July 23, 2024

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Ryan Day at Ohio State: Plays will not be called;  No update for Bill O'Brien

Ryan Day at Ohio State: Plays will not be called; No update for Bill O'Brien

Ohio State football coach Ryan Day has confirmed that he will step down from offensive tackle for the 2024 season, though the status of his chosen successor, Bill O'Brien, will be determined in the coming days.

Last month, Day hired O'Brien as Ohio State's offensive coordinator as part of a plan to hand off play-calling to the former Penn State and Houston Texans coach. Day has been involved in the Buckeyes' play calls since joining the staff in 2017.

But O'Brien is one of the top candidates for the head coaching position at Boston College. He interviewed four other candidates on Tuesday in Atlanta, a source told ESPN's Andrea Adelson. Day said Wednesday he had “no update” on O'Brien's situation in British Columbia, but O'Brien was in the building where he works in Ohio.

O'Brien, who grew up near Boston, spent last season as offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots. Boston College, which lost coach Jeff Hafley to the Green Bay Packers, is expected to hire a staffer by the end of the week, according to sources.

“It's not just one of those situations where you take one guy out and put another guy in there and move on,” Day said of the possibility of O'Brien leaving. “It doesn't work that way. But yeah, we talked to different people for the position and we have contingency plans in place. Hopefully we won't have to go down that road, though.”

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Day struggled with the decision to give up play calls and joked Wednesday: “I haven't done that yet, so we'll see.” But the realities of how college football was changing required him to change course. He said O'Brien “checked all those boxes” for what he sought as an alternative.

“I know this is the ideal situation moving forward,” he said. “Do I want to? No, I don't. I like the football part of it.”

With Boston College's decision looming, O'Brien is set to oversee a quarterback room that has swelled in recent weeks with the additions of transfer Will Howard from Kansas State and Julian Signe from Alabama, ESPN's No. 9 recruit in the class of 2024. Howard started 27 games at Kansas State and has no remaining He only has one year of eligibility. Ohio State also returns Devin Brown, who pushed Kyle McCord for the starting job last year, as well as Lincoln Kienholz and another incoming freshman, Air Noland.

Day expects “fierce competition” at quarterback, starting in spring training.

“Will came here to play football, so I hope that's his mentality, and I hope all the players have that mentality,” Day said. “He has to learn the offense and get going.”