COLUMBUS, Ohio — Observations and notes from a brief glimpse at the Ohio State freshmen during a split-squad practice that opened training camp on Sunday morning:
Meyer locked in
The Buckeyes coach made clear he was ready to turn the page from all the offseason chatter and get back to focusing on football, and he obviously enjoyed being on the field and working with his players.
From the start, Meyer was energetic and engaged frequently with the young players he was finally getting to coach for the first time. And if for some reason the newcomers weren’t aware of the high expectations and the standards for a program that will enter the season ranked second in the nation, Meyer called a pair of huddles in the first 20 minutes of the workout to impress upon them what he’s looking for and expects in the buildup to the opener on Aug. 31 against Buffalo.
The message was hard to ignore, and Meyer certainly had been impatiently waiting to deliver it.
Speed it up
The periods open for media viewing didn't provide much of a look at the talented freshmen actually playing football, and because they were limited to just helmets and no pads as well, there's only so much that could be gleaned from their first morning on the practice fields at Ohio State.
But when they had a chance to dial it up and stretch their legs, the emphasis on acquiring more speed on signing day in February does appear to have paid off for the Buckeyes. Dontre Wilsonseems to glide around and makes everything look smooth, and touted newcomers such as Vonn Bell, James Clark, Corey Smith and Gareon Conley all looked the part of burners capable of providing that upgrade Meyer and his staff were looking for on the recruiting trail.
They all still need to put pads on and compete against the veterans to show what they can truly do, but lack of speed shouldn't be an issue.
Continue reading this article at ESPN: Four downs: First practice in books