ATHENS, Ohio -- The Ohio football team opened its fifth and final week of spring practice Monday (April 8) morning inside Walter Fieldhouse today.
Following practice, OhioBobcats.com caught up with redshirt junior tight end Ryan Luehrman (Athens, Ohio) for a question-and-answer session.
How has the team progressed througout spring ball?
"I think we've improved a lot, both from day one of spring ball and last season, in our offseason working out and conditioning. You can tell that we hit the ground running going into spring ball and a lot of our key players are stepping up. Our offense and defense have both been stepping up. There's been a lot of competition."
What goals have you set for yourself this spring?
"My footwork, definitely. Getting my weight up. Gotta keep eating right and staying healthy."
What kind of mentality do you have to have to succeed at tight end in this offense?
"You've got to take pride in your blocking and your footwork. You've got to be smart. You have to know both passing and block schemes. Whatever the coaches want me to do, I'll do it one hundred percent. That's the mentality we have here at Ohio. That's always fun when they call a play that's designed for the tight end. That always gets me excited."
As an Athens native, what does it mean to you to suit up for Ohio and represent both your community and the university?
"Ever since I can remember, I was a fan of the Bobcats. It's an honor, and it's a dream come true for me to actually play for them. Growing up and watch them as a kid and now being on the team is awesome."
What is it like to, not only continue playing alongside your twin brother, Adam, in college but to do so at the same position?
"It's really special. Competing with him all my life, having friendly competition and now doing it on this level, it's really cool. It helps us both to get better."
You and Adam competed at Athens High School at a time when other standout athletes such as LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, Ohio women's basketball guard Dominique Doseck and Northwestern defensive back Trae Williams were representing the Bulldogs. What was it like to come up through high school with such a talanted group?
"I remember when I was little, Dominique used to play basketball with us because she was such a great player. I remember she was really hard to guard. It's no surprise how well she's done here and the career she's had. I still keep in touch with Joe and Trae a lot."
With the loss of several key seniors at several different positions on the offense, have you taken on more of a leadership role this season?
"Definitely in the tight end room and film room. Adam and I know the offense, and we've got to teach that to the other guys so they can catch up and get better, too."
Between now and the start of the 2019 season, what do you want to improve on?
Improve my blocking more and stay on blocks longer. Create separation. Also, get faster and stronger so I can get more open on routes. Just stay healthy. Eat right, sleep right and do all the right things in the classroom."
Ohio will hold its 14th of 15 practices this spring on Wednesday (April 10) beginning at 8 a.m. ET. The Bobcats' spring practice finale is set for 2 p.m. ET on Saturday (April 13) at Peden Stadium. Fans are invited to attend and get their first look at the 2019 squad.