COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State’s depth at wide receiver took a hit Monday when the university announced Monday that Torrance Gibson has been suspended from school for unspecified reasons.
Coach Urban Meyer said the suspension was not related to football, and “I disagree with it.” He didn’t comment further. The university said Gibson was suspended for the fall semester for violating the student conduct code.
Gibson is a redshirt freshman quarterback-turned-receiver. Coaches said he was to be in the mix at wide receiver with Noah Brown, Corey Smith, Parris Campbell, Austin Mack and others. Brown is expected to start at one of the wideout spots but the others were battling for the spot, including Gibson, who caught two touchdown passes in the spring game. The 6-foot-4, 215-pounder came to Ohio State as a five-star recruit at quarterback from Plantation, Florida, and then asked for the move to receiver.
“As we say here, you have to be ready when your number is called,” said Billy Price, an offensive guard and team captain. “With Torrance, the suspension, it’s unfortunate but it gives an opportunity for a younger guy to get in there and be able to show what he’s done during camp. So we’ll make sure the team is ready.”
The Buckeyes open the season at home Saturday against Bowling Green.
STARTERS STILL NOT SET
Meyer said Monday that coaches are still working on depth charts and all the starters haven’t been named yet. Freshman Michael Jordan has won the starting job at left guard, but coaches have yet to designate starters at some other spots, including the one wide receiver spot, defensive tackle and one of the cornerbacks. A freshman starting on the offensive line is rare at Ohio State, which says something about the lack of depth up front this season.
WALK-ON TAKES OVER KICKING DUTIES
A walk-on placekicker will start Saturday after a hamstring injury to kicker Sean Nuernberger, who missed most of camp. Meyer didn’t say how long he would be out.
The new kicker is Tyler Durbin, whose name is so unfamiliar that Meyer had to check with a staff member during the press conference Monday to make sure he got it right.
Durbin is a former soccer player at James Madison who has been with the team since spring 2015.
“Tremendous talent,” Meyer said. “He’s the one who hit a 62-yarder in camp.”
Nuernberger is 16 for 24 in field goals over the past two seasons and converted all of his 106 extra point attempts.
FOND MEMORIES OF BOWLING GREEN
Meyer faces Bowling Green as an opposing coach for the first time since he began his head coaching career there in 2001 and 2002. He took over a down-on-its-luck program and went 17-6 there in the two seasons before moving onto Utah.
Meyer said he loved his players there and has stayed in touch with some of them.
“It’s one of the most tradition-rich programs in the MAC,” he said. “A lot of great respect for them. I loved my time there, and a lot of great people there.”
The other BG connection is Buckeyes offensive line coach Greg Studrawa, who played there from 1984-87 and was an assistant coach from 2001-06.
MEYER ON TEBOW: DON’T COUNT HIM OUT
Meyer said he’s supportive of Tim Tebow’s effort to play professional baseball.
Tebow, the former Heisman Trophy winner and an NFL first-round draft pick, has said he wants to hold a workout for Major League Baseball teams to scout him. Tebow hasn’t played baseball since high school.
Meyer, who coached the former quarterback at Florida, said he first saw him in a high school baseball game.
“Incredible. Incredible baseball player,” Meyer said. “That’s when I drank the Kool-Aid when I watched, because I kept hearing this Tebow, Tebow, Tebow. You got a little tired of it. I went and watched him play in spring baseball. He’s playing outfield. I’ve never seen a guy change a game, motivate, lead and do everything. And I walked away and said that guy is one of the most unique players I’ve ever seen.”
The coach said the 29-year-old Tebow has talked to him about the endeavor.
“He’s been thinking about it for a while,” Meyer said. “This didn’t just happen overnight. And I’m very biased and everybody knows that. And don’t count him out.”
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