Four Surprises from Ohio State Fall Camp

Ohio State fall camp
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Ohio State is in its first week of Fall camp before the Buckeyes go off to Minnesota.

Though camp just started on Monday, there are already a few surprises coming from Columbus.

There are some new additions to the roster since the Spring, and some returning players are playing new positions.

In the final three weeks before the season starts, the Buckeyes are nailing down the last few details. There have certainly been some surprises leading up to the 2021 season.

Four Surprises from Ohio State Fall Camp

A New Offensive Line

The offensive line had to fill two spots on the interior, but the coaching staff has done some shuffling.

According to Bill Landis, the Buckeyes put Nicholas Petit-Frere at left tackle, Thayer Munford at left guard, Harry Miller at center, Paris Johnson at right guard, and Dawand Jones at right tackle.

Petit-Frere was the regular right tackle last season, while Munford was the regular left tackle. Munford was one of the best left tackles in the conference last year, so it is a bit surprising that he is changing positions. Miller and Johnson fit in where we thought they would, but Jones’ move to right tackle is unexpected.

Jones has mostly played left tackle, though never as a starter. He was always just on the bubble of cracking through the starting lineup, as he didn’t even play with the projected ones in the Spring Game. Whenever he has played, including the Spring Game, he has played on the left side.

This may not be the starting lineup on September 12th, but it shows that Ryan Day is trying to find the best five players on the line. This is something coaches say but don’t always show. But if this is the opening day offensive line, then there will be no-one returning to play their original positions.

Offense To Defense

This one may not be much of a surprise, but it’s a recent development that is finally official.

Two players from the offense–running backs to be specific–have now moved to defense full-time.

Demario McCall is now a cornerback. We saw him play there during the Spring Game, and he was baptized by fire in coverage against Chris Olave. Now it’s final.

Steele Chambers had been rumored to move to linebacker, but he actually four carries and a touchdown in the Spring Game.

The running back room is the deepest on the team. There were five running backs that had carries in the Spring Game, including Chambers. Master Teague didn’t even suit up for that game, so he adds to the depth of the group. But the Buckeyes have needs at cornerback and linebacker, so they did some shuffling to help spread snaps around.

Kick Returner

The Ohio State running back room is deep, so they’re trying to spread out snaps as much as they can in fall camp.

TreyVeon Henderson and Evan Pryor, two true freshman running backs, were on kick return duty in practice. True freshman wide receiver Emeka Egbuka was also practicing kick returns. These are three talented freshman that are in deep position groups. Day will have trouble finding them snaps from scrimmage, so he will try to use their talent on special teams.

Jameson Williams was the kick returner in the Spring Game, but will now be unable to return kicks for the Buckeyes from Tuscaloosa. McCall and Garrett Wilson have experience returning kicks, and were also at practice. In Landis’ report on the Athletic, the freshmen were the highlight of the show, while the two upperclassmen were briefly mentioned.

J.T. Tuimoloau

For someone who didn’t play football in 2020 and had a long and arduous recruitment, J.T. Tuimoloau is adjusting quickly.

Day told Landis, “he’s made up a lot of ground in a very short amount of time.”

Tuimoloau was one of the most sought-after recruits in the country, so it’s no surprise how amazing he looks. It’s surprising that he has been in Columbus for only a few weeks and is already turning heads. Day admitted they have a hard time blocking him at times.

“When you see him move, he looks more like a 250-pound player,” Day said. “He’s 272 pounds running at that speed, with that power, great hands, great body control. He has a long way to go, but the talent is certainly there.”


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