This is the busiest time of the year for the Buckeyes.
From the day fall camp kicks off until the season opener, each college team gets 29 practices to get offenses running, depth charts finalized and a plan in place for the upcoming season.
Practice times are regulated by the NCAA, so the Buckeyes – along with every other team in college football – have five days of one-a-day practices followed by two-a-days. In one week, the Buckeyes will practice nine times – the most for any one-week period during the year, according to offensive coordinator Jim Bollman.
Count OSU linebackers coach Luke Fickell as one person who thinks the schedule is a little out of whack.
“The worst part, I think, is having one-a-days to start with because you get in the mode of a one-a-day,” he said. “Then all of a sudden after five days you throw a two-a-day in there and they’re dragging. Even the coaches will.”
The solution, he said, is to move two-a-days to the beginning of camp so when one-a-days come around, the players appreciate them more. Still that would not change the fact that camp is a grueling experience for the players and coaches alike.
When asked what his favorite part of camp was, junior tailback Maurice Wells was as diplomatic as possible.
“Going to the hotel at night and going to sleep,” he said. “Camp is rough, especially during two-a-days.”
Fun And Games Off The Field
The hectic pace of camp has not kept the Buckeyes from enjoying at least a little bit of spare time. With the release of both NCAA Football and Madden 2008, the players have been taking a little time to spend a little quality time with their video game systems.
In a showdown of two of the team’s top two video gamers, Wells said he defeated senior fullback Dionte Johnson in Madden after the senior went out and bought a copy.
To beat Johnson, Wells said he called upon the help of an old friend.
“He had the Patriots; I had the Saints,” Wells said. “I killed him. I put (former OSU tailback Antonio Pittman) in the game. Pitt’s pretty good in the game too. He stepped in for Reggie Bush.”
Not that he always plays with the Buckeyes, however. On NCAA Football, Wells admitted to preferring to play as the USC Trojans.
“They have a great offense and they’re pretty good on the game,” he said.
What’s In A Nickname?
It turns out that while many of the 2007 Buckeyes have nicknames, not all of them are completely welcome.
Daniel Herron often goes by “Boom.” Few players on the team call Chris Wells by his first name, instead preferring the moniker “Beanie” he brought with him to OSU. The team’s 2007 media guide lists other nicknames such as “Chim” (Chimdi Chekwa), “Tank” (Tyler Whaley) and “B-Smeezy” (Brandon Smith).
While Beanie was never questioned about his nickname, junior wide receiver Brian Robiskie said he had never really thought about it either.
Until he was asked about it, at least.
“I’ve never really thought about it, but now that I’m thinking it probably doesn’t fit him at all,” Robiskie said. “But that’s his nickname so he can stick with it. When you call him ‘Chris’ he’s like, ‘What did you just call me?’ I just call him Beanie.”
As it turns out, he has never really endorsed his own nickname, “Robo.” It was given to him during his freshman season when former OSU wideout Roy Hall cornered him in a team meeting room and would not let him leave until he had a new nickname.
“(My dad) calls me Brian,” he said.
When asked what he prefers, Robiskie said, “My dad calls me Brian.”