Urban Rap: Meyer talks Braxton Miller, J.T. Barrett, Curtis Grant, team captains & more

Urban Meyer. (Dave Biddle Photo)

Urban Meyer. (Dave Biddle Photo)

Ohio State head football coach Urban Meyer held his first weekly press conference of the season in the team meeting room at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Here’s what Meyer had to say.

Meyer first talks about Braxton Miller and his receiver group:

I think he met with his doctor. I got a text this morning from him. He met with, I believe, Dr. (James) Andrews today and surgery is set for tomorrow. J.T. (Barrett) and Cardale (Jones) responded very well. The biggest issue I see, or the positive we have right now, is we have a good one and two group of wide receivers that are just rotating out. There’s really not a set one or two. We’ll list the starting depth chart, I imagine, tomorrow, but the nice thing is that I can see six that’ll be getting ready for us.”

Meyer on the open starting spots on the offensive line:

Left guard is not named yet, and it’s not because of ability. It’s just, one, the guy hasn’t separated himself, so in the hunt are Joel Hale, Billy Price, Tony Underwood. They’re still in the hunt…Center is going to be, probably be Jacoby and Chad Lindsay will we haven’t named the starter on that either. But once again, it’s still because the battles are going on.”

Meyer on the other starting cornerback opposite Doran Grant:

The other corner, it’s Eli (Apple) and Gareon (Conley). They haven’t separated themselves yet either, which is a good sign. They’ll both play.”

Meyer on if competition right before the first game is a good thing:

If they’re bad players, you got a problem. If they’re really good players and they’re just battling and battling and battling. It means they’re both going to play. That’s kind of normal this time of year. Like I couldn’t tell you the starting receivers either right now. Evan and Devin. Evan Spencer, Devin Smith. You got Dontre Wilson, you got Jalin Marshall, you got Mike Thomas, and Corey Smith. And all of them could march in, and they all deserve playing time, so it’s just a matter of who breaks the huddle first.”

Meyer on if he gets excited before a game like he did early in his career:

Oh, yeah. Once again, if you have good players, good team. I’ll fake it sometimes if you don’t have a good team. (Laughs). But I can tell you this, I think we got a good team.”

Meyer on his starting quarterback and his backup:

It’s pretty close. It was thrust upon us pretty quickly because in my heart I thought Braxton would be ready to go. I didn’t envision this. So I thought, man, this would be a really close battle for the backup spot. But J.T. is the starting quarterback, but there’s not a big separation.”

Meyer on middle linebackers Curtis Grant and Raekwon McMillan:

Curtis is starting linebacker. The good thing is once again, I think we’ve recruited some depth. You’re going to see some rotation in this first game, including that position. You’re going to see some guys rotate a little bit at the D line as well, which you need and same at the corner spot. But Curtis as a starting linebacker.”

Meyer on his team captains for 2014:

We voted captains, and Braxton Miller was high vote getter, and Jeff Heuerman, Michael Bennett, Doran Grant, which is a great success story, his turnaround, and Curtis Grant, which here is a guy that, once again, that’s one of the great things about what we do for a living is to see young people grow up, and boy, has Curtis Grant done a nice job.”

Meyer on the health of tight end Jeff Heuerman:

Yeah. He’s not 100 percent yet. We anticipate he’ll be ready to go. It’s just going to be volume, and that’s what we’re dealing with right now.”

Meyer on how J.T. Barrett has responded to his new role as starting quarterback:

I just watch what I watch and spend some time with him. He’s Guiton-ish. He’s a calm guy that had a very good practice today, like really good practice today, and very business like about his approach. He’s not someone you have to watch to see their demeanor because it’s the same as it was two weeks ago. We all know what’s coming down the barrel at him, but he’s handled it very well.”

Meyer on his recruitment of J.T. Barrett:

He went to Elite 11, and I remember we talked to some people that were there, and his competitive spirit is something and you can see it now, it just kept coming back to us, especially deposition. One thing nowadays, quarterbacks are committing so early, which we’re not getting normally, back in the Tebow, Cam Newton, Denard Robinson area when I was at Florida, you went to your camp, you evaluated them; you watched them, and now kids are saying I’m going to go here because you haven’t offered us yet and I’m a sophomore. Coaches are put in really, really tough situations. And so J.T. was a guy that we were was one of our guys, and then we have those camps where kids wouldn’t come to camp or for whatever reason and then we just did as much homework as we could and decided he was the one we wanted.”

Meyer on the status of running back Ezekiel Elliott:

He’s full go. Yeah. That’s very odd. Rod and Bri’onte had a great camp. Warren Ball had a slight cushion so he hasn’t practiced the last few days. And you have four guys, Curtis Samuel, Zeke, Rod Smith and Bri’onte Dunn have all had they’re very involved in the kicking game, which you can’t carry the ball unless you’re involved in the kicking game, and they’re all very involved.”