Ohio State football notebook: Others in line to fill Bradley Roby's spot

By The Columbus Dispatch  • 
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KYLE ROBERTSON | DISPATCH
Members of the media gather around quarterback Braxton Miller during Ohio State media day.

It’s still not clear whether all-Big Ten cornerback Bradley Roby will be available for Ohio State’s season opener on Aug.31 against Buffalo.

Coach Urban Meyer has withheld punishment for Roby until the facts have been reviewed regarding Roby’s arrest at a bar in Bloomington, Ind., three weeks ago.

But it was obvious in the practice open to the media last week that Roby was working with the second-team defense, as cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs rolled several other cornerbacks in with the first team. Along with expected starter Doran Grant, those who saw action included sophomore Armani Reeves and freshmen Eli Apple, Cam Burrows and Gareon Conley.

When Coombs was asked yesterday whether he was approaching it as if he won’t have Roby for the first game, he said, “My approach is to coach him really hard every day at whatever he does. I think there is great value for all of our guys whenever you can go against the best the offense has to offer.”

As he pointed out, that means the second-team defense is going against No. 1 quarterback Braxton Miller and top receivers Corey Brown, Devin Smith and Evan Spencer.

“So if I want to be the best I can be, maybe I ought to get some work in with the ‘twos,’  ” Coombs said.

While preparing the talent pool below Roby, Coombs likes what he has seen so far.

“Armani Reeves has had a phenomenal offseason; he is eager, excited and ready to go,” Coombs said. “And then those three freshmen are going to be very talented players at Ohio State. We expect to play all of those kids during the course of the year.”

Murray suspended

Sophomore cornerback Najee Murray is not in that mix.

Meyer said, “He’s suspended right now; it’s a training camp issue,” but did not elaborate.

Still going to sign

In the course of the investigation of whether Texas A&M Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel signed memorabilia in exchange for cash — a no-no in the eyes of the NCAA — came the reminder last week that items from several other players across the country, including Miller, were available on the Internet. Ohio State found no wrongdoing by Miller, who doesn’t plan to change his approach of being receptive to fan requests when reasonable.

“I get approached by all types of fans, taking pictures (and more),” Miller said. “I’m not going to turn down fans who want to take a picture, or a little kid that comes down, ‘Hey, can you sign this?’ I’m going to sign it. That’s the type person I am.

“But if it comes on the Internet — it’s not like a putdown of the team or anything like that; it’s not like I’m seeking it out myself. I’m not a self-centered person like that. It’s just for the fans.”

Missing home

The football grind aside, for freshmen, the first couple of months on campus can be a little tough, and Tyquan Lewis admitted as much when asked whether he missed home.

“Yes sir, a lot,” the defensive end from Tarboro, N.C., said. “I have three younger brothers at home, and I try to stay in contact with them. It was hard, just moving away, but I talk to them often.”

tmay@dispatch.com

@TIM_MAYsports

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