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August 14, 2016

Urban Meyer

Columbus, Ohio

URBAN MEYER: Just about as selfless a guy. Him and Terry McLaurin have those kind of qualities. They're very good players, and I expect this will be the first year they will be major contributors. But I can see that in blocking and special teams, and those two have those qualities.

Q. (No microphone.)
URBAN MEYER: You have to have a guy like that or you're not going to be very good. You should have multiple guys like that. We have more than that.

For those of you that don't know Evan Spencer, he was a captain of our team, was named captain after the final three games, and we don't win those three games without Evan Spencer.

And maybe wasn't making a catch in the end zone, but he was certainly getting people to that end zone. So that's what we're talking about.

Q. You guys have had a pretty good track record of bringing in athletes and turning them into receivers. But you talk a lot about Austin Mack. Just wondering the fact that he has been a receiver, he knows that position well, I'm assuming, how much that's helped him get to the level he's at now?
URBAN MEYER: No question. And Dawson is probably one of those good stories that you hear about, the seven on seven or the extra coaching that you get, you hear bad stories about them. And where the, maybe a street agent or something like that, I'll hear that stuff. And sometimes that's true and a lot of times it's not.

He had a guy, Drey, that worked with him that became a friend of mine. I watched him work, I watched him train, taught him right things about just work ethic and obviously, his high school coach, came from a great high school program.

So when you take a kid like that that is very serious about his trade, came from a very good high school program, has a guy that trained him in the off season, and then we get him, that's why he's game ready. And he will play this year.

Q. Zeke did a lot of really good things for you guys. One of the things you talked about was his blocking ability. Wondering how Mike Weber is in that regard and how much room he has to grow?
URBAN MEYER: Right now, it's Mike Weber and Curtis Samuel and Dontre Wilson and Demario and Antonio Williams are fighting for that spot.

Right now, Mike and Curtis are the top two backs in the program, and they're not Zeke level yet. Curtis is pretty close even for a guy that doesn't get as many reps at pass protection.

But Mike's pretty good, and he won't play if he won't. It's just that's something that's very important, and he's a standup guy, so he'll -- that's awful high standard to hold him to, but that's what we're holding him to.

Q. We were watching practice last Sunday, just seeing that 97 again and kind of the way he walked around, that looked familiar. Have you had any double takes --
URBAN MEYER: Walk, talks, yeah. Just trying to convince the Bosa's to have one more, and we'll take him.

Q. Now that you had him out there practicing for a week, what's reasonable to expect from him?
URBAN MEYER: Well, we are -- I hate to use the word patience, because I'll never forget when I sent the text message to the Bosa family John, Cheryl, and Joey about Nick, and Joey hit me back on a little group text and said, "have patience" and I simply said "no".

And, but, we are being very patient with him. He hasn't been in full scrimmage situation yet. We're making sure that knee's a hundred percent sound and which it is. And so we're just easing him in. He comes from an excellent high school program, very well-coached, and he's, he'll be game ready.

Q. Do you see him at end or does he need to play some inside?
URBAN MEYER: At end. It's still too early to tell, but he's a defensive end.

Q. Tyquan Lewis and Gareon Conley, what do you see out of them this year?
URBAN MEYER: Exceptional leadership. Our guys that count on every day in practice and Gareon and both of them are playing a very high level.

Tyquan had the shoulder surgery, but Gareon is playing, man, he's playing at a high, high level right now and so is Tyquan.

Q. Do you think he's maybe that next kind of cornerback NFL type guy?
URBAN MEYER: Oh, sure. He's a NFL corner some day.

Q. Depth-wise, what's your biggest concern as far as any position group depth-wise?
URBAN MEYER: Well, let's see, might as well announce, we had two injuries. Darius Slade ruptured his achilles, he's going to be out for the year. And Malcolm Pridgeon has hurt his knee and had surgery on his knee, so he's out for three months. So those are two tough ones.

With that said, the offensive line is obviously a concern of depth. That's where Matt Burrell, Demetrius Knox have really got to come on really come on and then Branden Bowen has got a long ways to go, but he's going to come on too. So you have to get depth there.

The defensive line is starting to materialize a little bit with depth. Those are obviously the two issues.

Q. Your punt runners, who's going to be your primary punt returner?
URBAN MEYER: Dontre Wilson right now and we're still watching this Demario McCall, pretty talented guy and it hasn't been finalized yet, but right now if we played today, Dontre.

