SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Wednesday was the first day of formal interviews leading up to the Jan. 5 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. The setting was the JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort and the five senior Buckeyes at the podiums were James Laurinaitis, Malcolm Jenkins, Marcus Freeman, Nader Abdallah and A.J. Trapasso. Defensive coordinator Jim Heacock and co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell also addressed the media.
Some quotes from the media session included:
On Coach Tressel’s influence and input: “He has had a huge impact on me, and not only on me, but on all my teammates. He’s taught me how to do things with class and not to be one who is excessively celebrating. He’s taught me to keep my enthusiasm in house and simply to always do things with class.”
On Texas receivers Jordan Shipley and Quan Cosby: “They pose a threat all over [the field]. Both have great speed, great hands and they run great routes. They [the Texas offense] will get them the ball any way they can…short, long and they’ll get creative.”
On impact of special teams play this bowl season: “This bowl season has been crazy. The Florida State [vs. Wisconsin] game was a prime example of how special teams can affect the outcome of a game.
“Field position will be a battle [in the Fiesta Bowl]. Both teams will be fighting back and forth. They are experienced and we’ve got to go out and play our game.”
On the senior’s last game: “These guys are my brothers. I love them all…have grown up with them. It’s sad that this is our last game, but I’m happy with the sense of accomplishment with what we’ve all done and I think we’re all going to be going on to become very successful.”
On the senior’s last game: “You are remembered by that last performance. You can look back on the last two years and we’ve had pretty good teams but people look at our last two games. The way this class and this season will be remembered is by how we do in this game.”
On Texas: “They are an unbelievable team.”
On outsiders’ changed impression of Ohio State: “Well, first of all, it’s just their opinion. What we have to do is go out and give it all you can for this game. We’ve beaten good teams. We know what this team is capable of doing. We can be successful if we go out and perform to the best of our ability.”
On Ohio State since the USC game: “This is a totally different team since the USC game. We feel as if we are ready to perform.”
On the senior’s last game: “Emotional but exciting. It’s been five fun years, but they say you’ll be remembered by your last game…hopefully this will be successful. We’ll give our all and have no regrets.”
On Malcolm Jenkins’ presence: “He’s a great cornerback and he’s fired up. He gives great effort and his coverage is great. He’s a leader in the secondary and he will give it all he has because this is his last game.”
On the senior’s last game: “This is our last chance to show what we can do against a great team like Texas. Our time is going to be remembered by this game.”
For some images of the press conference, click on the above photo album link.