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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Ohio State
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  04/09/21 - Thayer MunfordrSr/2022, Ohio State, 6-5, 315 (DS#3 OT) + More +

  Paris Johnson assumed Ohio State football would have an opening at left tackle by his sophomore season. After the national championship game, the Buckeyes' starting left tackle, Thayer Munford, confided in Johnson that he might not be ready to vacate his post. The NCAA decided no fall athletes would accrue eligibility last season. Munford could put off the NFL Draft and come back for a "Super Senior" season. Johnson - widely complimented on his maturity since his days as one of the nation's top high school recruits - had to process his personal goals against Munford's. He said Munford knew what Johnson's expectations were and "kept it real" regarding his own thinking.

"At the end of the day, the most important thing is ... him getting his degree, and then being able to go the highest that you can when you leave this place - to maximize that opportunity," Johnson said. "I told him just to pray on it and go where he felt peace, and then that should be the decision. He said he felt peaceful coming back. So I told him you shouldn't go against that feeling, so I was all for it." Johnson has been playing guard extensively this spring and now projects as the starter on the right side next to tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere, who he has bonded with. - Cleveland Plain Dealer


(DS#3 OT) rSr/2022 OT Thayer MunfordOhio State
News Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer
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  For the development of Petit-Frere as he prepares for his second full season as a starter at right tackle, offensive line coach Greg Studrawa sees run blocking as an area where he can make some of the biggest strides. It starts with lowering his pad level, as the 6-foot-5 tackle often got too upright while blocking smaller defenders. "He is a tall guy," Studrawa said, "and for him to bend at times, it's a strain." The emphasis has required additional leg-strengthening exercises and flexibility training. "His pass blocking excelled," Studrawa added. "That was last year's focus: Making him an elite pass protector. He's well on his way. His feet are done. He's doing those things there. But what we've got to do is make him an elite run blocker, not just a good run blocker. He's got to become elite." Despite last fall's breakout season, Petit-Frere has strived to maintain his focus and seek continuous improvement. Plaudits only matter so much. "The main goal is to improve on what I did from the season before," he said. "I'm not going to just forget about what I've done, I'm going to make sure what I've done is try to improve on the things that I've done, and not just stay the same, but to be even better." - Columbus Dispatch

(DS#2 OT) rSo/2023 OT Nicholas Petit-FrereOhio State
News Source: Columbus Dispatch
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  04/08/21 - Josh ProctorJr/2022, Ohio State, 6-1, 202 (DS#8 SS) + More +

  Josh Proctor was not the Ohio State football coaching staff's first choice to solve the free safety position last season. The senior may be the only choice - or at least the most obvious and experienced once - to solidify the back end of the Buckeyes' defense in 2021. Proctor's ascendancy to stardom did not unfold as some expected. He spent most of 2020 in an important yet part-time role. He said he emerged from the experience with a better understanding of what Ohio State wants - and needs - from him as a potential leader in the defense. "I think it was really just being consistent," Proctor said. "Always being in the right spot and knowing what I'm supposed to do and not trying to make that big play or do everything by myself, really."

Proctor seemed poised for big things while backing up Jordan Fuller in 2019. A year ago at this time, he was still considered the front-runner to succeed Fuller -- now with the Los Angeles Rams -- as OSU's starter. Instead, Marcus Hooker emerged as the coaching staff's preferred free safety option. At the time, then-assistant defensive backs coach Matt Barnes - who now oversees that position group - said Hooker's rangy skills fit that position better. He described him as having "freakish" ball skills and complemented his ability to track the ball. Proctor was considered a better fit for man-to-man responsibilities. He spent most of the season playing cover safety on passing downs. - Cleveland Plain Dealer


(DS#8 SS) Jr/2022 SS Josh ProctorOhio State
News Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer
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  04/07/21 - Mitchell MeltonFr/2024, Ohio State, 6-3, 243 (DS#999 OLB) + More +

