Photo: Urban Meyer / Courtesy: 97.1 The Fan
| BY: LORI SCHMIDT |
There were a lot of developments for the Ohio State head coach to address during his weekly press conference. There was the status of quarterback JT Barrett, the messy Tennessee coaching search and its impact on an OSU assistant, and–of course–the upcoming Big Ten Championship. So here’s some of what Urban Meyer had to say…
• When Meyer announced the team’s players of the week, he also noted that both the Ohio State quarterbacks who saw time versus Michigan, Barrett and Dwayne Haskins graded out as champions. As for the players of the week, they were Isaiah Prince and Marcus Baugh on offense, Sam Hubbard and Denzel Ward on defense, and Erick Smith on special teams.
• The Tennessee Volunteers, according to multiple reports, had reached agreement to hire Buckeye defensive coordinator Greg Schiano to be their next head coach, but backed out of that agreement after there were some signs of unrest within the team’s fan base. Meyer cannot understand the backlash. “I’ve said it many, many times. He’s an elite person, elite father, elite husband, elite friend, and elite football coach,” Meyer offered. “And I stand by my coach.” A little later he speculated maybe this wasn’t a perfect fit.
• Quarterback JT Barrett continues to recover from a knee injury, and has improved to the point where Meyer deemed him probable for Saturday’s kickoff against Wisconsin.
• Although Meyer acknowledged that Barrett has been dealing with this cartilage/meniscus issue all season, the signal caller has not been limited up to this point. Now, however, he has already missed the team’s Sunday practice, and Meyer has decided that the rest of this week, Haskins will be getting more snaps in the workouts than he had been prior.
• Meyer had a lot of praise for Wisconsin, especially the Badger linebackers. “I can’t remember ever playing Wisconsin without elite linebackers,” he said.
• Defensive lineman Sam Hubbard had asked to participate in the tradition of Senior Tackle, even though he has edibility remaining. Meyer refused to speculate on whether that means Hubbard has his mind made up to enter the NFL after this season, but he joked that he would leave the door open (here he flung his arms out to indicate how wide) to Hubbard’s return.