Ohio practiced on Friday for the first time in its 2019 fall camp. The practice was conducted in 24 total periods, which lasted over two hours and 10 minutes. Here are The Post’s observations.
Not present: Michael Farkas (non-football obligation)
Other notes: Running back Julian Ross did not practice Friday for an undisclosed reason. The redshirt sophomore had offseason surgery. Running back Jake Neatherton was a limited participant, as he is making his way back from offseason shoulder problems. Wide receiver Shane Hooks did not practice Friday for an undisclosed reason.
Sight and sounds
- As players made their way out onto the field for stretches, “Rollin’” by Limp Bizkit played over the stadium speakers, which brought out some dance moves from several Ohio players.
- Yellow stripes were on display for the Bobcats’ freshmen.
- Players were only in helmets, jerseys and shorts.
- Nathan Rourke looked extra crisp for the first day of camp. He completed the first seven of his pass attempts in the 7-on-7 period. Rourke’s main targets were Cam Odom, Jerome Buckner and Tyler Tupa.
- With it only being the first day, and most of the drills weren’t against the defense, the timing of the routes was mostly solid with a few exceptions.
- The battle for the backup spot between Kurtis Rourke and redshirt freshman Joe Mischler will be one of the more marquee competitions of fall camp.
- The two split reps between the second team, though Kurtis started off with the second team at the beginning of team periods.
- All three quarterbacks had a turnover during team periods.
- It’s hard to be a running back and get true repetitions without full pads on, which won’t happen too soon as Ohio will follow the mandated NCAA protocol for acclamation.
- O’Shaan Allison received a vast majority of the reps during the team periods on Friday. De’Montre Tuggle, a junior from Channelview, Texas, also received touches during team periods.
- There was no given estimate for Ross’ or Neatherton’s return.
- From left to right, the starting offensive line was Austen Pleasants, Brett Kitrell, Steven Hays, Hagen Meservy and Bryce Dugan.
- Hitchens and Kitrell are the two most experienced of the group, and both saw action in all 13 games last season.
- Meservy, a junior from Tulsa, Oklahoma, started as a true freshman and will look to start again.
- Ohio is tasked with replacing two anchors from last year in Joe Anderson and Joe Lowery, but with Pleasants and Kitrell switched from right to left, more of an emphasis will be placed on the right side.
- Ohio saw a lot of solid reps from its presumed starters. Defensive ends Austin Conrad and Amos Ogun-Semore reached the quarterback a few times during team drills while tackle Cole Baker was strong in the middle.
- While the starters received the majority of reps, a consistent rotation occurred later on in the practice, and the starters were mixed in with the back-ups.
- Eric Popp, Austin Clack and Jared Dorsa were the three starters during team drills and 7-on-7 periods.
- Individual periods for the linebackers had a strong emphasis on run fits and stance-and-starts.
- Redshirt senior Javon Hagan carried himself with a strong leadership role among the defense as a whole unit, cheering for his teammates when they made plays and consoling when they made mistakes.
“Today was more of a foundational day for our younger guys coming,” Baker said. “We came out and we had energy – if we can carry this energy, we’ll be all right.”
“We have a lot of pieces where we want them,” Nathan Rourke said. “We’re going to have to get better and build off each day.”
The Bobcats practice Saturday, Aug. 3 starting at 9:05 a.m. The practice is open to the public.