Long Days: The long days of fall camp are now over. The Buckeyes are resting their legs this weekend and will have a regular game-week routine beginning on Tuesday.
The grind of camp takes it toll on players, but it's also very demanding on coaches. The days start early and end late the entire month of August.
"Five A.M. on a good day, sometimes earlier," said OSU defensive line coach and defensive coordinator Jim Heacock when asked what time he gets to work during fall camp.
So does the early arrival time mean you get to go home early?
"We don't stay real late. We get out of there by 10:00, 10:30 PM," said Heacock.
Say what? By our count, that's a 17 or 18 hour day. So is Heacock happy to see camp end?
"One part of me says I wish had about another two weeks to get ready. You always think there's more you can do and more you can get done so it's going to fast. The other part of me says it's time to move on and get into game week. These guys get a little tired of hitting each other and going against each other. I think we're ready to go. "
For the record, this was Heacock's 37th football camp. That's a lot of long days.
The Great Dane: Freshman wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher hasn't been on the field yet to prove his worth, but the OSU coaching staff is very high on the Toledo, Ohio, native. Sanzenbacher is currently listed as the number one slot receiver, the position played by Anthony Gonzalez. Wide receiver coach Darrell Hazell described what makes Sanzenbacher special.
"He's (Sanzenbacher) done an unbelievable job," said Hazell.
"I think the thing that has propelled him above some of the other guys is his ability to learn and retain and apply on the field. That's what his special quality has been," said Hazell.
"Physically he's good too," Hazell said.
"He's got all the physical tools that he needs to have. He's got good speed, he's got good quickness, he gets his hips down, he's got real soft hands, he's got great concentration. The big thing for him is continue to learn and get beat up a little bit out there on the field and get some experience."
The natural question is whether or not Sanzenbacher can measure up to the level of excellence that Gonzalez brought to that position.
"He's not Anthony Gonzalez yet," said Hazell.
"Anthony Gonzalez was a great player for us, but he's got the same type of makeup as Anthony in terms of his work habits, his study habits, his ability to transition on the field. He's got the same kind of makeup, so it will interesting to see if he can get to that level," said Hazell.
It's a People Problem: The kickoff has been moved back five yards on college football this season, from the 35-yard line to the 30-yard line. That's going to make it tougher for kickers to kick the ball through the endzone for touchbacks. It's also going to make it harder on kickoff coverage teams who have to cover those kicks. Obviously, they will have to run five yards further to get down to the goal line. OSU safeties coach Paul Haynes also coaches the kick coverage team. Haynes says the strategy behind covering kicks will not change, but the personnel groups that make up the kick coverage teams will.
"Scheme wise it isn't different. Personnel wise it is different," said Haynes.
"I think you need faster guys, more skill guys to be able to run down, to be able to avoid and run down the field a lot faster. I think that's the biggest thing, the change in personnel. Before you could have your linebacker, your tight end type guys, but I don't know if you can have that anymore. We're getting anyone that can run, running backs, receivers, defensive backs," said Haynes.
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