Practice Notes (Subscriber)

More notes from practice, this time with observations on Stan White, David Patterson, and more.

While Dave Biddle covered the practice field with the wide receivers and quarterbacks, I sauntered over to observe the offensive and defensive linemen rotate in drills. Of particular interest to Buckeye fans were:

- Darrion Scott. Scott looked like he was able to go full speed and is still lining up at the defensive tackle position.

- David Patterson and Brandon Maupin. These two freshmen continue to impress. They were matched up against the second and third team offensive linemen. On one play, Patterson tossed his opponent (whose name I will omit) to the ground like a rag doll and charged into the backfield.

- Rob Sims is developing nicely. He could be a serious asset for Ohio State this season and might very well have started even had Ivan Douglas returned.

- The best matchup to watch from my perspective was that of future NFL players Shane Olivea and Will Smith. The two battled ferociously with neither really gaining the upper hand in their contest. Olivea's shoulder appears (from a distance) to be healthy, and that might signal his readiness for a monster season. Three times they charged at one another. Three times it was a stalemate of sorts. If there must be a winner, it would have to be Olivea since Smith was pushed outside of the mythical pocket.

- Tim Schafer was once again with the offensive line. This is an experiment that I like (as if it matters to the coaches what my opinion is here). The offensive line will lose more in 2004 than the defensive line and appears to have a little less depth at this point. Schafer has had only a few days at the offensive line spot so it might be a while before he surfaces again in the headlines. However, if he embraces the move and works hard, he could see the field as early as next year. Ohio State will be replacing 4 starters in 2004, effectively meaning that all of the scholarship players at the position will be in the two deep in the Spring.

The nickel package today included Mitchell, Underwood, Salley, Allen, and Fox. The interesting thing will be to figure out which of Mitchell, Underwood, or Salley will be bumped down by Gamble once he is out of his yellow jersey. It might be that the coaches rotate the players in the nickel back position depending on what receivers and personnel groupings the opposing offense brings to the table.

Louis Irizarry saw more work at the TE slot catching passes.

Stan White played the H-Back again today. With Schnittker looking healthy once again, Stan Jr. might recede from the fore a bit, but he will be heard from again (probably sooner rather than later). He seems to be a very hard worker and is all about team. He was available for the media to conduct interviews after the scrimmage on Saturday, and I found myself impressed with his desire to help the Buckeyes in any way possible. You cannot help but root for those types of players whether they don the Scarlet and Gray or Crimson and Cream (Oklahoma colors).

Alex Stepanovich led the running at the conclusion of practice.

Buckeye Sports Top Stories