Cody Cousino / Photo editor
Spring has arrived, shoulder pads are on and Urban Meyer’s first practice as Ohio State’s coach has come and gone.
The Buckeyes hit the gridiron for the first time opening their season in the indoor fields at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center because of windy weather. Wednesday marked the start of it’s 100th season of Big Ten football, which is under a new reign that came into power Jan. 3.
“It felt great to blow the whistle and see guys run and talk to them and coach punting,” Meyer said. “I love coaching punting. I love coaching and being around quarterbacks and seeing the defense run pursuit. I felt great.”
On March 16, 2005 Meyer’s first practice as head football coach at The University of Florida was canceled due to severe weather conditions. Wednesday windy weather moved the buckeyes indoors, but that didn’t stop them.
“It was a good first day,” Meyer said. “For my staff, I saw a lot of guys excited about coaching at Ohio State, which is key.”
Kerry Coombs, cornerbacks coach, tweeted from his account @OSUCoachCoombs, he was happy with the effort everyone gave at practice.
“What a great day! Players were working hard, enthusiastic and running all over the field! Great crowd at practice too! This is special!” Coombs tweeted.
Meyer, who holds the 10th-best winning percentage in major college history with .814, said the players were enthusiastic about the offense. He said he was impressed by the number of plays they were able to get through and admitted it was a lot, even for him.
“We’re rapid-fire now. I know the enthusiasm was there for them when you’re leading receiver has 12 or 14 catches,” he said. “Kids come to catch the ball, I think they’re enthused by that.”
With six new assistant coaches and nine true freshmen, Meyer said the first practice as a true Buckeye was good, but he wants the enthusiasm to resonate through the season.
“I told our team to be enthusiastic on day one. That narrows it down to probably one out of 300,000,” Meyer said. “Every player is excited about day one. How about day 13, 14 and 15? So obviously we aren’t there yet. I was very pleased with practice.”
After practice, defensive line coach Mike Vrabel tweeted from his account, @CoachVrabel50, about the practice.
“Just got done with my first spring practice as a coach. #luvthis,” Vrabel tweeted.
The tempo wasn’t flawless, but Meyer said practice run-throughs with coaches gave him more confidence that they are able to build momentum.
“There’s nothing worse than a player coming out to practice and seeing a coach confused,” Meyer said. “It’s all about respecting your coach, and if your coach is confused, then the player doesn’t respect you, so I made sure our coaches were right on target. But they did a good job.”
With the spring game a month away, Meyer’s priorities are focused on the offensive system.
“The offense is still guys making plays.” Meyer said. “I didn’t see a whole lot of that.”
As for the quarterbacks, Meyer said sophomore Braxton Miller and redshirt junior Kenny Guiton have impressed him, but he hopes that by practice five and six, they will be done installing the offensive system and have it mastered.
“They can physically throw the ball, both of them,” Meyer said. “I feel good about those guys.”
Meyer was the only Buckeye available for comment on Wednesday.