Contrary to the myth going around, Devin Smith said, his vehicle did not flip during that early morning, single-car accident on June 29 near his hometown of Massillon, Ohio.
“That’s one thing a lot of people have thought, but it did not flip,” the Ohio State senior wide receiver said. “It kind of tilted a little bit, and came down. … I really don’t remember much of it, but I just lost control, the car kind of went crazy and then landed (off the road).”
But what was true about the incident, Smith said yesterday as he spoke to the media about it for the first time during Ohio State’s annual preseason “picture day” at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, was how thankful he was to be alive in the aftermath.
“It was very scary, something that I’ve never experienced in my life,” Smith said of the accident, which included his car hitting a utility pole. “And for it to happen (and for him to emerge unscathed), I’m just blessed to still be here.”
In that regard, “One thing that kept replaying in my head after that happened was having the chance to be out here, being able to play at a school that is recognizable — everybody knows about Ohio State,” said Smith, who in his first three OSU seasons made 88 catches, 18 of them for touchdowns.
“For me to be out here playing with some of my best friends, some family on the team, it’s just an unbelievable feeling. I’m blessed.”
Cautious with Miller
When last seen by the media on the practice field, Smith was playing catch with senior quarterback Braxton Miller on the sideline Saturday morning in the first of two practices that day. But that was about all the throwing Miller, the fourth-year starter and reigning two-time Big Ten Silver Football winner, did that day.
He did not participate in the Saturday afternoon scrimmage because of a sore right (throwing) arm, but the coaches said he remains on schedule in his return from February shoulder surgery.
Coach Urban Meyer said Miller was doing great in practice last week until soreness appeared.
“I anticipated this,” Meyer said. “I’ve dealt with guys with arm issues before. We’re being very cautious. He certainly could have practiced (on Saturday), but we’re in it for the long haul. He’s right on schedule.”
Meyer said he expects Miller to practice today.
Miller echoed many of Meyer’s words.
“I feel good,” he said. “I could throw right now. I’m just resting up. Tomorrow, I’ll get back at it.”
Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tom Herman said that the soreness arose because Miller might have overdone it the first couple days of camp.
“The shoulder is 100 percent in terms of structurally being sound to throw,” Herman said. “Your muscles get used to whatever volume you put on them. For obvious reasons, those surrounding muscles and rotator cuff and deltoids haven’t had the volume we’re putting on them right now.”
Elliott on mend, too
Sophomore Ezekiel Elliott, the No. 1 running back who suffered a cracked bone in his left wrist on Friday and had surgery on Saturday, is expected to return to practice on Thursday. Meyer said that Elliott probably won’t face tackling until the following week but expects him to be ready for the Aug. 30 opener against Navy.
“I went up to catch a ball and landed on it funny,” Elliott said of the injury. “At first, I didn’t think much of it. I thought I jammed it and got the wind knocked out of me. But as practice went on, I kind of felt it a little more. I couldn’t use it and couldn’t squeeze my hand.”
The surgery was to put a pin in the break to help keep it stable during healing.
“I think it’ll set me back some,” Elliott said. “But I’ll be at practice every day getting my mental reps.”
Heavy work begins
With two-a-days every other day for the next week or so, Meyer said now is when the true grind of preseason begins.
“This next week is when we’ve got to stay healthy, stay smart as a coaching staff (in terms of the load in practices), but it’s also when we need to see how they fight when it gets tough,” Meyer said.