  Ohio State football lost another potential defensive contributor for the remainder of the spring. Redshirt freshman linebacker Mitchell Melton was on crutches Monday during the portion of practice reporters were allowed to watch. Ohio State coach Ryan Day would not go into injury specifics but said Melton suffered "a long-term injury." Melton joins defensive tackle Haskell Garrett, cornerbacks Sevyn Banks and Cameron Brown, linebacker Dallas Gant and safety Kourt Williams as defensive players who are out or limited from practice. "We're going to have to do a great job developing the young guys, so we're a little thin going into the preseason," Day said. "I think we have a good plan and Al (Washington) will do a great job with the young guys." - Cleveland Plain Dealer

(DS#999 OLB) Fr/2024 OLB Mitchell MeltonOhio State
News Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer
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  04/06/21 - DeMario McCallrSr/2022, Ohio State, 5-09, 195 (DS#46 RB) + More +

  Back for a sixth season with Ohio State football, Demario McCall may be in line for a third position. McCall was working out with the cornerbacks when reporters watched a couple of periods of the Buckeyes' Friday practice. Ryan Day said the former running back and slot receiver has been practicing at nickel back - a move prompted by McCall's suggestion. "The guys on defense saw him do a few drills and he kind of caught their eye right off the bat," Day said. "So he's been building and learning. It takes time to change positions like that. And I know he's kind of done some different things for us on offense, but this is a huge opportunity for him." McCall began his college career as a running back and ran for 270 yards and three touchdowns as a true freshman. Yet he totaled only 283 rushing yards in the following three seasons - including a redshirt year - then moved to the receiver room last season. - Cleveland Plain Dealer

(DS#46 RB) rSr/2022 RB DeMario McCallOhio State
News Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer
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  04/05/21 - *Justin FieldsJr/2021, Ohio State, 6-3, 227 (DS#2 QB) + More +

  Ryan Day does not know where criticisms of Justin Fields' work ethic and passion for the sport originated. The Ohio State head coach does know - and is adamant in expressing - how different those opinions are from the one he formed over two years of working with the 2019 Heisman Trophy finalist. Former NFL quarterback Dan Orlovsky triggered the controversy earlier this week when he tried to explain on the Pat McAfee Show why Fields' draft stock might be dropping. Orlovsky said unnamed NFL decision-makers referred to Fields as a "last-in, first-guy-out type of quarterback" and questioned his desire to "go be a great quarterback."

Day said Fields dedicated himself so much last offseason that OSU strength coach Mickey Marotti said Fields inspired him. "And we get here and the preseason gets canceled, the season gets canceled, and he doesn't opt out and go to the NFL Draft," Day said. "I don't know why people have said what they have. I read stuff on my phone and I don't quite understand any of that stuff. Love for football? I mean, there's a lot of guys that opted out. Are they saying the same things about those guys who didn't want to play? "Not only does he not opt out, he fights to get the season back. He has a petition. He goes on national TV and fights to get the season back. Then he comes out and plays and plays really well." - Cleveland Plain Dealer


(DS#2 QB) Jr/2021 QB *Justin FieldsOhio State
News Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer
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  04/03/21 - Jeremy RuckertJr/2022, Ohio State, 6-5, 253 (DS#3 TE) + More +

  Tight end Jeremy Ruckert has proven to be a receiving threat in recent seasons at Ohio State. In returning for his senior season, he might see his involvement in the Buckeyes' passing game expand. Speaking with reporters on a Zoom call on Wednesday afternoon, Ruckert said he has worked with the coaching staff in spring practice to add to his route tree, potentially increasing his role in the offense. "It's kind of the same stuff we've been doing," Ruckert said. "It's been in before, but we're really focusing on it a lot more now and getting more opportunities. I think the biggest thing going into this year is just trying to give us more opportunities in the passing game because we've proven that we can produce and help this team in any way, especially in the passing game." In last fall's pandemic-shortened season, Ruckert gave quarterback Justin Fields a big red-zone target. The 6-foot-5 tight end grabbed all five of his touchdown passes while the Buckeyes' offense sat inside the 20-yard line. They were among 13 receptions for 151 yards in eight games. The previous season, he caught 14 passes for 142 yards and four touchdowns. - Columbus Dispatch

