There are really no "thoughts" on the Ohio State spring game like I would normally post after a regular season game. With no tackling allowed for the first part of the "game", there wasn't much to take away from what we saw. Anyone going overboard with either praise or criticism would seem pretty over the top from me.
I'm going to post my "musings", which would fall well short of critical thoughts. I will look at each position group and combine recruiting and team info where it's possible.
COACHING: Not much to take away from what we saw on the field Saturday, and I'm still very high on this coaching staff. Excited to see Urban Meyer get back to wearing one hat, that of the head coach. Very excited to watch Kevin Wilson take ownership of the offense, which has happened. Greg Schiano is a given as a defensive stud. There are a few question marks however. I do not know if Greg Studrawa can out-coach Ed Warinner, but in terms of recruiting this one is a first round TKO with Stud administering a beatdown. There are two types of assistant coaches however: teachers and salesmen. Ideally, you want your assistants to be both, but that's not always the case. I want salesmen at runningback and tight end. I need teachers at quarterback, offensive line, defensive line and linebacker. For defensive backs, you usually see two and it's usually one of each. Can Studrawa take his 4 and 5 stars and coach them up to what Warinner did with 3's and 4's? They aren't bringing in the projects, or misses as Meyer called them recently, on the offensive line right now. They are taking thoroughbreds. If Stud can get them coached up, and the results were OK last year, that will only aid this offense getting to where Wilson wants to take them. We also need to see if Larry Johnson can get the pass rush up to speed, because they weren't very good last year pressuring quarterbacks. They only had 21 sacks from the D-line last year, and that's very average. There is too much talent along that defensive front to not be able to pressure with four guys. Johnson needs to find a way to get the sack totals in the Alabama or Clemson range, around 50.
QUARTERBACK: Please do not tell me after yesterday that J.T. Barrett is awful, or that he is much improved. Don't tell me Haskins of Burrow are better than Barrett, or that J.T. is miles ahead of the other two. Because we saw nothing yesterday that resembles what a quarterback needs to do in a pressure game when bullets are flying. I can tell you that there is no QB competition. ZERO. Barrett is the guy and will be the guy next season, or else he would not have been brought back. Do I feel Ohio State could win it all next year if Barrett goes out early with an injury? Yes, I do. Can they win it all with him? Yes, they can. I feel good about Emory Jones sticking with Ohio State, so no worries about talent or depth here.
RUNNINGBACK: I really like Demario McCall, and always have since first laying eyes on him four years ago. But I'm not sure he's a runningback, just like I never saw Curtis Samuel as one. But McCall might be just as good as Samuel, and he needs the football this season. Mike Weber is Mike Weber, which is a good player. Not Hyde or Zeke, but good enough to win with. Like everything about J.K. Dobbins, and I do think he's a true back. Recruiting wise, they have not dropped Tavion Thomas despite the internet rumors. I know he was a no-show yesterday, but he is in their plans. Now he could fall out of the plans should they land Zamir White, and I think that possibility is real.
WIDE RECEIVER: From what I saw Saturday, the "H" spot is loaded with Parris Campbell, who looks SO COMFORTABLE, and K.J. Hill, who I think a lot of. No reason to move McCall here, but he would be just as good as those two. You can just see Campbell is a totally different player now than on the outside, where he was pretty average. I did not like what I saw out of either Mack or Victor, but again this was a controlled scrimmage not a game. But I would prefer to see both attack the ball in the air and not be so tentative. Not much new recruiting wise here, and I still don't see Blue Smith at Ohio State. I don't see them offering JoJo Scates either, which leaves Meechi Harris as an in-state option and I don't think they're sold on him. Look for them to go out of state to add two or three, like Kamryn Babb or C.J. Moore.
TIGHT END: They threw it to them a lot, but that happens at a lot of schools in spring games. Easier throw and guys find soft spots in zone defenses. As for recruiting, I believe they need two. Still see Jeremy Ruckert as one of them. They could go in-state if they choose and have a lot to select. Trenton Gillison, Josh Whyle, Brendan Bates and Keaton Upshaw are all guys that can play.
OFFENSIVE LINE: There is really nothing to learn from the game, either positive or negative. O-line is five guys working as one unit and none of that happens in a spring game. Judge these guys by what you see on the field in 2017. As for recruiting? Be excited. Very excited. Max Wray is a stud, and most folks thought he was done to Bama. Getting him isn't like stealing Grant Schmidt or Kevin Feder from a middling school. Wray is big time. They are getting Jake Kradel soon I truly believe, and I like this kid a lot. I still have Jack Carman as a Buckeye as well. Then they go land two more studs and all the sudden you aren't looking at projects or JUCOS anymore as potential starters. You just have blue blood studs to choose from. This is going to be a great O-line haul that they will add to Wyatt Davis and Josh Myers, so the Projects are going to be few and far between.
DEFENSIVE LINE: I've written often that this depth is going to be unbelievable in 2017, and now that he's healthy you can throw Malik Barrow into the mix as well. They have 10-12 guys that can legitimately start on the D-line. Get the pressure turned up and it becomes Bama or Clemson good. They need ends in this recruiting class more than tackles, especially with highly rated Taron Vincent in the hopper. They are chasing Micah Parsons and Brenton Cox out of state, and you have the in-state stud Tyreke Smith. With Vincent in, you have to look to Aeneas Hawkins, Michael Thompson, P.J. Mustipher, and others. I think they take five linemen and restock a deep talent pool. Looking down the road at defensive ends, there are three guys in-state that are going to be VERY highly rated in Zach Harrison, Cade Stover and Steven Faucheux, and Ohio State is good with all three.
LINEBACKER: I'm starting to become a believer in the Worley-to-Mike experiment, and if this works out well it shores up an area of concern. Baker needs to be more consistent, and this should happen with a year under his belt. Booker needs to be more physical, but this can happen with a year's maturity as well. It was good to see Justin Hilliard out there running around and looking healthy. People forget how highly rated he was a while ago, but he has not been able to stay on the field. Put Hilliard in the Dixon and Barrow category, in that it was good to see them get reps. Recruiting looks good here as well. I have Dallas Gant and Chris Oats as IN, and they are looking good for Teradja Mitchell as well. I could see them holding at three, but they are looking closely at in-state Xavier Peters.
DEFENSIVE BACK: Last year was crucial to add stud corners, so they went out and brought in a group that could be the best of all time. Loved Wade and Okudah, but Marcus Williamson surprised me yesterday with his footwork and increased size. This year they need to address the safety spots, so what do they do? How about landing Jaiden Woodbey and Josh Proctor, two of the very best in America. And they're chasing Amari Burney, who I believe plays safety in college. They had two great corners on campus in Patrick Surtain and Tyson Campbell, but I don't think either is likely to sign with Ohio State. Not real high on the in-state DB's, other than Michigan State commit Xavier Henderson who they could go after.
OVERALL: No changes for me. Will fight for the national championship on the field, and the recruiting title off the field this year. I have the next 9-10 months as extremely exciting to follow.