Q. The kick off returner as well?
URBAN MEYER: If we started today, yeah.

Q. Speed's always been a characteristic, a lot of guys left you have Wilson back who are the other you would say fastest guys?

Q. Fastest guys.
URBAN MEYER: Yeah. Wilson very fast. On receiver we have some really fast guys you have Parris Campbell, Terry McLaurin, James Clark are legitimate sub-10.5 or 10.5 hundred meter guys. We have four corners that are playing at a very high level right now and they're fast. Denzel Ward's probably the fastest on the team. I think he was a state 200 -- DQ'd in the state hundred, but he got the 200 meter championship, so he's a legit, track fast. And you got Damon Arnette, Gareon Conley, and there's another one, Marshon Lattimore is playing outstanding right now. So we have four legitimate bump and run corners.

Q. You touched on Austin Mack and Nick Bosa. Who else of those freshmen have caught your eye this week that you can see you can project possible playing?
URBAN MEYER: Probably a little bit too early still. Keandre, I'm going to -- probably Michael Jordan for sure is playing. That's done. Keandre is a guy that we anticipate to play, Jahsen Wint, the kid from Brooklyn is a guy that might be a special teams guy for us.

Receiver, Victor's got a long way to go but we're glad he's here. Jake Hausmann has moved ahead of, he's pretty close to being in the mix. So still early, but those are a couple names you got Coop is doing very well for us, Jordan Fuller I think is going to play.

Q. With the injury situations, all that stuff, do you pride yourself taking it easy with these players, especially in the heat, etcetera, you have those water breaks and stuff like that. What has changed for this camp in that regard about watching the health?
URBAN MEYER: Oh, I just, I always I'm a "why" guy. Why are we doing this drill, why am I putting them in this situation. Why, why, why. And I have to answer those questions, I have to. I challenge my staff, but at the end of the day that's my responsibility and there's never going to be a time where the safety of our players will be jeopardized.

So the game is so much different than it was 10 years ago, all for the good. As far as the amount of contact, back to back contact days, if we have hard ones we just don't do. They're hard practices, but it's not contact. So it's every -- I have a whole team that's responsible for that. That's Mickey Marotti's job with his sports performance jobs. We have all these GPS workload and we measure -- there's now shorts that the guys wear and they measure the activation of hamstrings and there's so much that we're, that's helpful for the player welfare and safety is it.

Q. Michael Jordan is he a starter yet?
URBAN MEYER: To be determined.

Q. For most of its history Ohio State has been the only power conference school in Ohio. Now Cincinnati is gaining some pretty good momentum.
URBAN MEYER: That's great.

Q. I know you want the best for them, but are you conflicted at all having another good team here?
URBAN MEYER: No, no, I am a graduate, a fan. I think they should be in the Big-12. I'm saying that without making all the research necessary to really make that comment. That's more of a fan that's turned into a school, like my sisters at Provost there and so I know that school very well and I couldn't be happier for that city and for that school if they do get in the Big-12.

Q. Does that affect you guys at all in terms of recruiting Ohio kids?
URBAN MEYER: Oh, sure. I bet it would. That Big-12 is big business.

Q. Would you give us the analysis of the scrimmage, what looked good and what issues?
URBAN MEYER: Pleased with the scrimmage. And I usually don't say that on the first one. But pleased with the scrimmage, I'm just going to be careful who I single out. I had champions and on purpose I didn't bring them in here because we did champions. I think the defensive line's gaining a lot of momentum right now, off the top of my head. I just, I don't want to give names right now. It's too early.

Q. Noah Brown is a guy who, in the off season, people raved about him. What have you seen about him?
URBAN MEYER: He's coming. He's probably not back to full Noah Brown this time of year, but he's, I would say, another week away he'll be there. He's working his tail off and just love having him back.

Q. This coming week what are you looking for from the freshmen how difficult will it be for them this week and is this where you really find out who is going to play this year?
URBAN MEYER: This is the edge time. This is, the first eight practices are or whatever we had, that was -- every school in the country had eight practices, we have had one double, I actually took off the shoulder pads the second part of the double.

So I would say we're very average right now and then we're going to find out this next week if we cross that edge and I'm going to watch that like a -- that's going to determine if we're going to be any good or not. This week will determine if we'll be any good.

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