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Update: April 8
Urban Meyer opened Ohio State’s practice on Saturday to students and reports have the crowd in the 2,500 person range (via Cleveland.com).
There were food trucks and games set up for the students to have a fair-like feel, but the most memorable part of the day wasn’t the taco trucks or students kicking field goals—it was Brutus getting leveled by linebacker David Perkins.
As a joke the Buckeyes set up in a shotgun formation and snapped the football to the famous Ohio State mascot. He took the ball left on a roll-out and got leveled by the Buckeyes sophomore linebacker.
When asked about the hit, Perkins said “I read pass, and I took my drop. I saw the quarterback and I saw we lost contain, so I ran over to try to keep contain and just did my responsibility.”
This was one of the funniest mascot related tackles I have ever witnessed. Catch the video here.
Safety Christian Bryant made a great point about the incedent when asked to opine. He told the media “It brought a little bit of excitement and got the fans into it. They should have given him a black jersey if they didn't want him to get hit.”
Black jersey’s indicate no-contact.
Spring has been good to Noah Spence and the rest of the defensive line as they had multiple sacks during Saturdays scrimmage (h/t elevenwarriors.com), further easing concerns about the new defensive front.
Curtis Grant is also finding his way at safety and should be a major role player for the defense this fall.
There is a battle for backup running back going on that is full of talent and fierce competition. Rod Smith, Bri’onte Dunn and Warren Ball are all battling for the job.
Urban Meyer likes the competition telling the media (h/t elevenwarriors.com) “I couldn’t tell you who our backup is right now. They’re battling pretty good.” It looks to be a by-committee approach to the backup role heading into summer.
Update: March 7
The Buckeyes have finished their first day of spring practice, with a session of helmets and shorts coming on Tuesday.
Outside linebacker Ryan Shazier is expected to be one of the best at his position in the country for 2013, but his road to playing time this spring is being hindered by a sports hernia suffered earlier in the spring (The Plain Dealer). There is no firm answer as to when he might return.
Receiver Philly Brown also sat out with an injury.
One interesting move, according to the report, was Jordan Hall switching from running back to the H-back position. Hall was redshirted last year, and is looking to have a breakout season.
Getting Hall into the passing game as well as utilizing him as a runner will make him a dangerous threat in the Meyer offense. Expect him to progress a ton this spring and become a headliner this fall.
Taylor Decker is the leader at the one vacant offensive line spot, but Chase Farris is also making a charge.
J.T. Barrett was wearing an orange injury jersey, but it is a cautionary move after Barrett fell to an ACL injury during his senior season of high school.
Check back for more info as spring progresses.