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Pre-Season Practice Reports - 2003


The lack of real practice reports has finally pissed me off to the point where I've decided to go to one of the open practices. I've never been able to go to the campus before so I need all the help I can get. I'll have my three year old daughter with me, and I'm hoping to make a day out of it. I have a few questions that if I could get answered I'd be eternally greatfull.

1. Where do I park? I'd like to park where I can walk around and do the tourist thing, ie see OSU's trophies, take pic's etc.

2. How do I get there? the closest I've been to the shoe is I-71, please be specific.

3. Where are the practices? Are they at the shoe, at the WHAC? How do I get into them?

4. I read about a restraunt that has one of Archie's Heismans, is it anywhere near, walking distence? Is it apropriate for a three year old?

5. Are there tours of the shoe available?

6. What are the chances of running into a current/former player? Do they mind if you ask for photo's/autographs? I wouldn't want to be rude.

7. Where can I not take a camera? I'd guess no photos at the practices themselves.

8. What's the MUST DO, MUST SEE thing?

9. Does Michigan still suck?

Thanks in advance for any help. This is the realization of a dream I've had for a long time.
Practices are at the WHAC and the fields next to the WHAC...

To get there get on 315... take the lane Ave. exit. go towards camput (if getting off 315 north it would be turning right... if 315 south, you would turn left). Go down lane until you get to the light that lets you into the schott parking lot... park there, and walk up to the WHAT (the schott is closest to Lane Ave., then there is the baseball stadium, then there is the fields (with green mesh over the fense) and the WHAC.

The NC trophy is in the WHAC, I don't know where you can sit/stand for practice, but I'm sure folks will let you know where to go for that.

The Buckeye Hall Of Fame Cafe, has one of Archies Heismans (there is a replica of all the buckeye heismans at the WHAC)... it is on Olentangy River Road, you will need to drive to get there.

From the schott parking lot, go out the way you can (to Lane Ave.)... turn left (going east) onto Lane Ave. At the deadend (there the bridge is out) turn right, that is Olentangy River Road. Follow Olentangy (going south bound) until you get to a light were if you went straight you would go into the parking lot of the AMC movie theater... at that light turn left, follow that road (you are still on Olentangy River Road) until you get to The Buckeye Hall Of Fame Cafe on your right.

the Buckeye Hall of fame cafe is a restraunt, so your kid will be fine going in there... look around, there is a game room, pool hall, private dineing rooms, a bar, and a dinning room...

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Here's my practice report...

Disclaimer: Feel free to delete if you think it violates board policies.

The following players were in blue jerseys: Scott, Hawk, Pagac, Everett and Schnittker. They all seemed to have very minor injuries but took part in some of the drills, did some running and biking. Schnittker says his back is "getting there" whatever that means. He didn't do any contact, but did some other things off to the side.

The following players were in yellow jerseys: Lydell, Mo Hall, Roshawn Parker, B. Joe (in a sling from the surgery), Tyree (in a sling, dislocated shoulder), D'Andrea, Jacobs, and Chattams. There could have been a few more, it was hard to tell. Lydell, Mo Hall, and Parker didn't appear to be injured, but were doing mostly biking and medicine ball work. Hopefully just precautionary. Underwood had a boot on his right foot/ankle. D'Andrea was on crutches. Both looked like they were just sprains that could've happened in morning practice. Besides Joe and Tyree, none of the injuries looked real serious, but not necessarily promising. Word is that Joe may be out a little longer than previously reported, i.e. he almost definitely won't be playing in the opener. DeMaria was working with the ones at RB because of all the injuries, and also injured an ankle in 11 on 11 drills. He did walk off under his own power though. Mo Hall was shown on the news practicing without the yellow jersey earlier in the day, but supposedly had a minor ankle sprain. I think a lot of these may be precautionary until the RB situation is cleared up with MC.

Kudla I did not see...doesn't necessarily mean he was MIA, but I'm 99.9% sure he wasn't participating in drills, and may or may not have been on the sidelines. I didn't see Arden anywhere, but wasn't really looking for him, FWIW.

Some things I remember from practice itself:

Performed a drill with the QB's, RB's, & WR's vs. the DL's and LB's. A QB lined up on the 10 with a RB or WR against either a LB or DL. On the signal, the offense tried to run an option to the goalline without being touched by the defense. This wasn't really an offensive drill to practice the option, it was more for the defense's sake. The offense scored about 80% of the time (as they probably should). Those that looked good on defense included Carpenter (got his man twice, more than anybody else), Fraser, and Reynolds.

In any drill with the WR's going against the DB's, Gamble and Jenkins matched up exclusively. In the red zone drill, Gamble shut down Jenkins very well. You could really tell that Gamble added some upper body strength. He looked much thicker than last year, and his tackling is improved immensely. Technique was impressive too. He looks big enough to be a safety.

The RB group was a combo of walkons/MASH unit. Both RB's and both FB's out of contact along with Parker. Basically it was guys like Staubs and DeMaria, plus a few others even I didn't recognize.

Roy Hall is physically the most impressive WR I've seen in awhile. When he stood next to Izzy, their body types were almost identical. Izzy was about an inch taller. Both have been hitting the weights. I focused on Hall for awhile during red zone and other passing drills. He made some very nice over-the-shoulder and leaping catches in the corner of the endzone. I'll be surprised if he doesn't contribute a lot this year, and looks like he's being groomed to step in for Jenkins next year. Hall will cause matchup problems with corners this year.

