The 2014 Ohio State Buckeyes football team under third-year head coach Urban Meyer began fall camp on Monday with a split session at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.
A total of 38 players including 21 incoming freshman, several transfers with offensive lineman Chad Lindsay and wide receiver Jeff Greene. plus invited walk-ons worked out Monday morning. The veterans, along with freshman linebacker Raekwon McMillan and freshman wide receiver Johnnie Dixon, all practiced for two hours on Monday afternoon. A full squad practice is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
“It’s really early, but I’m really impressed with our freshman class,” Meyer said. “It was a good day.”
The Buckeyes, who began the 2013 campaign by going undefeated through 12 games before losing to Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship game and to Clemson in the Orange Bowl, have 38 returning lettermen from last season’s squad with 12 starters, five on offense and seven on defense in 2014.
Returning starters on offense include senior quarterback Braxton Miller, senior tight end Jeff Heuerman, senior receivers Devin Smith and Evan Spencer, and junior tackle Taylor Decker. The seven returnees on defense include senior defensive tackle Michael Bennett, junior defensive tackle Adolphus Washington, junior defensive end Noah Spence, sophomore defensive end Joey Bosa, senior linebacker Curtis Grant, junior linebacker Joshua Perry, junior safety Tyvis Powell, and senior cornerback Doran Grant.
Miller, a two-time Big Ten offensive player of the year award-winner, was 162–of-255 (63.5%) passing for 2,094 yards with 24 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also rushed for 1,068 yards on 171 attempts with 12 more scores.
Smith is Ohio State’s top returning pass-catcher after hauling in 44 receptions for 660 yards and eight TDs. Heuerman is third with 466 receiving yards on 26 catches and four touchdowns in 2013.
Defensively, Perry is the top returning tackler after making 64 stops last season. Spence led the team with eight sacks and was second behind Ryan Shazier with 14.5 tackles for loss in 2013.
The 125th season of Ohio State football kicks off on Aug. 30 as the Buckeyes take on Navy at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland. Game time is set for 12:00 noon ET, and it will be televised on the CBS Sports Network.
Second-year defensive lineman Tracy Sprinkle from Elyria, Ohio, has rejoined the team. Coach Urban Meyer said Sprinkle lost his scholarship for the summer, he will be suspended for the first football game of the season, Aug. 30 vs. Navy, and he will take part in weekly community service projects during the season. Meyer invited Sprinkle, who was involved in a legal altercation in July, back onto the team after charges were reduced and after an independent investigation into the incident. He was at the morning practice today.
Junior offensive lineman Tommy Brown, from Akron, Ohio, has left the program.