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Buckeye Football Notebook: 'We have nothing but discomfort, which is what we should have'
By Tony Gerdeman

COLUMBUS — At some point — probably around October — you will stop hearing about the established Buckeyes who are no longer on the current roster.

The loss of talent remains a significant story, but it's not one that the OSU coaches are interested in fretting over. After all, their job is to build that next batch of stars who will end up leaving them as well.

To put it another way, there's a reason Sisyphus was never worried about yesterday's boulder, and that's because today's boulder was plenty to keep him busy.

The good news is that the departures have created the kind of upheaval that leaves everybody looking for new and more important roles.

"We don’t have any contentment right now," cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs said of his position group. "We have nothing but discomfort, which is what we should have. We should have a lot of guys who are uncomfortable about where they are and how can they get better and what they need to do. So I think there’s a real urgency among the guys to do that."

Given the negative connotation that goes along with the words "content" or "comfortable" or "satisfield" in football parlance, the thesaurus advises us that Coombs left spring confident that he had four cornerbacks who can play this season in Gareon Conley, Mashon Lattimore, Denzel Ward and Damon Arnette.

While things went fairly well in building cornerback depth this spring, the situation at safety had some hiccups.

Malik Hooker and Eric Glover-Williams began the spring as the only two healthy scholarship safeties on the roster. Cam Burrows was eventually cleared to participate after spring break, but as he showed with some missed tackles in the spring game, he still has some work to do.

Safeties coach Greg Schiano attributed the struggles to rust.

"He’s shaken the rust off slowly but surely," he said. "When you miss the time that he did and then you try to come back right mid-spring going full speed, it’s not easy."

After about three practices this spring Damon Webb was moved over from cornerback and pretty quickly won the job at free safety over Glover-Williams.

According to Schiano, however, Glover-Williams wasn't working at full speed either for the entirety of camp.

"Eric had a couple things bothering him this spring that physically didn’t allow him to be the best he could be," he said. "So hopefully he gets well this summer and ready to go."

While Greg Schiano is trying to build the depth at safety for the Buckeyes, as well as coordinate some portion of the defense, he is doing all of this while getting accustomed to living life in a new city and with a new fan base.

As you might expect, the 100,000 fans at the Spring Game was certainly an eye opener for him.

"It was great," he said. "You talk about a fan base that is passionate about their team. Our fans, there is nothing better. Everybody had told me about it, but until you see it — I had not coached in that stadium — 1983 was the last time I coached in that stadium. So it has been a while."

Schiano is finding the fan base to his liking, as well as the city of Columbus itself. There is one thing missing, however.

"I like it a lot," he said. "It’s a great town with a passionate fan base. My family is actually moving up once they finish school, so they’re still down in Tampa. They’re moving up here in the summer. It’s been really good. I haven’t spent a lot of time other than in the football center and at the hotel. It’s been a lot of work, but it’s a neat town. At times I have gotten out with recruiting and other things. You can see it’s a passionate group of people."

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