Izzy showed some good blocking in 11 on 11 drills, and also caught a couple nice passes. He could easily play on the kick block teams this year and also see some time at TE instead of redshirting. Still, a redshirt would not surprise me, as Hartsock will play the majority and Hamby has a lot of game experience.

With Hawk, D'Andrea, and Pagac not participating in contact, the starting LB's were Carpenter (SAM), Reynolds (MIK), and Matthews (WIL). Honestly, all three looked good, especially Carpenter. It'll be hard to keep him off the field. I think Matthews finally bulked up enough to be a good WIL. He should backup Hawk.

Reggie Smith is very physically imposing. I'd expect a redshirt year, and he could possibly end up at DE next season. He looked to be bigger than the 248 he was listed at, but was still pretty quick. On occasions, he lined up on the DL as a rush end next to Will Smith, and was also the 2nd team SAM.

Todd Boeckman was at practice and was actually working out. I was under the impression that he could not participate in practice until he enrolls full-time. Could it be possible that he indeed enrolled for fall quarter instead of taking a grayshirt? I don’t know, but I’m 99% sure it was him. The O-Zone seems to agree.

Ira Guilford was participating in practice today, so it looks like his issues have been cleared up. He was not in full pads, he was only in shorts and helmet. He participated in some drills that didn't involve contact. In 11 on 11 drills, he was in the offensive huddle every play, and would then step back to watch the play. I'd expect him to be in full pads by mid-week. IMO, he will start this year practicing with the RB's. If he isn't needed there, he'll probably redshirt and play on either side next year.
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One other thing I forgot....

Both Lydell and Mo Hall really hit the weights hard in the offseason. Lydell is a physical specimen...hopefully that will help with the injuries he had last year. Mo Hall is probably around 210-215, very good size for his height. I wouldn't worry about either wearing the yellow jerseys.


Richard McNutt was actively involved in practice today, helping out some of the young guys and also joking around with the veterans.
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The only thing I felt necessary to edit was the new wrinkle, I have heard DK say no formation stuff in the past and that was directly from the coaching staff. So I decided to remove that, otherwise looked good to me.
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They have guidlines to follow, but they're allowed some stuff.

What the heck, what can they do, shoot me? Nice job Cleve, but i'll add what I remember without talking any about formations, offensive/defensive themes, etc.

Kudla was there, but showed up over halfway through practice, but was full-go. After all the other injuries, I was expecting the worst.

Add E.J. Underwood to the yellow jersey list.

I also did not see Arden, and I was looking.

Gamble and Jenkins always battled, as did Fox and Carter. Carter ran first team O all day, and had a couple great catches. I thought he looked very solid, only saw one dropped pass. Running Matthews down like he did was also very impressive. I totally agree on Hall. He carries 230lbs so easily, he could easily add more IMO. He uses his body very well and really fights for the ball. He's going to be a good one, maybe starting this year. Holmes didn't stand out to me today.

I don't think Irizarry redshirts. He looked very good in pass patterns and his speed wasn't exaggerated. He's thin for a TE and needs some weight time in order to be the blocker OSU needs. Caldwell also had a nice day and a couple nice catches, and Hamby burnt someone bad for a TD on a stop and go route. TE's got quite a bit of love today as a group.

Reggie was no taller than expected, but was very thick. Showed quickness, but not necessarily open field speed. He looked like a FB to me, not LB or DE.

Not that this is news, but Will Smith is an absolute beast. He abused our OL all day, non-stop. Dropping him into pass coverage should be a crime, he had pressure on the QB darn near every snap. The young DL all had nice days, Pitcock with a few memorable hits. You could really see the added weight helping Richardson and Penton. Marcel Frost also looked surprisingly well. He needs to fill out quite a bit, but most true freshman do. He showed good quickness and had a few nice pass rush moves that really surprised me, including a heck of a spin move in the one on one drills. He could be a real sleeper. I didn't see as much of Patterson or Maupin, so i'll have to look for them more next time I hit a practice.

The OL looks as good as advertised. Clarke looks like a different person. I'm begining to wonder if 50 lbs is lowballing it. Bishop, who I hadn't heard much of, has definately lost some weight too and did very well in the one on one drills. This could be a unit to remember.

LB depth is horribly low, but Bond, Matthews, and Carpenter got a lot of reps. Schlagel looks like a DE, build wise. He's very, very thick, but I had a hard time gauging his speed today. Hopefully he can move well enough, because at that size he'd be a load on contact. I agree Carpenter looked good, and I thought he had a solid day. If someone isn't careful, he's going to use all these reps to win himself a spot.

DB wise, Gamble looked very, very good. Fox does look thicker, but Carter got the better of him a few times. Youboty looked solid in team drills, but struggled in the one on one drills. Still, you can see the potential, he just needs time. Nate Salley got snaps with the first D with Everett out and looked pretty good. He's not going to make you forget Doss in run support, but he's solid, and does well against the pass. He seems to know where he needs to be, which is a good start with young guys.

I have to say i'm more worried about our kicking game than most. Sanders is doing well, but it's always been a game time pressure problem with him IMO. He's definately quicker gettting it off, but we'll see if he can keep the shanks down in a game. Nugent worries me, though. I know what he can do, but he still doesn't seem to be on the same page as his snapper/holder and is missing some he never would otherwise. I hope they spend the extra time and get it down, because he didn't do well in the kicking scrimage, and missed a few today. I think all they need is practice, so hopefully they can find the time to do it. No question Nuge is one of the best if he can get comfortable and Sanders can get the ball down right.
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