Ohio held its annual media day Wednesday with coach Frank Solich, offensive coordinator Tim Albin, defensive coordinator Ron Collins and special teams coordinator Brian Haines.
Here are The Post’s five takeaways:
1. Nathan Rourke is clearly in command
There was nothing but praise offered by Solich and Albin about their senior quarterback. With a mix of youth and minimal in-game experience from his surrounding cast, Rourke is by far the most experienced offensive player, a luxury to have at the college level for the most important position on the team.
Rourke threw for 2,434 yards with 23 touchdowns last season and only threw eight interceptions paired with 860 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground.
He has the skill set, experience and swagger to help carry the team until the running backs and receivers find a groove.
2. Special teams can breathe easy
With a bunch of questions left to be answered about the offense and the defense, Haines remarked about the continuity with Ohio’s special teams.
All three of the Bobcats’ specialists from last season – long snapper Devin King, kicker Louie Zervos and punter Michael Farkas – return this season.
Farkas, who earned All-Mid-American Conference First Team awards last season, averaged 43.4 yards per punt and had 19 punts fair caught.
Zervos struggled at the start of the 2018 season and dealt with offseason hip surgery heading into this year, but he’s still shown reliability throughout the early part of camp.
3. The defensive ends could be a cornerstone
The defensive line holistically should be solid. It might take a while because of depth and inexperience issues in the interior, but it’s still strong on the edges. Will Evans and Amos Ogun-Semore headline a deep and talented pool of edge rushers for the Bobcats’ defense.
“I think at the rush end spots, we’ll have really excellent depth,” Solich said. “That’ll be a special unit I think for us.”
Along with the starters, Austin Conrad could see an immediate impact as one of the rotational players.
4. Running back by committee
Albin was punctual when he said he doesn’t wake up in the middle of the night thinking about the past.
“I’m on to the next thing,” he said.
The past being a career back in A.J. Ouellette and late bloomer Maleek Irons.
The next thing is a collection of several different running backs. Julian Ross headlines the running back committee, but he is yet to practice as he’s been dealing with offseason injury. Jake Neatherton will get touches, but he too is dealing with injury.
As they wait on the sidelines, O’Shaan Allison is making the most of his opportunity with the first team offense, and Albin was positive that all three backs will be used when everyone is healthy.
“We’re repping all of them evenly,” he said. “I’m preparing all of them to play. There isn’t a question in my mind that you’ll see every one of those guys throughout the season.”
5. The preseason awards and votes mean nothing
Ohio was favored to win the MAC last year, and it was heavily discussed both at the conference media day and Ohio’s own media day.
Ahead of 2019, however, there wasn’t the slightest mention from the coaching staff about all of hype that surrounds the Bobcats — and for good reason.
“They don’t mean a thing to me,” Collins said. “They’ve got to get out there and prove themselves every day.”
Collins, who was referring to Javon Hagan and Jamal Hudson, are just one of several Bobcats that have landed themselves on preseason award watch lists.
Bonus takeaway: Depth and development
The buzz words during the media day, each of the four coaches had something to say about the lack of depth in places, how important it will be to develop players and once they are developed, Ohio will have depth.
There will be a sharper examination on this point by The Post as fall camp continues.