(DS#3 TE) Jr/2022 TE Jeremy RuckertOhio State
News Source: Columbus Dispatch
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  04/03/21 - Cameron MartinezFr/2024, Ohio State, 5-09, 188 (DS#999 CB) + More +

  Ohio State football put Cameron Martinez's playmaking abilities on display last week, releasing a practice clip of him intercepting not one but two passes. Defensive backs coach Matt Barnes said the behind-the-scenes reports on the redshirt freshman have been equally impressive. "You can't sit in a meeting without hearing great things about him right now," Barnes said. "Whether that's strength and conditioning, our nutritionist brags about him, our training staff brags about him. I just five minutes ago walked out of a special teams meeting where coach (Parker) Fleming was bragging on how well he's done in special teams. "Cam has really, really put his head down and gone to work since this past season ended. And he has got to be one of the most improved guys so far that we've seen." Martinez signed with Ohio State as a multi-faceted talent with a tentative future at defensive back. That appears to have solidified over the past year, with Barnes saying Martinez has played in the slot and outside at cornerback and has also worked out at safety. - Cleveland Plain Dealer

(DS#999 CB) Fr/2024 CB Cameron MartinezOhio State
News Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer
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  04/03/21 - Sevyn BanksJr/2022, Ohio State, 6-0, 200 (DS#6 CB) + More +

  Add two more Ohio State football veterans to the list of those unable to practice this spring. Bucknuts first reported that cornerback Sevyn Banks and receiver Kamryn Babb are out for the remainder of spring practice due to injury. An Ohio State spokesperson confirmed both players are unavailable. They join defensive tackle Haskell Garrett, offensive lineman Harry Miller, linebacker Dallas Gant and cornerback Cameron Brown as players known to be out of practice altogether or refraining from contact drills. Banks started all eight games in 2020 at cornerback opposite Shaun Wade. He led the Buckeyes with seven pass breakups along with 23 tackles and one interception. - Cleveland Plain Dealer

(DS#6 CB) Jr/2022 CB Sevyn BanksOhio State
News Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer
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  03/30/21 - *Shaun WaderJr/2021, Ohio State, 6-1, 196 (DS#8 CB) + More +

  Cornerback Shaun Wade will not work out in front of NFL scouts during Ohio State's pro day on Tuesday. His agent, Michael Perrett, said he is rehabbing a turf toe injury, postponing his workout until April 14. Wade suffered the injury during last fall's season with the Buckeyes, according to Perrett. Though he was named a consensus All-American and the Big Ten's defensive back of the year, Wade at times struggled in pass coverage in his transition from slot corner to outside corner. - Columbus Dispatch

(DS#8 CB) rJr/2021 CB *Shaun WadeOhio State
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  03/28/21 - Haskell GarrettrSr/2022, Ohio State, 6-2, 299 (DS#4 DT) + More +

  The scooter was the clue. Ohio State defensive tackle Haskell Garrett is out for spring football practice with an injury to the lower part of his right leg, Ohio State confirmed on Friday night. The obvious issue came to light when Garrett spoke to a youth sports group in the Columbus area on Thursday and on Friday posted a photo on Instagram with his right leg bent and resting on a scooter. It's the same type of scooter that Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett made famous by wheeling around on during the College Football Playoff after suffering a season-ending injury against Michigan in 2014. - Cleveland Plain Dealer

(DS#4 DT) rSr/2022 DT Haskell GarrettOhio State
News Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer
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  03/27/21 - Dallas GantJr/2022, Ohio State, 6-2, 232 (DS#31 ILB) + More +

  Dallas Gant opened his Zoom conference with reporters Thursday by revealing he is not playing this spring due to what he called a "foot issue." He did not want to go into specifics about the injury's origin or nature. He did say he expects to be back to full participation this summer. "Obviously it's hard," Gant said of the injury. "Spring is a time to develop skill sets. I have to find a different way, focusing on things I can focus on." Gant is one-third of a group of senior linebackers blocked in recent seasons by the four seniors who completed their careers in 2020. Last season he backed up Tuf Borland at Mike linebacker and is the presumptive starter there for this fall. Gant collected 17 tackles, a pass breakup and a forced fumble in 2020. - Cleveland Plain Dealer

