Ohio State head coach Ryan Day hopped on the Ryan Day Radio Show on 97.1 on Wednesday to break down Ohio State’s 21-man class of 2021, the entirety of which has now signed on with the Buckeyes. Offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson and defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs also spoke.
- Day spoke about how different the new model of signing day is from the way that things used to be, with the creation and proliferation of the early signing period knocking out much of the recruitment two months early. He did mention, however, that he likes to have so many early enrollees. Ohio State had 15 such players in 2021.
- “The old signing day model is just very different.”
- Day called this class “one of the best classes in a long time” at Ohio State and credited both his staff and the recruits with their ability to adapt to the bizarre circumstances of the recruiting cycle. He also mentioned the lack of visits, and how some of the early enrollees were meeting their new coaches in person for the first time.
- “For some of them, it was the first time we met them in person. For the others, it was a year since we’ve seen them so they looked like different people.”
- Day doesn’t expect or want to be significantly over the 85-player roster limit, even with seniors allowed to return for an extra season.
- As for his current team, Day joked that he’s going to have some sleepless nights worrying about the lack of experience returning at the quarterback position, and that Ohio State is trying to give its young signal callers as many game-like scenarios as it can.
- “We’ll just have to try to do a great job of trying to simulate some games this spring… We’re going to try to figure out a way to simulate as many games as possible.”
- Day explained that the addition of Parker Fleming into the fold and the promotion of Matt Barnes was primarily designed around getting more help in the back end of the defense, so as to help Kerry Coombs focus more on his coordinator duties. He mentioned that he was very happy entrusting the front seven to Larry Johnson and Al Washington, who he said did a good job against the run up front.
- “I think we did a good job against the run, and I think a big part of that is Larry Johnson and a big part of that is Al Washington.”
- When asked about the transfer portal, Day said that Ohio State is doing its due diligence to keep up with the times, but that he’s uneasy about bringing in someone new to replace a player that’s been in the program.
- “Having a guy come in and jump ahead of guys who’ve put work in – that’s a tough thing to do.”
- Coombs spoke at length about his excitement to get back to recruiting since his arrival in Columbus, though he did lament the fact that much of his first year back on the job was spent recruiting from home rather than in person.
- “I love recruiting. I love talking to kids. I hate doing it on zoom and text… I hope they let us go on the road at some point in time.”
- Coombs said that he was working with Barnes on the secondary before, and that this promotion will just be an extension of that. He also mentioned that he expects a lot of carryover from what Ohio State was doing in 2020, and that he loves Day’s commitment to promoting from within.
- “There’s still going to be so much carryover in style and scheme.”
- Wilson said that Ohio State is in the process now of seeing what it has with its new offensive recruits, and that the Buckeyes are working to identify the talent it expects to be the basis of the offense, so that they can begin to flesh the offense out.
- “In the end, it’s what can you do and what do you evolve to based on what you have.”
- Wilson said that while the inexperience at quarterback will present a challenge, he expects the offensive line and rushing attack to pick up the slack and help out the new starter.
- When asked about tight ends, Wilson said that Jeremy Ruckert wants to continue improving, and that Ohio State wants to make a point of getting him the ball more. However, he was not satisfied with the room at large, which will have to replace Luke Farrell and Jake Hausmann.
- “That room needs to develop.”