Ohio State’s Ryan Day on calling plays, spring availability and moving forward

COLUMBUS — In his first meeting with the media since Jan. 1, Ohio State football coach Ryan Day revealed a lot about what the Buckeyes have been up to and what is next.

Here are five things to know from Wednesday morning:

1. Day confirmed Kirk Herbstreit’s report he is considering giving up calling plays on game days in hopes of having more time to do everything else involved with being the head coach.

“I think that during the season (and) during the offseason, no problem at all,” Day said in his first meeting with local reporters since Herbstreit mentioned the news on an ESPN broadcast. “Beginning of the season (is) pretty good, but as we get to the middle of the season, end of the season, I feel like there’s times where I have to manage my time a little bit better and make sure that as the head coach I have enough presence going around the building late in the season. And so I’m trying to figure out how to best remedy that, just making sure that I’m evaluating myself as the head coach the right way.”

2. He is not sure who will call plays in his stead if he gives it up.

Brian Hartline, newly promoted to offensive coordinator, will get the first shot this spring after four years as receivers coach.

“We’ll come up for air at the end of the spring and kind of figure out what that dynamic looks like going into the preseason, and then into obviously the season,” Day said. “So we won’t decide on any of that now but certainly give him an opportunity to kind of call it in the spring and and see how that goes.”

3. He wants to pick a starting quarterback at the end of the spring.

Day never seemed to be in a hurry to name his starter two years ago in the wake of Justin Fields’ exit, but he sounded a different tune Wednesday when discussing Kyle McCord vs. Devin Brown.

“I hope that one of them emerges and we can we can name a starter, I really do,” Day said. “Because I think the way that our dynamic is, it’d be great for our program to be able to do that.

“There was times in the past where I just didn’t see that happening. Now, I’m hoping that can happen. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t, but some vision on who the starter is coming out of the spring would be nice.”

4. Several players will be sidelined this spring.

Receivers Emeka Egbuka and Julian Fleming, linebacker Tommy Eichenberg, running backs TreVeyon Henderson and Evan Pryor, defensive end/linebacker Mitchell Melton, safety Kourt Williams and offensive lineman Jakob James will not take part in spring practice.

Day did not elaborate on what was bothering any of them, but Henderson previously revealed playing much of the season with a foot issue while Eichenberg had injuries to both hands, and Pryor and Melton both missed the season with knee injuries.

Day added that others likely could be out or limited when spring ball begins early next month.

5. The offensive line competition could be wide open.

Day said returning starters Donovan Jackson and Matt Jones will remain at left and right guard, respectively, this spring as a handful of player compete to replace tackles Paris Johnson Jr. and Dawand Jones.

Josh Fryar, who was the sixth man last season, figures to be at the front of the line for one spot while Day said Lakota West product Tegra Tshabola is going to be part of the competition as well after serving as the No. 2 left guard last season as a true freshman

James’ absence this spring is notable because he was among the backup centers last season. Matt Jones can play center, but Day indicated the first cracks at replacing Luke Wypler will go to redshirt freshman Carson Hinzman and transfer Victor Cutler.

About the Author