Friday, June 21, 2013
Lessons learned: Ohio State one-day camp
By Austin Ward
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Notes and observations from a scorching afternoon on Friday at Ohio State, which hosted its final one-day camp of the summer and provided a stage for a handful of standout performers.
Still smoking: An offer from the Buckeyes had already been extended, so Eric Glover-Williams (Canton, Ohio/McKinley) wasn't running for that.
Despite his competitiveness, the junior athlete wasn't looking for bragging rights over the rest of the campers on Friday, either.
But even if neither of those things fueled him during the Smokehouse races that closed the session, and even after admitting afterward that he wasn't at his best, Glover-Williams still trounced the field and left Ohio State with the title of the fastest man on the indoor field at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.
"Overall, I felt like my performance today was a 'B,'" Glover-Williams said. "I felt like I could have done a lot better. I've been going to a lot of camps and working out with my team, so I felt kind of tired today.
"I still grinded it out and showed out for my team."
He also offered yet another example of why the Buckeyes and a host of others are so hot on his trail heading into his junior season, and his performance in the free-for-all sprints helped earn him an invitation back to speak with the coaching staff. Given Urban Meyer's desire for top-end speed with the football, it probably won't be his last conversation with Glover-Williams, either.
Next in line: There was a big hug in the morning from tight end coach Tim Hinton. That was followed up by an afternoon of personal instruction and conversation with Meyer.
But the real capper on a productive trip to camp with Ohio State for senior tight end Mike Gesicki (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) was the scholarship offer, which he tweeted had come his way and upped the number of potential options for him to 20.
Gesicki checked in at 6-foot-6, 229 pounds for the Buckeyes, and his time of 4.56 seconds in the 40-yard dash certainly didn't hurt his cause as Meyer continues chasing big, athletic targets to make the spread attack even more dangerous and hard to defend.
Shape up, slim down: The scholarship offer hasn't been extended yet, but the phone lines are open for a slimmer, swifter Matt Jones (Hubbard, Ohio/Hubbard).
The junior offensive guard showed off his improved agility and smoother movement after dropping 40 pounds from his frame, and while that wasn't enough by itself to allow him to head home with an offer, he at least has the attention of the Buckeyes now and will be back on campus for Friday Night Lights next month.
"They wanted to see me out here and see how I performed," Jones said. "I'm a lot faster and stronger than I was last year. ... I just felt like I needed to lose the weight during the season, so I did.
"Now I'm around 300 pounds, a lot faster, stronger, I move laterally better, going down the field I can lead-block for my running back -- and I can go both ways now a lot longer than I could last year."
Early attention: Zach Sandwisch (Elmore, Ohio/Woodland) can't provide an answer for Ohio State's short-term emphasis on restocking the cupboards at linebacker, but the sophomore might wind up becoming one in the long run with more outings like he had Friday under the watchful eye of Luke Fickell.
The Buckeyes defensive coordinator brought a small handful of campers inside the complex for approximately 30 minutes of position-specific drill work, with Sandwisch doing enough to turn heads early in the day to earn an invitation and marking himself as a player to watch over the coming years.
"There's a little bit [more pressure], because he's big," Sandwisch said. "You've just got to work your butt off, you've got to go the extra step -- four to six seconds, you've got to go.
"[Fickell] said I did a good job today, and he's going to try to get me to some football games this year, so I just have to keep working hard."
On the side: The guys on the field certainly kept the coaching staff busy, but at least on the offensive line, the two most notable players on campus weren't taking part in the drills.
Ohio State commit Kyle Trout was an interested observer and seemingly made his way to each field to greet the coaches and other campers, and the Buckeyes also entertained Damian Prince (Forestville, Md./Bishop McNamara) as he chatted with the staff and caught strength coach Mickey Marotti's eye with his hulking 6-foot-5, 286-pound frame.
Prince already holds an offer from the Buckeyes on a list loaded with the top programs in the country, and picking up linemen remains a high priority for a team that will lose four senior starters after this season and signed only two in the 2013 class.