On a defense replacing seven starters, the candidates to emerge as experienced leaders are few.
Cornerback Kevin Peterson, admittedly not all that vocal, will try to lead in his own way.
“I try to go out there and practice hard and tell people, ‘You got to get it. You have to practice hard,’” Peterson said. “I’ll tell them what’s coming and what’s not coming. I try to be the guy that they can come to and things like that.
“Not so I can gripe on them, but so I can be a figure they can look up to and things like that.”
RECEIVERS BRING VERSATILITY
OSU’s offense regularly requires its receivers to play multiple positions, inside and outside.
Sometimes, it’s the result of injury. Other times, it’s an attempt to get the best players on the field together.
Facilitating that, receivers coaches Kasey Dunn and Jason Ray share the complete coaching duties, rather than splitting the inside and outside teaching. It’s a move they went to before last season and now value.
“Coach Dunn and myself, we meet together,” Ray said. “Because we meet together, that gives our receivers an advantage. We don’t break them up inside and outside anymore.
“All those kids are very versatile in what they do. And that’s the key, for them to be versatile and to be able to play multiple spots. You never know what will happen throughout the course of a season. They have the ability to play different positions.”
Much has been made of Tyreek Hill’s impact on the OSU track team. But football overflow didn’t stop with Hill, as three other football players — Blake Webb, Tre Flowers and Jerel Morrow — also have helped the rebuilding program.
Hill and Webb are sprinters, while Flowers and Morrow participate in the jumps.
All claimed value athletically in the crossover. And the benefit seemed to help off the field as well.
“It was a great experience,” Webb said. “Really, it brought me, Tyreek, Tre and Jerel together. We hung out the whole time. We hung out with the track guys too, but mostly it was us. We’d go to track practice together and work out together and go to meets together. And we’d room together, too.”
Receiver Jhajuan Seales on the close of spring practices: “I’m kind of excited and kind of sad at the same time to see that spring is over. We don’t get to come out here and compete with our brothers every single day, but I’m also kind of excited we get to get our legs back.”