Meyer: Barrett Ready To Go Vs. Illinois

Updates from Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer, who spoke to the media after Wednesday's practice.

Ohio State redshirt freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett played the second half of the Penn State game with a sprained MCL, and Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer said Wednesday that his QB should be ready to go against Illinois this weekend.

Barrett was still somewhat limited in practice on Wednesday, but Meyer anticipated that wouldn’t be the case as the game draws nearer.

“I wouldn’t say quite full, but he’ll be full (practice) tomorrow,” Meyer said. “He did good – real good.”

When it was pointed out that Barrett’s injury was the same one that sidelined Braxton Miller for almost three full games in 2013, Meyer said that it was similar but probably not as severe. Lacking a medical degree, he said he just listened to what trainers told him in regards to whether Barrett could play or not. He also noted that some players are built differently than others.

Other updates from Meyer’s post-practice interview are as follows:

- When asked if any players other than Rod Smith were facing discipline or suspension, Meyer shook his head and said, ‘No,’ before the question was even finished.

- Meyer said he briefly looked at the College Football Playoff rankings just to see where Ohio State was ranked. He said the team had a little extra motivation for Wednesday’s practice. “The ultimate objective is to be competing for championships in November. You look on the calendar and that’s really close to now.”

- Meyer was asked if he had a chance to look at the success that former assistant Dan Mullen is having at Mississippi State, and he started reciting a number of his assistants that he’s been watching – Kyle Wittingham at Utah, Charlie Strong at Texas and Gary Andersen at Wisconsin. “Dan Mullen in particular though, I’m just really fired up for him. He’s a very good coach. We had just won the (2008) SEC Championship game and he asked if he could go interview with Mississippi State and I said, ‘Dan, you’re from New Hampshire.’ He looked at me and I said, ‘Do what you’ve got to do.’ I’ve known him forever. He was a GA for me at Notre Dame back whenever that was. I’m real proud of him. He’s a heck of a coach and it couldn’t happen to a better guy.”

- Meyer said Lou Holtz taught him to teach/develop his assistant coaches and understand when it’s time for them to move on. Said he takes a lot of pride in his former assistants doing well.

- The things they’ve worked on with Barrett this week have been “a couple reads and throwing with authority.” Meyer said he played with a lot of heart at Penn State, didn’t always play smart. Attributed it to freshman mistakes.

- Sophomore running back Bri’onte Dunn is not quite healthy yet, so sophomore Warren Ball will be the player on the depth chart who benefits most at the moment from Rod Smith’s ouster. Meyer noted that true freshman Curtis Samuel will also get carries, but the presence of Smith wasn’t really preventing that to begin with. Said they also have other options like Jalin Marshall and Dontre Wilson.

- Asked to re-tell the Mullen story because of audio problems, Meyer clarified that he did not tell Mullen to not take the job. “He said, ‘I got a phone call from Mississippi State and they want to interview me.’ This is in 2008, after the SEC Championship in Atlanta. I said, ‘Dan, you’re from New Hampshire.’ I just stared at him. He said he just wanted to take a look at it. Then he called me and said, ‘We had an eight hour interview and I think I got the job.’ I go, ‘Really?’ Really proud of him, though."

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