Urban Meyer doesn’t know what to make of his current crop of Buckeyes yet.
He believes he’ll have a better handle on them when practices get harder. A lot harder.
“It’s the first day in pads. So right now this is all candy,” he said, flashing a wicked grin. “Come back in about a week and there’s going to be people asleep on the mattresses [by noon]. It’s hard. Camp is terrible. But we’re not in camp yet. This is just practice.”
That phrase — “just” practice — must sound ominous to the players already sweating through early workouts at Ohio State.
Asked if he preferred the weather be a little hotter instead of so temperate, Meyer added, “Just see what goes on next week at Ackerman Field. It’s awful.”
The Buckeyes went through only their third practice on Tuesday. There’s a lot that’s unknown about the 2013 team. But Meyer said he already has a pretty good feel when it comes to several major items.
Concerning star players Bradley Roby and running back Carlos Hyde, both in the doghouse after recent legal problems, both are practicing with the team. Roby is awaiting the next step in the process after being charged with misdemeanor battery after an incident at a Bloomington, Ind., bar this summer.
“We’re just still waiting to find out all the information,” Meyer said.
Police called Hyde a person of interest in an alleged assault against a woman. The alleged victim declined to pursue charges, with police ending the investigation. But Hyde was suspended for the first three games by Meyer.
Meyer is not concerned about the quarterback spot, where Braxton Miller is coming back for his third year as the starter.
Miller has grown into the position. He was thrown into a bad spot, learning on the job as a freshman during the tumultuous 2011 season when NCAA investigators were on campus, Luke Fickell was filling in for the deposed Jim Tressel as head coach and there was confusion everywhere. The Buckeyes went 6-7.
As a sophomore, Miller carried the team with his running ability for much of the first half of the season, then reverted more to passing in the second half as the Buckeyes pulled a 12-0 record out of the hat.
Still, he had his highs and his lows. There was and is room for improvement, even for a quarterback who ran for 1,271 yards and 13 scores and passed for 2,039 yards and 15 touchdowns with only six interceptions.