
- Hausmann said that this team has the potential to be the best offense Ohio State has had since he has been here. Said that it’s not just the talent, but the character of everyone on this team.
- On Cade Stover, who has moved to tight end from defensive end: “He’s doing great. He’s a super-athletic guy. He can go up and get the ball… He’s as athletic as any tight end can be. He’s as physical and strong as you need him to be.”
- In the run game, Hausmann said he doesn’t think the team will “skip a beat,” even without J.K. Dobbins.
- Said it was heartbreaking that, after all the hard work done this summer at home, that the season was just taken from them. He also said that, once the Big Ten reversed its decision, the team was ready to go from the start.
- Ruckert said the biggest thing when the season was postponed was that he just wanted answers. Said that getting the green light to go really lifted a lot of guys on the team.
- He said that the goal for Ohio State right now is to beat Nebraska, who is the Buckeyes’ Week 1 opponent on Oct. 24.
- Learned that “football is a really specific game” and that “the more you learn the game, the easier it’ll get” from Day in his time as head coach. Called him one of the best X’s and O’s guys that he has ever talked to.
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