(DS#31 ILB) Jr/2022 ILB Dallas GantOhio State
News Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer
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  03/23/21 - Harry MillerSo/2023, Ohio State, 6-3, 315 (DS#6 OG) + More +

  One of Ohio State football's returning offensive line starters is not expected to practice in full this spring. Buckeyes coach Ryan Day said junior Harry Miller is not cleared for contact and probably will not be for all of spring drills. He did not specify the nature of Miller's injury. Ohio State will hold its first spring practice in pads on Wednesday. Miller started Ohio State's first six games last season as a sophomore - five at left guard and one at center in place of starter Josh Myers. He missed the College Football Playoff semifinal against Clemson after testing positive for coronavirus. He did not start against Alabama in the national championship but did play.

It has been presumed that Miller will shift back to center, his original position, since Myers left school early to enter the NFL Draft. When asked about Miller's possible shift to center, Day reiterated OSU's need to find the best five offensive linemen and said versatility is a strength. "Now, how does that fit in terms of position specificity? That's what it comes down to in terms of figuring that out over the spring," Day said. "But the more that guys can do, the more roles, the more value that they have." - Cleveland Plain Dealer


(DS#6 OG) So/2023 OG Harry MillerOhio State
News Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer
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  03/21/21 - Zach HarrisonSo/2023, Ohio State, 6-5, 265 (DS#3 DE) + More +

  Zach Harrison may never live up to comparisons with the dominant Ohio State football defensive ends who preceded him. No shame in that. That list includes some of the greatest Buckeyes of all time and the best college football players of their era. Yet to have a chance at that career - to achieve his own, singular legacy, as Harrison prefers to view it - he reached back to the example of one of his Rushmen ancestors. It wasn't the bodies Chase Young stacked up on the field, though. Harrison set out to emulate the 2019 Heisman Trophy finalist as the practice warrior most of us never saw. "When I was a freshmen watching Chase, he made plays in practice that y'all never saw - and that correlates to games," Harrison said. "That's one thing that I took to heart. Show up in practice, because it's not just going to show up on Saturdays."

The sophomore year breakthroughs of Young -- and Joey and Nick Bosa before him -- as well as the lofty expectations Harrison carried as a top-15 national prospect, made his 2020 performance seem underwhelming to some. Harrison earned third team All-Big Ten honors from conference coaches while collecting 14 tackles (4.5 for loss) and two sacks in seven games. Not a bad year, but not the leap into greatness those previous Buckeye defensive ends made in their second seasons. - Cleveland Plain Dealer


(DS#3 DE) So/2023 DE Zach HarrisonOhio State
News Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer
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  03/19/21 - Marcus HookerrSo/2023, Ohio State, 5-11, 200 (DS#6 FS) + More +

  Ohio State football coach Ryan Day said the program will let the legal process play out before making further decisions about Marcus Hooker after the safety's arrest for operating a vehicle while impaired last weekend. However, Day left open the possibility of repercussions beyond the current indefinite suspension. This is Hooker's second arrest for a similar charge, following one in the summer before his freshman season in 2018. "We're very disappointed and take what happened very, very seriously," Day said. "We're gonna let the process play out, though he is suspended right now indefinitely. As things move forward, we'll make the decisions as we go. But wanted to get all the information first before we did anything."

According to a Columbus Police report and online court records, Hooker was found unresponsive in a McDonald's drive-thru near Delasmut Ave. and W. 5th Ave. in Columbus with his foot on the brake and the vehicle in drive. Officers attempted to wake Hooker by "physically rock the vehicle side to side and operate the air horn on the cruiser." Officers had to break out a window to unlock the vehicle and remove Hooker. - Cleveland Plain Dealer


(DS#6 FS) rSo/2023 FS Marcus HookerOhio State
News Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer
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