Buckeye preseason show premiers tonight on ESPN.
The Buckeyes are back to work and so far, I like what I hear. Yeah, I’ve been nervous about Meyer but after Sunday’s media day, I’m coming around (and fast).
Here are five things that I like so far:
1. Buckeyes are working their tails off
5 a.m. boys. That’s when they report. And word round the campfire, this is no summer vacation. Meyer is opening up with two a days plowing through 8 of his allotted 28 preseason practices this week. Don’t know how much of the video above is ESPN p.r. but I like the discipline and the attitude I’m seeing from Meyer’s approach.
Although the players have been pretty quite on Twitter, a few comments pop up now and then.
Headed straight to bed long days early mornings!! #weworkin
— corey brown (@phillybrown10) August 11, 2012
Long days, short nights. Welcome to camp
— Jake Stoneburner (@STONEYeleven) August 9, 2012
I will never cherish sleep as much as I do in camp. #6to10
— Reid Fragel (@Fragel77) August 9, 2012
2. Point A to Point B — 4 to 6 Seconds
The Ohio State Lantern has a great article about the expectations Meyer is bringing to this program. The article quotes Meyer as saying, “It’s so easy to be an average whatever. It’s so easy to just be an average guy.” Meyer goes on to talk about how “average” isn’t going to cut it and that there are players on the team who will be content with being average and there other players who won’t.
Meyer says that he is looking for the player who will go 12 steps when asked to go 10 – players who will play through the whistle, not anticipate it. And while talent helps, it’s the desire that makes a winning team.
I’m seeing something in Meyer here I didn’t see at Florida. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t paying close attention when he was at Florida. Maybe it’s because he’s changed. For now, I’m going with the fact that he understands the tradition and honor of the position he now holds and is rising to the opportunity of leading this great program.
Whatever it is, I like it.
3) Freshman Stripes
Coach Tressel was always one to recognize seniority among his players — sometimes to the extreme. In Urban Meyer’s camp freshmen have to earn their stripes, or lack thereof. The Scarlet Letter of preseason camp, black stripes have been added to the Buckeye Freshmen helmets and the only way to get them removed is to earn their removal. According to Eleven Warriors, it’s a practice that hearkens back to Meyer’s days at Bowling Green.
So far only two freshmen have lost their stripes: De’Van Bogard and Noah Spence.
Apparently there is no set criteria for losing the stripe, it’s more of a feeling or an effort that Meyer knows when he sees it. It’s another example of the expectations Meyer is bringing to the team and I like it.
4) Stoneburner at Wide Receiver
Now that Jake Stoneburner is putting his criminal days behind him and is back to practice, he returns to his old position of wide receiver. Although I liked seeing Stoneburner streak across the middle at tight end, there’s something about a 6’4″, 245lbs wide receiver that gets my attention. Don’t know if he’ll have the speed he needs but it should make for some interesting defensive lineups to protect against him.
Does beg the question though. Are the receivers that bad that Stoneburner is needed to help them out or is Meyer looking for creative ways to mix up the offense?
5) Miller and Guiton? At the same time?
One of the most interesting things to come out of practice is the word that we may see both Braxton Miller and Kenny Guiton on the field at the same time. Who knows what Meyer has up his sleeve with this one but I really like the potential of the old Miller to Guiton to option play (or something like that).