Ohio State football players work during spring practice at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. (Photo: Marcus Hartman/CMG Ohio)

View of practice shows where Buckeyes stand as spring football enters home stretch

Here are five takeaways from practice and coach Ryan Day’s fourth press conference of the spring.

1. Tempers flared at one point.

Midway through the practice there was a tense moment as cornerback Damon Arnette shoved a receiver to the ground, prompting receiver Jaylen Harris to confront the senior.

Arnette threw a punch and teammates crowded around them, but it was broken up before escalating any farther and practice went on without further incident.

“I like the fact they’re goin after it,” Day said after practice. “If you don’t have any kind of scuffles, then you don’t have the right team. If you have too many, then it starts to get reckless. I think if you have one every now and then, it’s good. You never want it to get too over the top, but when you’re competing, football is a violent game and emotions get high. But as we’re getting closer to preseason, we have to play with emotion, we can’t let emotion play with us or it will cost us 15 in a game.” 

Coach Brian Hartline has a group of veterans and youngsters to fit into his rotation this season.

2. The first-team offensive line remains in flux.

Senior Josh Alabi was back at tackle after missing multiple practices with an illness, but Wyatt Davis was out.

Day said Davis, a sophomore who finished last season as the starting right guard, was sick this time.

Senior Brandon Bowen took his place at right guard while Nicholas Petit-Frere played right tackle, Gavin Cupp was at left guard and Josh Myers played center.

“Josh is really getting a handle and getting more comfortable every practice getting up front and being in charge and making the calls,” Day said of the Miamisburg native.

>>RELATED: Offensive line a work in progressMyers looking to lock down a spot

The only returning full-year starter from last year, Thayer Munford, is out this spring while he recovers from an offseason surgery, but he is expected to be full-go in the preseason.

3. There was at least one notable local visitor.

Aside from giving coaches a chance to develop their current players, spring football offers a chance to showcase the program to potential future Buckeyes.

A large group of recruits were in Columbus on Friday, and it included Centerville quarterback Chase Harrison.

The 6-foot-2, 185-pounder threw for 1,446 yards and nine touchdowns last season as a freshman for the Elks.

Harrison, who received a scholarship offer from Louisville last summer, figures to be one of the top prospects in the state in the class of 2022. 

Freshman QB Chase Harrison (16) and teammates celebrate his TD. Alter defeated host Centerville 10-7 in a Week 3 high school football game on Friday, Sept. 7, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
Photo: Staff Writer

4. A walk-on flashed at receiver.

Garyn Prater, a junior from Cincinnati Wyoming, was hard to miss.

He made multiple contested catches and big plays throughout the morning, showing why he had been mentioned earlier in the spring as being in the mix at split end.

“You never know how things happen,” Day said when asked about Prater seeing the field this fall. “He’s showing up every day and making plays.”

5. Despite low numbers on the offensive line, Day expects a normal format for the spring game.

“It’s one thing to be practicing on the indoor and rolling through practices, but once you get in front of 70, 80, 90,000 people, it matters,” Day said. 

“Even just punting the ball and seeing if the returners can catch the ball in front of that crowd and what kind of reaction are they going to get. It’s always good to get for the young guys to get out there for the experience of walking through the tunnel, going through pregame and all the things that come with it.”

Tickets are already on sale for the April 13 game, and a team representative said more than 50,000 of an available 76,000 tickets have been sold.

Capacity is reduced as renovations continue on the upper level of the stadium. 

>>How to buy tickets 

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