Ohio State football players Harry Miller, Tommy Togiai, Pete Werner, Chris Olave, and Master Teague spoke to members of the media via Zoom call Wednesday afternoon (Nov. 4).
What follows is a bullet-point rundown of what each player had to say:
- The reps last year were essential to being able to contribute this year. I progressed between week one and week two, and the older guys helped me progress. The reps last year helped me get to tempo.
- I usually practice just at left guard. But I snap often just so I’m always ready in reserve. It’s a quick switch back-and-forth.
- Wyatt Davis was an immense help during the offseason with technical questions. There is possibly no one better to watch than Jonah Jackson last year. Watching Wyatt and Jonah helped me a lot.
- It felt like I was playing football instead of just worrying about assignments against Penn State. It’s easy to get into your own head. Hit a guy, try not to get hit too hard yourself and keep your composure.
- In coming here, center was especially advertised to me. I knew that Pat Elflein, Billy Price, Michael Jordan, and Josh Myers making that transition.
- It comes down to reps. Coach Day talked about how you don’t know what kind of team you have until you face an opponent. I had to build some confidence.
- I took a big resolution to read more during quarantine. I really wanted to expand my understanding of things outside of football. I have big dreams of owning a bookstore and traveling across the Atlantic Ocean. Social media can be a bane toward sincerity and a bane toward authenticity, I wanted to use it as a natural form of a town square by playing music.
- I want to start a book club.
- My mother did a great job of raising me and my dad did a great job of getting me into music. I also had fantastic teachers getting me into literature. I liked reading about great thinkers and great men, and you become kind of jealous of their travels and exploits.
- I love Nick Petit-Frere. We were both second-team guys last year and it’s hard to build a swagger and confidence as a back-up. He’s very calm and great company to have. I see the confidence he has and it’s charming and reassuring to see that.
- Tommy Eichenberg went with me to Nicaragua this year, and we were there when everything was getting shut down in the spring. He is a quiet dude, and a lot of people think he doesn’t have a lot to say, but I think he’s very profound.
- Name, Image, Likeness? I’m hoping I can get sponsored by Half Price Books or something, that would be nice.
- The speed was different in my first start. You feel yourself naturally having to keep up with the pace.
- I was surprised to have three sacks after the game. Everybody on the defense was playing hard though.
- My “get off” is important to getting pressure inside and getting after the quarterback.
- Jonathan Cooper and Tuf Borland are two guys that get after it every day and they are always about the team, always about the defense. They don’t care about individual stats, and we have a lot of guys who are team-first like that.
- I bring a high motor, high energy to the defense.
- Chasing Clifford out of bounds? Speed? I’ve been working on my speed since after my freshman year. I talked to Coach Mick (Marotti) after my freshman year about how I can get faster, and I’ve been working on that.
- I have to work on my stance and my running form and things like that.
- Haskell is one of the guys we needed to step up. He’s been playing really big.
- I’m confident in the guys in our room and what we’re capable of.
- Who’s next up? I think at the end spot we have a lot of guys that can go off like Zach Harrison, Tyreke Smith, Tyler Friday and Javontae Jean-Baptiste.
- Taron Vincent is ready to break out on the inside too. Last game was his first game in a long time, so he’s getting ready to step it up.
- With me and Haskell, we’ve been very close. We created a close bond over the years.
- Coach Larry Johnson always talks about how we’ve got to stop the run first to be able to rush the passer. Each week we try to stop the run so we can rush the passer after that.
- Being my fourth year here, I’ve gotten to know this defense very well. Being a veteran, I think I can play any spot well. That’s the same for Tuf Borland, Baron Browning and Justin Hilliard too.
- We had a great game plan going into Penn State, and that’s a credit to Kerry Coombs. There is kind of a pro feel to our defense and that comes from him.
- It was a little overwhelming at the start, but I’ve gotten to the point that I know everything about this defense so the mental preparation is not as a high. Because I’ve had so many reps, that has contributed.
