- Austin Ward, ESPN Staff Writer
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CHICAGO -- Quick hitters from the second and final morning of Big Ten Media Days, which featured roundtable interviews with Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, fullback Zach Boren, linebacker Etienne Sabino and defensive end John Simon.
-- BUMPS AND BRUISES: The Buckeyes are set to report to camp reasonably healthy. But the few nagging issues they have are literally all bunched in the center.
Jacoby Boren is recovering from shoulder surgery and could miss the first two or three weeks of practice, and freshmen Pat Elflein (cyst removal) and Joey O'Conner (knee scope) will likely both be on the shelf for a few days as well. And while Meyer indicated all three would be fine, the combination of those three issues together on the offense line ahead of what is expected to be a physical camp is far from ideal.
"That’s three freshmen that could play center," Meyer said. "They’ll be fine, but that’s more wear and tear on the other players, so that’s really bothering me getting ready for camp.
"(Boren) we’re hoping the second, third week of training camp. He’ll be able to snap, throughout seven-on-seven, great kid, tough guy, and we’re going to get him involved as soon as we can."
-- BETTING ON BRAXTON: The bar is set pretty high based on Meyer's history of successful quarterbacks.
But Meyer has got no problem comparing Braxton Miller directly to the most famous signal-caller he's worked with, and he expected heads to turn when he gave an edge to the Buckeyes sophomore for his physical tools.
"Braxton Miller has a lot of skills that Tim didn’t have. Braxton Miller is dynamic, he’s the most dynamic athlete I’ve ever coached at quarterback. What I just said, people should go, ‘Whoa.’
"He is, really by far. That’s how good of an athlete he is."
-- NEXT IN LINE: The information didn't make it to Zach Boren right away.
One day after Jordan Hall cut a tendon in his foot, an injury that would require surgery and take an estimated 10 weeks to heal, Boren strolled into a workout and quickly heard the bad news.
"I just felt like we couldn't get a break," Boren said.
But the senior fullback and the tailbacks he's been working out with this summer couldn't dwell on it for long. And thanks to those sessions with the rushers, Boren had an up-close look at the guy most likely to step into the starting role Hall was projected to fill early in the season.
So far, Carlos Hyde hasn't disappointed -- and the time to prove he can be an elite running back for the Buckeyes is coming.
"He's becoming faster, quicker, he’s just becoming more of a leader," Boren said. "He always used to kind of sit back and just let stuff happen, and now he’s going out and trying to make a difference.
"He’s taking pride in himself, you know, and trying to be the best possible player he can be -- especially with Jordan being out the first couple games."
-- THEY SAID IT:
Simon on the structure of offseason workouts: "There’s just a lot of different things with competition, which really brings out the best in players. See when the lights come on, who’s going to be out there competing. I think we did a nice job this offseason competing."
Sabino on motivation: "When you play football, I don't think going into the season or any game that you're thinking about the next game or a bowl game. Honestly, we're approaching it like any other season. We want to win every game. Our goal is to go out and compete and win every game that we play."
Meyer on Ohio State's Friday Night Lights camp: "We give campers a game-like atmosphere in the stadium, and since you get close to the season, it's not very long, just a couple hours. We're going to put them through a weight workout and try to give them a little feel for what college football is all about."
4dDan Murphy and Austin Ward