Jody Victor : Buckeye Open House

Jody Victor: For the second season in a row, the football team gave Ohio State fans a glimpse of what is to come in the impending season. Thousands of Buckeye faithful piled into Ohio Stadium Thursday for the rescheduled open practice.

The public workout originally was scheduled for Monday, but was postponed because of severe weather. Thursday, the Buckeyes welcomed fans to get accustomed to the new playing surface at Ohio Stadium, holding an autograph session on the field before practice.

After the fans cleared the field, the Buckeyes started practice with some special teams work and finished the night scrimmaging for several series as the OSU Marching Band played in the background.

Head coach, Jim Tressel, and the assistant coaching staff met with media before the practice.

Jim Tressel, OSU head coach – On the fans at the autograph session: “These are great people. They are so genuine. They may not have a chance to come out on Saturdays, but today they were able to show they are true Buckeyes.”

On the night practice: “It helps break up the monotony of the everyday grind. We play some evening games this year and it lets our kids get out there under the lights, which normally we can't do.”

On Todd Boeckman, junior quarterback: “Todd has spent a lot of time watching some really great quarterbacks come through here. He has a lot of potential and has been building on that since Troy (Smith) left.”

Joe Daniels, OSU quarterbacks coach – On the mentality of quarterback Todd boeckman compared to former QB Troy Smith: “Todd is a lot more serious of a guy. Troy had a fun-loving, vibrant personality that worked well with our offense last season. Todd is more within himself, more in control of his emotions. I think that's helped him gain the respect of the players and the coaches.”

On the summer heat affecting the conditioning of the players: “The heat has definitely been a hard obstacle to overcome but our guys have stayed in shape all year around. If they come in looking good, we just have to build on that progress. I think in the end, the heat will benefit this team.”

Jim Heacock, OSU defensive coordinator – On the safeties: “We have plenty of good players. Right now we have about four guys going for our two starting spots. Kurt Coleman, Anderson Russell, Jamario (O'Neal) and Nick Patterson are all in the mix.”

On going against his brother (Jon Heacock, Youngstown State head coach) in the YSU game Sept.1: “We are really close. The week leading up to the game may be the only time we don't talk this year. Once the game is over, we will be right back to being brothers again.”

Darrell Hazell, OSU assistant head coach and wide receivers coach – On the kick returners: “With the kick scrimmage the other day we are starting to get a good idea of who it is going to be. We have alot of talent and all the guys really want a shot at it.”

On the wide receivers: “When you lose the guys that we did (to the NFL Draft) it opens up opportunity for other guys to step up. They are all going to get their chance.”

Go Bucks!

Jody Victor

Posted in OSU

Jody Victor : Buckeye Banter

Jody Victor: Buckeye football camp is coming to a close soon. Here's what some of the guys had to say.

Lawrence Wilson, junior defensive end on camp: “The best part of camp is everybody coming together and working hard. Everybody pushes each other and it really brings us together as a team. The worst part of camp is that it's three weeks away from home and it's been so unbearably hot.”

On the versatility of the running backs : “They've been running fast and they've been running hard. Beanie is a power guy, Brandon Saine is a speed guy and Mo Wells is more of a shifty type. I think that each brings something new to the table and they'll all complement each others' talents.”

Maurice Wells, junior tailback, on his mindset in camp : “My mindset has been the same as it was last year at this time. My goals always include winning the Big Ten, winning a national championship and beating Michigan. All the goals from last year are really my same goals this year. Hopefully we'll be as successful.”

On his role sharing the ball with Chris Wells : “Chris and I are two totally different styles of running back. It'll be up to the coaches on how they want to use us in the offense. I know we're both ready to play some football and see how it works out.”

Chris Wells, sophomore tailback, on being a central piece of the Buckeye offense : “It's 11 guys on the field, not just a one man offense or a one man backfield. Everyone has to contribute and do their job. For me to succeed I need a great offensive line, which we have, and a great coaching staff, which we have.”

On being in a more run-oriented offense : “I'm looking forward to running the ball, but if passing the ball is going to win games, then I'm all for doing that. I've been working all spring and summer on catching the ball so hopefully I can contribute a little more in that area.”

On the schedule : “I don't think that any team on our schedule is soft at all. We have a bulls-eye on our backs every time we take the field and those guys are gunning to take us down. You just have to be ready to execute and play to the best of your ability.”

Go Bucks!

Jody Victor

Posted in OSU

Jody Victor : Buckeyes Heating Up

Jody Victor: Despite temperatures creeping into the mid 90s, it turns out there is something the Ohio State football team craves more than a cool drink of water.

The chance to hit somebody.

And the Buckeyes finally got what they wanted last Wednesday as the shoulder pads went on for the first time and the sounds of pads popping filled the hot, humid air around the practice fields surrounding the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

“We've been out here for a couple days, but when the pads come on, that better resembles how the game is played,” junior tight end Rory Nicol said. “There is more excitement when the pads go on and the energy level definitely goes up.”

The pads in the pants will go on later, which will signal full-go contact in practice, but because of the temperatures it might not be a bad thing that the Buckeyes were not in full gear yet.

“It is really hot, there is no doubt about that,” Nicol said. “But the coaches do a good job of getting us watered up and the trainers make sure we are staying hydrated 24 hours a day, not just during practice.”

As camp progresses, the Buckeyes continue to prepare for live scrimmages and then the 2007 season opener against Youngstown State September 1st.

“It's just a lot of fun out here,” Nicol said. “That is the most important thing. We talk everyday about having the desire to get better, and we do. We believe this team has the chance to be special and we have to work to make that happen.”

Go Bucks!

Jody Victor

Posted in OSU

Jody Victor : Buckeye Camp Kicks Off

Jody Victor: The 2007 Ohio State football team took the field for the first time Monday, participating in the team's initial practice of Fall camp. The Buckeyes drilled in helmets and shorts on the Woody Hayes Athletic Center practice fields.

Head coach Jim Tressel met with media before the Buckeyes' first team work out of the season. Some Tressel quotes on the team:

On the first night of camp : “I talked to the team last night. At the running drills, they all look really excellent. They all looked very strong. I would even say they were in a little better condition than last year.”

On team leaders : “There are some guys that are just natural leaders. Kirk Barton has been really stepping up along with Dionte Johnson on offense. Malcolm Jenkins and Marcus Freeman have both really stepped up as leaders on defense.”

On the team : “I would describe this team and this year a lot like 2004 and 2006. In both cases, we lost a lot of guys and it was really a year to see who is going to step up.”

On the offensive line : “We have had a really solid group of like eight guys. Ben Person, Jim Cordle, Connor Smith, Jon Skinner, Steve Rehring and Bryant Browning have been tremendous and even though they do not have a lot of experience, they are making great strides.”

Go Bucks!

Jody Victor

Posted in OSU