Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 3/29/12

Coach Urban Meyer took to the practice fields for the first time as leader of the Ohio State Buckeyes Wednesday afternoon for the start of the 2012 spring drills.

“I felt great,” Meyer said afterward. “It was great to blow the whistle and watch the guys run. It was great to coach punting, something I love to do, and to just watch the positions.”

ESPN was in Columbus to do a series of live reports by former Buckeye great Chris Spielman on Meyer’s first practice after he spent last year recharging and working for ESPN;

A large media contingent of about 60 writers, columnists, television and radio reporters from across the state and region was on hand to watch and document the proceedings; and

Some notes and quotes:

Meyer said a lot of people inside and outside of the program have asked him if the quarterbacks can throw and he said “yes they can. They can physically throw and I feel good about both,” in reference to returning starter Braxton Miller and junior Kenny Guiton.

Meyer said junior receiver Devin Smith was “fast … a separator … a speed guy,” and he also said there has to be a “wow” factor from these guys [skill players]. He said schools like Ohio State should have at least two “wow” guys.

Meyer said the immediate needs for spring drills was to install the offense and to identify play makers. He said the offense should be installed in five or six practices.

The “number ones”

Meyer said two weeks ago during his spring preview that someone has to step up with the first team initially during spring ball and typically it will be experienced players and upperclassmen. Here’s how the two units looked:

Offense: Jr. Jack Mewhort, Jr. Andrew Norwell, Jr. Corey Linsley, Jr. Marcus Hall and Sr. Reid Fragel were along the line with So. Braxton Miller at quarterback and Sr. TE Jake Stoneburner, Sr. FB Zach Boren, Sr. RB Jordan Hall and receivers Chris Fields (a junior), So. Devin Smith and So. Evan Spencer all taking turns with the top 11, depending on the formation and play.

Defense: Sr. John Simon, Jr. Johnathan Hankins, Sr. Garrett Goebel and Jr. Adam Bellamy were up front and backed by linebackers Sr. Etienne Sabino, So. Ryan Shazier and So. Curtis Grant with So. Bradley Roby, Sr. Travis Howard, Jr. Christian Bryant and Jr. C.J. Barnett in the secondary.

The team will practice Friday afternoon in shorts, jerseys and helmets and then on Saturday it will put on the pads for the first full contact hitting of spring.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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