Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 4/15/12
By Jeff Svoboda BuckeyeSports.com COLUMBUS - Drew Basil arrived in the training room at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center at 8:30 a.m., an hour and a half before the bus was supposed to leave for Ohio Stadium for todays student-filled open practice. That he was there so early was a testament to how excited Basil was to perform in front of as many members of the student body who were willing to get up at 10:45 in the morning and head over to the Horseshoe. But when rain and storms hit the Columbus area Saturday morning, Basil had no idea what would be in store when the practice moved to the indoor field at the WHAC. About 70 percent of the way through the proceedings, with fans spread out from bleachers behind the goal line all the way to the 20-yard line on one side of the WHAC field, Basil was instructed to kick a field goal over the fans to the goal post painted on the curtain behind the bleachers. After the first one went through, head coach Urban Meyer had an idea. He instructed the fans in attendance to surround the field goal units as Basil attempted a string of kicks of around 35 yards. On top of that, the head coach jumped up and down in the middle of the ring, inciting the fans to create an atmosphere unlike any other seen in recent years at the WHAC. It was pretty awesome, Basil said. It was awesome knowing everyone around you is Ohio State people yelling for you. I dont know if they were yelling for me or against me, but I just thought it was for me. By the end of the day, there was no doubt there were connections made between team members and the fans many members of the student body who showed up for the practice. Ohio State estimated around 3,000 people crammed into the WHAC field, and they were treated to a fun show. Not only did Ohio State go through a practice with more scrimmaging including battles between the top offense and defense than usual. Afterward, there was a meet-and-greet between coaches, players and fans capped with a photograph of the groups taken from the top of the WHAC. I think its great for everybody, receivers coach Zach Smith said after the practice was over. Coaches, players, but more importantly the student body. I think the student body is probably one of the most important assets for a program just because of the support they provide the team. At the same time, its good for the team to get around students because thats what they are. Its twofold: I think its a benefit for the students and fans and its a benefit for our kids and coaches to get around them. At times youre in your own world, like youre locked in the Woody Hayes and going, going, going and you kind of lose the magnitude of what it is. Then you let all these fans in here and it hits you. Basils field goal exploits might have been the most memorable part of the proceedings. After making the first kick, Basil had one blocked by Johnathan Hankins and missed one to the left before making his last four tries. I thought it was awesome just to see that whole end zone packed all the way out to the 20-yard line, he said. That was just incredible. Ive never seen that many people in the Woody at once. This is the best atmosphere ever. As for whether he was worried about pegging any fans with a wayward kick, Basil just had to laugh. Not, not at all, he said. If I was out there golfing it would be a whole different story. The idea was created by Meyer to raise some buzz and announced during the week. Meyer said he visited each student organization when he first got to Florida, something he couldnt do at Ohio State because of the size of the university. The open practice was a fun alternative. "We're reaching out to the students," he said. "We're all here and sometimes we keep forgetting what this is all about. It's about student-athletes and it's about the student body and making the collegiate experience a positive thing. So what's every student want? They want ownership and access." The setting also showed just how excited students are for the Meyer era. I feel like everybody is really excited, Basil said. I know Id be sleeping. To have all these students come out here and spend time with us showing theyre excited, its pretty awesome. Thats what makes it different from the NFL and every other level, Smith added. You do it for the students and the fans. Its awesome.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Eddie Lacy defends Mike McCarthy for weight loss comments

Red Sox nearly had serious catcher emergency in loss to Tigers

Ohio State DL Dylan Thompson ineligible for season

Roger Federer will miss Olympics, U.S. Open with knee injury

Seahawks extend Pete Carroll through 2019

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

LSU kicker Colby Delahoussaye releases first statement following car crash

Report: Brock Osweiler could have made more money staying with Broncos

Andrew Luck: Feels `as good as I've ever felt` for training camp

Amar'e Stoudemire announces retirement after signing one-day contract with Knicks

Report: Gregory failed multiple drug tests since suspension

Olympian Abby Johnston: Worst thing about Olympic village is no Pokemon

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

Report: Paul Pierce to return to Clippers

Jimbo Fisher: You come to FSU to win national championships

Andre Johnson worked out for Tennessee Titans

Shattenkirk for Krejci trade rumor still floating around

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman denies link to C.T.E.

Michael Vick: Cam Newton can’t beat me in 40-yard dash

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

Odell Beckham Jr. says Giants will play in Super Bowl LI

Iowa researchers say they can optimize Monday Night Football ratings with scheduling

Terrelle Pryor can visit Ohio State as five-year ban comes to a close

Rudy Gay admits to having ‘no idea’ about what the Kings are doing

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker