Urban Meyer talks QBs, which position worries him more this spring at Ohio State

Published: Tuesday, March 06, 2018 @ 2:29 PM
Updated: Tuesday, March 06, 2018 @ 2:29 PM

Urban Meyer oversees the start of the seventh spring football season at Ohio State since he became head coach.
Urban Meyer oversees the start of the seventh spring football season at Ohio State since he became head coach.

Ohio State kicked off spring football Tuesday morning, and the first question should have been of no surprise to anyone.

Here are seven things to know about the Buckeyes getting back on the field for the first time since beating USC in the Cotton Bowl.

1. Of course, the quarterbacks came up first.

With J.T. Barrett’s career over, coach Urban Meyer is going to have to choose a new starter.

Sophomore Dwayne Haskins and junior Joe Burrow split reps with the first team while redshirt freshman Tate Martell was also in the mix.

“This is going to be trying to do the best we can to make sure that we have equal opportunity to compete,” Meyer said.

RELATED: Who are Ohio State’s top 10 quarterbacks of all time?

2. NCAA rules could add a twist to the quarterback battle.

Meyer acknowledged the fact Burrow could graduate this spring, transfer and play immediately elsewhere is relevant to when and how the coach handles his decision.

“We try to be as transparent with you guys without getting too nose-deep into our meetings but the answer is probably yes,” Meyer said when asked if that would be a consideration, noting he would rather see them continue competing into the fall if one is not a clear winner in the spring.

“My first obligation is Ohio State. But not far below that is the player and the family. And so, yeah.” 

Joe Burrow (10), Dwayne Haskins (7) and Tate Martell (18) are in the mix to be Ohio State's starting quarterback in 2018. (Ryan Donnelly/Land of 10)

3. Does Josh Myers have a new position?

A five-star recruit from Miamisburg who redshirted last season, Myers was seen working with the second team offensive line on the first day of spring drills.

The somewhat surprising part that the powerful guard prospect was playing center.

Meyer said he is in the mix at that position along with senior Brady Taylor, juniors Matt Burrell and Josh Alabi.

They are vying to replace Billy Price, who won the Rimington Trophy as the nation’s best center last season. Ohio State’s Pat Elflein took home the same honor a year earlier. 

RELATED: Price injured at NFL Scouting Combine

“I think I'm more stressed about center (than quarterback),” Meyer said. “I think when you have quality players going at it there's no stress at all. When you worry about who is going to be your center, that's my focus -- I think we'll be fine at quarterback. Who is it going to be? I don't know, but I know they work really hard and I see not two but three guys that think they should be the quarterback.

So I spend more time at the positions that -- I don't know who is going to be our center.” 

A look at the offensive line on the first day of spring practice 2018 at Ohio State. (Ryan Donnelly/Land of 10)

4. Who is healthy?

Shoulder surgeries will sideline linebacker Dante Booker, offensive guard Michael Jordan, receiver K.J. Hill and cornerback Jeffrey Okudah for all of spring practice.

All four are expected to be ready to go when preseason camp rolls around. That includes Booker, who was the subject of a report last week he intends to graduate and transfer.

Meyer was not happy about that story being published, noting he first heard of it when Booker’s mother called him “nearly in tears” to ask about it.

“His plan is to be an Ohio State Buckeye,” Meyer said, “and I’d rather people leave him alone, let him go be an Ohio State Buckeye, work as hard as he can.”

5. What about the offensive line?

Brandon Bowen, who was the starting right guard until breaking his leg halfway through the season, is still working his way back, but Meyer was unclear about if he will be able to practice this spring.

With Price and starting left tackle Jamarco Jones having graduated plus Bowen and Jordan sidelined, the offensive line figures to have a lot of moving parts this spring.

On day one, the No. 1 unit consisted of (from left to right) Isaiah Prince, Malcoln Pridgeon, Taylor, Springfield native Demetrius Knox and Thayer Munford, Prince was the starting right tackle the last two seasons while Knox was the starting right guard last year after Bowen went down.

The second-team offensive line from left to right was Alabi, Burrell, Myers, Wyatt Davis and Kevin Woidke.

Taver Johnson is back as CBs coach of the Buckeyes, who have had three consecutive starters at that position taken in the first round of the NFL draft.

