The Buckeyes wrapped up their first two-a-day practice of preseason camp under brilliant sunshine this afternoon at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.
So far, OSU head coach Jim Tressel is happy with his team's progress.
"We had our first two-a-day today," Tressel told reporters moments ago. "We had the five days of our acclimatization period, which we are calling it now. I think we learned a lot and we put a lot in. You can see the youngers playing a little more hesitant and thinking too much. But I think we're seeing some good things."
This is the second year that schools have not held multiple practice sessions on consecutive days.
"I felt at the end of preseason last year, we may have had more meetings," Tressel said. "Coaches love meetings."
OSU is slated to have up to six days of two-a-days over the next two weeks.
Tressel was asked which freshmen had impressed him and would likely play this year.
"Teddy Ginn is playing both sides," Tressel said. "He is playing on both offense and defense and also on special teams. Our two new receivers, Albert Dukes and Devon Lyons, we would probably not redshirt them. (Tight end) Rory Nicol, without question, would be in the mix if we were playing a game today.
"On the offensive line, it sometimes takes a while longer. I don't know that any of those guys would play if we had a game today. On the defensive line, I don't know that any of those guys would be in our top eight. Linebacker-wise, Marcus Freeman would be in there -- that's if you would count he and Antonio Pittman as freshmen. Antonio, Erik (Haw) and Marcus would definitely play. Brandon Underwood would probably be a guy in our top 10 DBs.
"(Linebacker) Chad Hoobler is a guy I don't know would be in the two-deep or as one of our top seven linebackers. But we are happy with him right now."
Tressel was asked when he would whittle the quarterback reps down from three players to two.
"That probably would not happen until after the scrimmage on Saturday," he said. "We hope to run 125 to 150 plays Saturday. As long as we stay healthy, we will probably visit that at that point and tailor things down so two quarterbacks get the majority of the reps. You hope to nail it down to two after the jersey scrimmage."
Fullback Branden Joe was on the sideline today.
"He twisted his ankle (Saturday)," Tressel said. "That should not be a major thing. We went through all of preseason last year without our fullbacks and tailbacks and I think that hurt our defense.
"We have nothing serious injury-wise. We have some guys who are banged up, but not too many in gold."
Defensive tackle Marcus Green continues to sit out, however.
"He came off surgery and looked good in the winter," Tressel said. "We kept him out in the spring and then he had a good summer. He had some swelling during his fitness test and, really, did not complete the fitness test. When he's had some swelling, you just want to go slow and make sure he gets back in there when he's healthy. I like to think we will have him in a couple of days."
Tight end Marcel Frost also went down with some type of leg injury during Monday's practice.
Tailback Maurice Hall went through the entire practice, although Tressel does not believe the senior is 100 percent healthy after undergoing surgery on both knees.
"I don't think Maurice Hall is totally healthy yet," Tressel said. "He is a lot further along than he was in the spring. I see a lot of pride in him to help the team any way he can even though he is not 100 percent. When he's in there, he's giving 100 percent. And he has helped Erik and Tony out quite a bit. He is just a good guy to have on this team.
"I think he will get healthier as he goes along. I am excited by what I see right now with Maurice Hall."
Our Dave Biddle will have more from practice today in an upcoming report. Here were some notables:
* Cornerback E.J. Underwood and linebacker Thomas Matthews each made some big hits during scrimmage activity.
* LB Mike D'Andrea picked up a fumbled reception by Tony Gonzalez and returned it for a score. QB Troy Smith playfully bounced off D'Andrea at the goal line as each laughed.
* DL Joel Penton looked strong at times and freshman DT Nader Abdallah was also spotted in the enemy backfield once or twice.
* QB Todd Boeckman made two of the better throws during the scrimmage sets. He rolled out and found Lyons for a 10-yard gain, then dialed up walk-on TE Jordan Hoewischer on a 30-yard gain. Hoewischer made a nice over-the-shoulder grab in traffic and scooted for all he could get.
* The offense was given the ball near midfield, trailing 2-0 with 50 seconds left. Zwick completed a pair of passes to lead the first team into field goal range, where Mike Nugent booted a 42-yard field goal on the final play for the win.
The blocking was not as good for Smith with the second team. He was sacked by David Patterson and then by converted TE Jason Caldwell and the second team O never got in field goal range before time expired.
Boeckman and Hoewischer again hooked up to put the third team in field goal range. But Josh Huston missed a pair of 37-yard attempts.
Finally, freshman DB Shaun Lane made a tipped pass interception of walk-on QB Ben Kacsandi on the fourth series.
* The drill then switched to coming off the goal line. On the first series, Lydell Ross made a good cut and got 6 yards on a tough run. Huston booted the ball 50 yards out of his own end zone to Ginn, who just seemed to glide by everybody on a 10-yard return.
Smith kept the ball for a first down on the second series, before Turano hit a 38-yard punt. Huston dropped the snap on the third series. Practice ended when Santonio Holmes returned Turano's last effort -- a 40-yarder -- 30 yards back to the 12-yard line.