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April 16, 1999

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Two more practices are behind them and the Ohio State Buckeyes now have two-thirds of their spring practice drills over. The team will practice Saturday in front of approximately 60 high school juniors and their families and then come back next week with practices Monday, Tuesday and Friday with a final scrimmage on Saturday to close out spring drills. Some notes from the last two practices

Tuesday was a rather light day after a physical practice onMonday.
Thursdays practice was indoors at the Woody Hayes Athletic Centerdue to the heavy rain.
Lots of former Buckeyes have been attending practices – includingNFL Buckeyes Mike Vrabel, Greg Bellisari, Ramont Harris and EddieGeorge – and Thursday current Arizona Cardinal Ty Howard was inattendance.
No less than four Georgia Bulldog assistant coaches visited withthe OSU staff and watched practices on Monday and Tuesday. (It iscommon for college coaching staffs to visit schools not on theirupcoming schedules to learn new tricks of the trade.)
Joe Cooper didnt practice at all on Thursday and may not practiceagain this spring. He has a sprained left ankle and trainers dontknow if there is enough time for it to heal enough to get him backonto the practice fields.

John Cooper “Quotes”

On the quarterback competition:
“Theres lots of teaching going on. Steve Bellisari and Austin Moherman and Austin Moherman and Steve Bellisari are one-two at the quarterback position. The good thing that is going on with this quarterback competition is that they are each getting every other snap. If theres four quarterbacks in the hunt, then they only get every fourth snap. They are getting better. We are throwing everything at them and they are handling it pretty well.”

Player movement:
“I cant say who is standing out [among the younger guys]. The good thing at Ohio State is we dont have players take days off. Our veterans – guys like Nail Diggs and Michael Wiley and Ahmed Plummer and Matt Keller and Gary Berry and all those offensive and defensive linemen – come to practice in the spring to get better, and they are getting better.” On Saturdays NFL draft:
“I dont keep up with it like you in the media do. Of course Andy and Antoine and David Boston are all going to go early on, but I also think there are four or five players that will get drafted on the first day and six to eight will probably get drafted.. I think a lot of teams really like Joe Germaine.”

On using the draft as a recruiting advantage:
“We sell lots of things about the Ohio State program. We believe that high school players want three things: they want a good education; they want to win; and they want to get recognized. And everyone knows the list of awards that our players have won and they know that Ohio State Buckeyes get drafted.”

Ohio State NFL Draft Notes
Ohio State has had 12 first round draft picks in the 1990s alone, including the first pick in the 1997 (Orlando Pace) and 1994 (Dan Wilkinson) drafts. Ohio State has the most and the second-most 1st-round selections in one draft: four in 1971 and three in 1995 and 1996. Including this years draft, Ohio State will have had a first-round pick in eight out of the last nine years. Ohio State has had 24 players over the last five years selected in the NFL Draft and 33 players total drafted in the decade of the 1990s.