COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — When Ohio State receivers coach Brian Hartline was promoted to offensive coordinator, the question became: Would coach Ryan Day allow him to take over play-calling responsibilities?
The answer so far this spring has been yes. The Buckeyes held their first spring scrimmage Saturday, and Hartline was calling plays while Day did not have a headset on during the practice.
“I mean, yes, there’s a growing thing that’s happening, and, yes, there’s an opportunity,” Hartline said. “But there’s a pedestal it’s being put on right now, and we don’t even know how it’s all playing out in the fall. I’m not thinking of it that way. … I just want to get these guys ready for spring ball.”
In addition to getting the receivers ready, he’s aware of the balance and mental energy required to lead a position group while also coordinating the entire offense.
“You can feel the difference a little bit. It’s not necessarily an allocation of time, but there’s probably a little bit more in my head that’s kind of going on,” Hartline said. “It’s definitely a little more uncomfortable than it would have been at this time last year, but I would say that anytime you’re uncomfortable, you have a chance to grow.”
Hartline has a leg up when it comes to growing in the new role because of the experience Ohio State returns at receiver. He said the Buckeyes are “six to seven” deep for receivers who can play, adding the players who are fourth, fifth and sixth on the depth chart are further along than at this time last year.
Hartline was also asked if he had goals this spring as a play-caller.
“I don’t think it would be fair to have goals because I haven’t done it,” he said. “I know this is going to be a talking point the entire time but I’m just trying to explain we’re going to call plays every day in practice, guys, and then go from there.”