6. Who will lead? 

Overall, this will be a pretty experienced team as only 16 letter-winners were lost from the 2017 Big Ten championship team that beat USC in the Cotton Bowl. 

However, stalwart leaders Barrett, Price and defensive linemen Tyquan Lewis, Jalyn Holmes and Sam Hubbard are among those who are gone. 

“When you leave this place better than when you came in, that's something else,” Meyer said. 

“And I just see Josh Perry gets treated like he owns this place because he does. And Jalyn Holmes and Tyquan. Who else? Denzel Ward. Just see good people that have really built this program. J.T.'s obviously one of them.”

7. When is the spring game? 

Ohio State fans can get a look at the 2018 for the first time April 14 when the Buckeyes hold their annual spring game. 

Former Buckeyes Malcolm Jenkins and Ryan Shazier are scheduled to serve as honorary coaches for the game. 

Jenkins is coming off winning his second Super Bowl ring, this one with the Eagles, while Shazier is on the mend after a scary spinal cord injury in Cincinnati last December left him unable to walk. 

Ohio State Spring Game

Saturday, April 14

Kickoff: Approximately 1:45 p.m.

Tickets: $5 general admission; $15 reserved

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Middletown’s Harrison dominant in mixed-martial arts debut

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 10:08 PM

Kayla Harrison, of the United States, celebrates after defeating Audrey Tcheumeo of France during the women's -78kg gold medal judo contest on Day 6 of the 2016 Rio Olympics at Carioca Arena 2 on August 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images
Kayla Harrison, of the United States, celebrates after defeating Audrey Tcheumeo of France during the women's -78kg gold medal judo contest on Day 6 of the 2016 Rio Olympics at Carioca Arena 2 on August 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)(Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Middletown native Kayla Harrison won her professional mixed-martial arts debut Thursday night against Brittney Elkin, of Denver, in a Professional Fighters League 155-pound lightweight bout in Chicago.

Harrison, a two-time Olympic gold medalists in judo, got Elkin on the ground early and dominated the fight, finishing it off three minutes, 18 seconds into round one.

“Kayla Harrison golden in her debut,” the NBC Sports announcer said.

“She won every moment of that bout,” another announcer said.

MORE HARRISON: Kayla Harrison shares inspiring message with Middletown crowd | Middletown cheers Harrison to another Olympic gold

The Professional Fighters League is a new MMA promotion that held its first event earlier this month. The Harrison-Elkin fight was one of five on the main card.

Harrison is following in the footsteps of former training partner Ronda Rousey, who was also a well-known judoka before she became an MMA superstar in the UFC. 

“Ronda is always going to be, I think, that little ‘rabbit’ in front of me,” Harrison said via MMAJunkie.com. “When I was 16 and I moved to (coach Jimmy) Pedro’s, she was the superstar. She was the golden girl. She was the one everyone was watching. Every day, I said to myself, ‘I’m going to be her some day. I’m going to be better than her. Anything she can do, I can do better.’ It helped take me to the highest levels of my sport. 

“So I don’t see this being any different. It’s positive motivation for me. It’s healthy. I think it’s always healthy to have something to chase, something to look forward to.”

Earlier this month, Harrison told reporters she battled depression after wrapping up her second successful Olympic run two years ago but has fallen in love with the competition provided by MMA. 

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Bengals sign final two draft picks

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 5:11 PM


            Ohio State’s Sam Hubbard practices at AT&T Stadium on Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017, in Arlington, Texas. David Jablonski/Staff
Ohio State’s Sam Hubbard practices at AT&T Stadium on Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017, in Arlington, Texas. David Jablonski/Staff

The Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday signed both of their third-round picks, defensive end Sam Hubbard and linebacker Malik Jefferson, to four-year contracts.

The signings mean all 11 picks from the 2018 draft class are under contract.

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Hubbard (6-foot-5, 270 pounds) played in 40 games with 22 starts at Ohio State. He recorded 116 tackles, including 29.5 for loss and 17 sacks. The Cincinnati native (Moeller High School) also had one interception, three passes defended, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Jefferson (6-2, 236) played three seasons at Texas, appearing in 34 games with 30 starts. He registered 233 tackles, including 25.5 for losses and 12 sacks, to go along with six passes defended, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

›› RELATED: 5 reasons to buy stock in John Ross in 2018

As a junior last season, he led the Longhorns with 110 tackles, including 10 for losses and four sacks, and was named Big 12 Co-Defensive Player of the Year, first-team All-Big 12, second-team All-American (AP) and a semifinalist for the Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker.

