COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Ohio State Buckeyes just completed their third week of spring practice and coach Ryan Day provided a few updates on how spring ball is going and also gave an adamant defense of Justin Fields.
This week, ESPN analyst and former NFL quarterback Dan Orlovsky said he heard from several NFL teams that Fields does not love football is the they of player who is ‘last in, first out’ at practice.
Those comments sparked a firestorm of people coming to Fields’ defense, including Day.
“The season gets canceled, he doesn’t opt out and go to the NFL Draft. Some guys did,” Day said. “Not only does he not opt out, he fights to get the season back. He has a petition, he goes on national TV and fights to get the season back. Then he comes out and plays and plays really well . . . All I know about Justin Fields is he’s one of the hardest working guys, he’s one of the most competitively tough guys and when he sets his mind to something, he gets it done.”
One of the more interesting notes from Friday’s practice was wide receiver Gee Scott taking reps with the tight end group.
“Gee kind of came to us and had a conversation about possibly doing some tight end stuff. We thought it was a great idea,” Day said. “He’s a very mature young man who sees a future in that for him. Now, whether we go full time with that we’ll see, but he’s got the right idea on this thing.”
WATCH: Ohio State practice April 2
Meanwhile, running back Demario McCall also took snaps at a different position joining OSU’s defense as a cornerback during spring practice, an idea McCall brought to the coaches.
“It’s so cool when you see somebody bring it to you as opposed to a coach bringing it to a player. The guys on defense saw him do a few drills and kind of caught their eye right off the bat,” Day said. “This is a huge opportunity for him and playing in that Nickel spot right there is something he’s shown some good flashes early on. He’s got to keep learning, but he’s had a great offseason.”
Cornerback is a position of concern for the Buckeyes after they finished 122nd in the country in passing yards allowed per game (304), which was 6th-worst in the entire country. Plus, OSU is practicing without Cam Brown who tore his Achilles against Penn State last year and Sevyn Banks who will miss all of spring practice with an injury.
“I think we have some good young guys that are showing up,” Day said. “I’m very pleased with the development of those young guys and I think this is a great opportunity for them to have to step up . . . this is great for us because it’s building our depth in that area.”
Day added they will get Brown and Banks back in the preseason. Day also said he would never force a player into a position they don’t want to play.
“I want to do what they feel comfortable with and if they’re not comfortable playing a position, then we won’t do it,” Day said. “It wasn’t like I told Demario McCall ‘You have to go to defense or Gee Scott you have to go to tight end,’ because if their hearts not into it, then it’s not going to work.”
Chris Olave and a handful of Buckeyes did not practice, but Day said it was due to a stomach bug and other things that are “non-COVID related.”