GENEVA, Ohio – Notes and other items from a short conversation with Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, who co-hosted a free football camp Thursday morning at the SPIRE Institute near his hometown of Ashtabula.
**The biggest recent news surrounding the Ohio State program is the injury to Jordan Hall, who stepped on some glass, got stitches in his foot, then ended up needing surgery and is expected to miss around 8-10 weeks. That means he’ll miss all of training camp and maybe a significant number of games this season.
“He’ll be back,” Meyer said.
Meyer explained the injury and the situation like this: “He stepped on a piece of glass and got 10 or so stitches. A day later he said he was having issues with his toe, he couldn’t move it. I was hearing this over the phone and (thinking), You’ve got to be kidding me.’ Then he had surgery for a torn tendon.”
Hall was expected to play a Percy Harvin-type of running back/slotback role for the Buckeyes. He became one of Meyer’s favorites during spring football with his play on the field and his leadership off of it.
“Jordan had a 3.1 GPA and just finished with a 3.4,” Meyer said. “He’s on my leadership committee. He’s one of the hardest-working guys. He’s kind of changed his whole life around. He’ll be fine. We’ve got his back.”
Meyer held Hall out of the Buckeyes spring game, maybe because of a minor injury concern but probably because he didn’t want any other coaches having tape of how the Buckeyes plan to use Hall. Asked how Hall’s absence from camp affects the Buckeyes preparations and opportunities for other players, Meyer said “we’re working on that now.”
**Meyer said he and his staff have had their fall camp schedule and itinerary set “since February” and that the Buckeyes first practice is set for August 3.
**Meyer said he talks to suspended players Jake Stoneburner and Jack Mewhort “every week” but offered little else. They were taken off scholarship for the summer and barred from working out with their teammates after being arrested on misdemeanor charges of obstructing official business in early June but can be reinstated if they meet Meyer’s conditions.
**With Ohio Stadium due to close for renovations following this season, the 2013 spring game is expected to be held at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. Meyer said there were several factors in making that decision and that Ohio State would like to play another regular-season game in Cleveland soon.
“We had to make a decision (on the spring game) and we played a game in Cleveland recently (2009 vs. Toledo),” Meyer said. “I kind of like that idea and we’re going to try to get another game in Cleveland over the next couple years. I think that’s a great idea and I heard the (Toledo) game was a big success. Cincinnati is also an important area, recruiting-wise, and I kind of grew up there, went to college there.
“(Paul Brown Stadium) is a good venue and just another opportunity to showcase Ohio State.”
**Thursday’s camp was headlined by Meyer and Eastern Kentucky head coach Dean Hood, also a native of Ashtabula. There were 225 participants from first-eighth grade and 19 local high school coaches who volunteered to work the camp. Meyer addressed the campers on the importance of work ethic and reputation and later took pictures and signed autographs for each of them.
He said part of what makes Ohio so special — and such a fertile recruiting ground — is “that the best high school coaching in the country is right here. There are guys who care.”
On the camp, he said. “It’s incredible to have 19 coaches taking time, this close to July 4 especially. I’d expect that out of Ashtabula, though. It’s great to see some old friends.”
Meyer’s 30th high school reunion brought him back to town. Though details still have to be worked out, he and Hood talked like there will be another, bigger camp next year.
“It’s good for the soul to be able to come home,” he said. “This is the first time in a few years. It’s easier to get back being three hours away (in Columbus) than six or seven states away.
“I can’t imagine a better place to grow up. It’s great to have a chance to come back and say thank
Meyer is a 1982 graduate of Ashtabula St. John High School. Hood is a 1982 graduate of Harbor High School.