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Ohio State Football Media Day Notes, Quotes, Tidbits and Asides
By Tony Gerdeman

COLUMBUS — So I got home from Sunday's Ohio State media day and I went to the forum to start purging myself of what I had seen, heard, asked and was told. It started to get pretty lengthy, at which I point I thought it would be better to just go ahead and throw it up on the Front Page and call it "content".

Much of the stuff mentioned below will become stand-alone stories, but I thought a lot of it was interesting enough to at least touch on until that happens.

So here goes. And remember, this was just going to be a forum post, so don't go expecting superior prose. Thanks.

+ Curtis Samuel has not moved to running back. He is still an H-back, but the ideal H-back is also prominently featured as a tailback. I mentioned recently that Samuel should have the third-most carries this year. I'm even more sure of that now, if he stays healthy. He didn't play in the scrimmage, for what it’s worth. Tony Alford said it was nothing.

+ Torrance Gibson has a little hammy issue. He didn't play in the scrimmage but he'll be back out there tomorrow. I talked to him about how confident he is now and how confident he wasn't last year. He thought he was ready to play but he says now the redshirt was the best thing that could have happened for him. He told me that he knew he wasn't ready when he was on the sideline for the VT game last year.

+ Denzel Ward is the fastest Buckeye. I asked a few players and they all said he's just different than anybody else. "Denzel is different. He don't count." -- Jerome Baker. Gibson told me it's frustrating playing against him because you can beat him off the line but his makeup speed is ridiculous. Gibson also told me Marshon Lattimore has been outstanding.

+ I've talked to a few members of the 2014 class about how people told me back in 2014 that even though the 2013 class was getting the pub, the 2014 class was going to be great as well. They are all looking forward to finally being on the field. They have a group text among the 2014 class that stays pretty busy. Parris Campbell said he even has to turn it off at times because it’s constant. I’ll have a story probably this week about the 2014 class and how it is finally their time to lead.

+ Parris Campbell told me back in the spring that he didn't think he was ready at that point to be a focal point of the offense. He believes he is ready now. He started out at H the first four practices but has now been working at X.

+ Curtis Samuel isn't worried about his touches. They'll come. I asked him about the 2014 class and he said a lot of people don’t know what they’re capable of, but they’ll know soon. He is at H-back and running back.

+ Dontre Wilson is very hungry for his opportunities. He thinks about his close calls in the return game early in his career “all the time”. They were watching some of those plays just yesterday. “I feel like this year is going to be something special. I’m going to keep speaking it until it comes into existence.” He’s looking for at least six carries per game, then hopefully getting five or six catches per game, then however many returns he gets. He’s just lining up at H-back and tailback now.

+ I asked Mike Weber about Pat Elflein telling him that millions of fans are relying on him and he said that he felt a little bit of pressure after that. He doesn't want to let anybody down. Weber told me he’s down 18 pounds and he can tell he’s a better running back now. He’s quicker and faster, but he knows more about the position now than he did a year ago.

+ I asked Jerome Baker what he brings to this defense and he said speed. I told him that people asked me how he compares to Darron Lee and I said Darron's in the 4.4s and you're probably in the 4.5s. He told me that he offered to race Darron Lee plenty and Lee would never do it. He then spoke directly into my recorder and said, "If Darron ever hears this..." He says he challenged him all the time. Then I mentioned how Ryan Shazier would race the receivers and beat them. He said he met Shazier on a recruiting trip and then he spoke into my recorder again and said the same thing, "If he wants to race, he can get it too." He said Torrance Gibson is the only receiver who beat him in the 40 last year. Yes, this will eventually be a story.

+ Freshman quarterback Dwayne Haskins said that he’s gotten better every day. He spent a lot of time since he arrived working in off hours throwing with all of the receivers. This is the first time he’s ever really had to take mental reps. He said he has always “heard about mental reps before” but it’s definitely happening now. They have been helping, as has J.T. Barrett.

+ I asked several of the players what the freshmen are in for this next week with three two-a-days and a scrimmage on Saturday. Left tackle Jamarco Jones said that he’s blocked out his freshman camp so he doesn’t really remember it. Jerome Baker told me that this is when you find out if you really love football as much as you think you do. Others said that this is when the veterans have to be there for the rookies and pull them through. This will be a story Monday at some point.

+ “Grueling.” That’s how Tony Alford described what this next week is going to be for the freshmen. They’ll know a lot more about Demario McCall and Antonio Williams after next week. As I was talking to Alford, McCall came over and I asked Alford if he was sure McCall would get through it, and Alford laughed and responded, “He’s not gonna have a choice but to be okay.”

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