Spence Still Practicing With Buckeyes

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said in his weekly post-practice update that sophomore defensive end Noah Spence is currently practicing with the team.

Although he’s currently unable to play after a second failed drug test, Ohio State junior defensive end Noah Spence is still around the team. Speaking to reporters today in a post-practice interview, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer confirmed that the Harrisburg, Pa., native practiced Wednesday.

“Yeah, he actually practiced today,” Meyer said. “He’s doing things to get healthy, but he’s also… we support him.”

The third-year Ohio State coach also touched on recent high-profile incidents that have occurred in the NFL, saying he and his staff try to teach players about such problems on a daily basis.

“Every day, because they know what they see,” Meyer said. “And how do you not see it? I worked out and put on the (TV) and noticed today every one of them, for I want to say 20 to 30 minutes, was issues. Not just the NFL, but college. They’re all teachable moments. I think everyone in the country is using that.”

Meyer also said that Ohio State has a zero-tolerance policy for domestic abuse, noting that respect for women is one of the program’s core values.

The rest of the updates from Meyer’s interview are as follows:

- Meyer said Jalin Marshall is getting more involved with the offense. Said he was a slow starter but had a good game against Kent State and needs to be more consistent. “His whole issue is just a 4-to-6 mentality and going as hard as he can. When he goes as hard as he can, he’s really good.”

- Marshall’s knowledge about all spots of the offense is an asset. If he keeps improving, he and Wilson will be on the field at the same time.

- Meyer called punter Cameron Johnston’s struggles “coachable.” Said Johnston is a hard-working guy. When it comes down to it there’s nobody else who can do it better, so they’re just working to eliminate the shanks.

- Meyer said that in past years sophomore wide receiver Michael Thomas was a ‘mistake guy – every third play he’d screw it up.’ That led to a redshirt in 2013. Meyer said he no longer makes those mistakes and his success isn’t surprising because he looks that good in practice.

- Ohio State is working on Cincinnati already, and Meyer noted a ‘call to arms’ at pass defense because of the success of quarterback Gunner Kiel in Cincinnati’s opener. One of the other factors in the decision to go straight into Cincinnati prep is that it’s an early open week, so it’s not like Week 10 when fatigue might become an issue.

- Asked if OSU might be more ahead of Cincinnati (in terms of working into the season) because the Bearcats missed the first two weeks, Meyer says no. Said he didn’t see the first-game mistakes against Toledo that one might expect.

- Meyer again mentioned that it carries weight that Cincinnati coach Tommy Tuberville says this is the best receiving corps he’s ever had – Meyer coached against him in the SEC and knows the talent that he had at Ole Miss and Auburn. “It catches my eye, and I made our team aware of that as well.”

- Meyer said he loves J.T. Barrett’s energy at practice, specifically when it comes to getting better. Said he attacks each day like a newcomer.

- Meyer excited about the number of playmakers at wide receiver and tight end and notes that everyone except seniors Evan Spencer, Devin Smith and Jeff Heuerman will be back next season.

- Heuerman is sitting out this week of practice because of a stress reaction on the bone of his foot. “There’s no answer other than rest.” Meyer hopes for Heuerman to be back at practice the Monday before the Cincinnati game.

- Meyer likes the way Decker and Baldwin have played but is still trying to solidify the interior of the line.

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