- I really focused this offseason on getting at the right weight and strength. Now during the season grind, it’s about trying to maintain that. And getting rehab is important. You’re not as strong during the season with a lack of heavy lifting, but your technique is up, so it’s a balance.
- Running QBs? That’s obviously one of the issues we’ve seen for our defense, so we took responsibility against Penn State. And we did a good job.
- The teams that we’re playing upcoming, yeah, we might be favorites, but I respect all of those teams. It could be a dogfight at some points against them. It might not feel like we can have the same energy as if there were fans, but we have to have that energy.
- It obviously is hard to try to find those fun moments when you can find them. If you play well, you do have fun. As long as we keep playing well and doing our assignments, that’s fun to me. I like competing, I like winning games, I like to be on top, so that’s fun to me.
- It was definitely not in their game plan to only rush for 44 yards and throw the ball as much as they did. It was great. Our coaches always preach stopping the run. Knowing that we can stop the run from a defensive standpoint, that really eliminates that side of their game plan.
- Yes, it is. There’s also a sense where you’ve got to get your s*** going.
- It’s just a different feel. I’m trying to get a feel for it, but I’m getting better now.
- It depends on game plan. In that case, I just saw the opportunity to trample the running back and that’s what I did.
- When you have a bunch of talent and knowledge, you have the opportunity to do more. Coach Coombs can take some risks because of that, and I think we’ve done a good job handling that.
- Complementing Garrett Wilson? Me and Garrett are a good duo. Garrett can get a lot of targets in the slot, and if they want to bracket him in the slot, then we’ve got me or Jeremy Ruckert or Jameson Williams on the other side.
- We were just trying to stay in shape when we were out of football and attack every day to be the best versions of ourselves.
- I grew up watching Pac-12 ball. I was a big Oregon fan when Chip Kelly was there. I remember the 2014 National Championship Game when Ohio State played Oregon, and I didn’t really know much about Ohio State. I never thought they would offer me. I built a relationship with Coach Ryan Day, and he was always honest with me. When I visited for the Michigan State, it felt like home. Committing was the best decision I ever made.
- It was never a doubt in my mind. I was good when I got back to the sideline that Saturday against Nebraska. It was just a good, little hit, good football play.
- My freshman year we had a lot of good blockers in the room, I learned from Terry McLaurin, Parris Campbell, Johnnie Dixon, and Austin Mack, and they always took pride in their blocking.
- Those are the shots that we want. The deep ball comes naturally to me. It comes naturally to me, and that’s a blessing. First, I just want to get open, and then at the end of the day, you just have to make a play.
- Coach Day saying you’re one of the best wide receivers he’s been around? That means a lot, especially coming from Coach Day. He’s been around a lot of great receivers, guys like DeSean Jackson.
- I just kept my head down and kept working. From my freshman year to now, I feel like I’ve developed a lot. I learned from guys like Terry, Parris, and Johnnie that wins don’t come on Saturday.
- I’m feeling good, no worries. There might have been some complications before the season, but the last two games, there have been no worries or struggles.
- Just improving every week. The first week was still a little bit of a struggle, but I feel like I did a lot better the second game around. I still have a lot of things I want to improve on. I wasn’t too fond of my performance after the first game, but I did better in the last game. And I’m still hungry to get better.
- Mindset on goal line runs? I just see the goal line, and it’s right there. It’s so close, I can’t do anything but get in.
- Whatever the situation is I’m going to find a way to perform. With preparation I’m just going to trust the lord. It is hard to sometimes get in the groove, but I think I will fare well. There might be shifts throughout the season, so we’ll see how that plays out.
- Tommy Togiai? Probably one of the strongest people I have ever seen. His work ethic is great, and he doesn’t say much, but he stays grinding. It’s not surprising to see him break out.
- We had a great win, but we think we all could have done better. My vision was a lot better this week, and my holes were bigger for me, so I’m thankful for the offensive line. We did a lot better, but we plan on continuing to improve.
- I haven’t said too much to him, but through the process I’m going to be keeping up with him. We’re not really sure why some things happen in life, but this is definitely a time he can grow though.
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