Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer announced one-game suspensions for cornerback Bradley Roby and running back Rod Smith during a meeting with the media at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Saturday.
Roby, who had charges reduced Friday for an incident he had at an Indiana bar in July, will be suspended for the first game regardless of the outcome of his pending legal case.
Meyer said Smith’s suspension was because of a bad decision he made in February, leaving the pecking order at running back for OSU’s opener Jordan Hall, Bri’onte Dunn, Warren Ball and freshmen Ezekiel Elliott and Dontre Wilson.
Scheduled for a pretrial conference on Aug. 26, Roby saw the charges for the incident that occurred at a Bloomington, Ind., be reduced from a Class A misdemeanor charge for battery to a Class B offense for disorderly conduct. Meyer, however, is still waiting to see how the case plays out.
“He’ll be suspended one game just because there was an issue,” Meyer said of Roby, who has spent fall camp taking reps with Ohio State’s second-team defense.
With starting running back Carlos Hyde suspended for OSU’s first three games, Smith was expected to help the Buckeyes carry the load on offense. Instead, Meyer said he’ll turn to other options against Buffalo despite vast improvement from Rod Smith during fall camp.
“If it wasn’t for a mistake in February, then he’d be maybe starting,” Meyer said of Smith. “He is doing very good and he is going to be a valuable member of this team once he gets back. He is practicing at a very high level. This is his last call – it’s the 11th hour for Rod Smith, so he needs to perform.”
Meyer also announced two other personnel decisions: the move of freshman Billy Price from the defensive to offensive line. Price, who along with defensive tackle Michael Hill saw his black stripe removed Saturday, has been taking reps at center and offensive guard. J.T. Moore, a former defensive end, has been moved to tight end.
Finally, Meyer confirmed that careers of three players – Blake Thomas, Adam Griffin and Jamie Wood – have seen their careers cut short for medical reasons.
“They are great kids,” Meyer said. “They are obviously going to get their degrees from Ohio State, but those are three losses for us.”
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