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Dayton Dragons past and present moving up in Reds organization

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 4:41 PM

Dragons OF Stuart Fairchild. The Dragons defeated Lake County 10-9 at Fifth Third Field in Dayton on Thursday, April 12, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
Staff Writer
Dragons OF Stuart Fairchild. The Dragons defeated Lake County 10-9 at Fifth Third Field in Dayton on Thursday, April 12, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF(Staff Writer)

The Dayton Dragons announced a handful of roster moves Thursday as the Cincinnati Reds promoted multiple prospects within the organization. 

Outfielders Stuart Fairchild and Randy Ventura were promoted from Dayton, the Reds’ low Single-A affiliate, to Daytona, their advanced Single-A squad. 

RELATED: Reds make pair of roster moves prior to series with Cubs

The Dragons also added pitchers Tyler Buffett and Dauri Moreta from Billings and outfielder Malik Collymore from Greeneville (Billings and Greeneville are rookie-league affiliates) while activating outfielder Andy Sugilio from the disabled list and pitcher Andrew Jordan from the inactive list. 

Fairchild’s promotion is notable from an overall organization standpoint because he was one of the most highly thought of players the Reds drafted last June. 

According to reports, the Reds also promoted outfielders Jose Siri and T.J. Friedl from Daytona to Double-A Pensacola. 

Siri and Friedl both had outstanding stints for the Dragons last year. 

This season, Friedl hit .294 with three homers, 10 doubles, 35 RBIs and 11 stolen bases in 64 games for Daytona. He posted an on-base percentage of .405. 

Siri, who began the season on the disabled list with a thumb injury, played 30 games for Daytona this season and hit .261 with one homer, nine doubles, nine RBIs and nine steals. 

Interestingly, outfielder Taylor Trammell — another 2017 Dragon — has put up better numbers than either of his teammates who were just promoted. 

Trammell is hitting .301 with six homers, 25 RBIs and nine steals. 

Trammell is the team’s No. 3 prospect according to MLB.com, ranking him four spots ahead of Siri. 

Fairchild is No. 10 while Friedl is No. 14. 

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Cincinnati Reds make pair of roster moves prior to series with Cubs

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 3:40 PM

PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 28: Scott Schebler #43 of the Cincinnati Reds is congratulated by Joey Votto #19 after scoring against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fifth inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on May 28, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. MLB players across the league are wearing special uniforms to commemorate Memorial Day. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
Staff Writer
PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 28: Scott Schebler #43 of the Cincinnati Reds is congratulated by Joey Votto #19 after scoring against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fifth inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on May 28, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. MLB players across the league are wearing special uniforms to commemorate Memorial Day. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)(Staff Writer)

The Cincinnati Reds made two changes to their roster prior to the start of a four-game series with the Chicago Cubs. 

Scott Schebler was placed on the bereavement list and replaced by fellow outfielder Phillip Ervin, who was called up from Triple-A Louisville. 

Schebler, who has been on a hot streak since moving into the leadoff spot, will be inactive for at least three days but no more than seven. 

Without Schebler, interim manager Jim Riggleman put shortstop Jose Peraza at the top of the order for game one against the Cubs. 

The team also sent down struggling reliever Wandy Peralta, who has a 19.10 ERA in his last 10 appearances

Kyle Crockett was called up from Louisville to take Peralta’s place. 

>>RELATED: What’s gone wrong with Wandy Peralta?

A left-hander from Virginia, Crockett was a fourth-round pick of the Cleveland Indians in 2013. 

He appeared in 107 games for the Tribe (all as a reliever) from 2014-17 with a 3.44 ERA. 

This year for Louisville he has a 4.00 ERA in 23 relief appearances. He has struck out 23 and walked five. 

Ervin began the season with the Reds, hitting .211 with three RBIs and five runs scored in 16 games. 

The 2013 first-round pick is hitting .221 with no home runs, 10 RBIs and seven stolen bases in 27 games for the Bats. 

In addition to those moves, the Reds released Tony Cruz, who was with the Bats.

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