Share

Tyler “Tank” Whaley, voted the 2007 team’s most inspirational player, and Dimitrios Makridis, former Buckeyes long snapper, were available to answer fans’ questions during the spring game.  They also provided insight during the first half.

Despite rain, a  total of 76,346 fans attended the spring game, topping last year’s record crowd of 75,301. In the last three years, more than 210,000 fans have attended the annual spring game.

Read the full chat below and visit OhioStateBuckeyes.com for full postgame coverage.

Chat Wrap

Bill  mason, ohio:  Tank, as a former OL I loved watching you in the backfield last year. We were hoping you would carry the ball once or twice? Could you not talk coach Tressel into it? 

Tank:    To answer the question about carrying the ball more: I wish it was more. I wish it happened once. It is a dream for an OL. I definitely put out that idea but you have to do what is best for the team. I understand why Coach didn’t. You have to do what is best for the team. It would hjave been though. I did get to catch a pass and returned a KO about 10 yards vs. Washington. That was a big thing for me and I definitely called my mom after that one. 

——————————————————————————–
 
Larry:Chesapeake, OH:    Tank, really enjoyed watching you the last several years down here in Southern Ohio. I have heard there is a book being written about you being a Buckeye. Tell us more and when will it be available?

——————————————————————————–
 
Tank::    Thanks for the support. I always wanted to represent S. Ohio well. It is a great honor for someone to want to write a book about me. It will be about Ironton, my background and my career at Ohio State. It should be out this fall and maybe I’ll out sell Coach Tressel’s book. Just kidding. 

——————————————————————————–
 
C. Jones:Dayton:    Did you guys treat the spring game like a normal Saturday during the season? 

——————————————————————————–
 
DM::    For me, yes. The biggest thing about the spring game is doing it in front of people. It adds some pressure to your performance. Plus, it is really the only time before the fall that coaches can evaluate you under game conditions. 

——————————————————————————–
 
TANK::    Yeah, I treat it like a regular game. Anytime you have a chance to go out and get better, you have to treat it like a game. You want to entertain the fans and get everybody excited for the season. It is good to get out there and simulate a game. Competition breeds everyone getting better. 

——————————————————————————–
 
Tammy:Columbus:    How did you get the nickname “Tank”?

——————————————————————————–
 
TANK::    I got the nickname when I was 10 in Ironton. I was on a little league all-star team. We won state that year and we wanted to come up with nicknames. I was short and stocky and people called me that. It grew from there. I am still short and stocky and that is what everybody calls me. I took pride in living up to the nickname. I was supposed to play like a tank. Some people don’t even know what my real name is. 

——————————————————————————–
 
Greg:Columbus:    I heard that you were going to New York with Vernon for the Draft. Could you talk about what you are expecting on draft day and what teams might be interested in you and vice versa?

——————————————————————————–
 
TANK::    Vern is going to be drafted high I hope and figure. I do hope to get picked up by a team one way or another. I have heard some teams that have showed some interest so hopefully Sunday night after the draft I will hear something.

——————————————————————————–
 
Alysa:Loveland,OH:    Tank, heard you had a great pro day in Columbus & was wondering what your plans are & have you heard from any teams?

——————————————————————————–
 
TANK::    I felt I had as good as a pro day as I could have had. I just hope that it was enough to give me a shot with a team. I have some teams showing interest in me which is positive. If that does not work out then I might attempt the Arena League or just start a career here in Columbus, Ohio.

——————————————————————————–
 
OSU::    Rain has started to come down in the stadium and the band is playing its pregame show. The Scarlet team just took the field, followed by the Gray. 

——————————————————————————–
 
OSU::    Tank, how will the rain play a part in the game today?

——————————————————————————–
 
Tank::    The weather is going to be wet obviously and that could play a role in the passing game. If it is wet you better believe that the running game will be huge. The thing as a former player that the players on the field do not really care. I bet they like it and are ready to get down and dirty like football should be.

——————————————————————————–
 
DM::    From a snapper standpoint it is definitely a little different. The key is doing everything the same as you do in practice and trying to snap as many dry balls in warm-ups as possible. No matter how wet it is on the field the ball is going to be dry when you get into the game. SO, the way a snapper may grip the ball may change. We and all snappers practice wet ball snaps in practice so a wet day doesn’t shake us up too much. Last year’s Michigan game was exactly like it is today only a bit colder. 

——————————————————————————–
 
OSU::    Tank, both teams opened with converted fullbacks with Curtis Terry in for Scarlet and Ryan Lukens for Gray. How hard a switch is that for them and how much does spring ball help?

——————————————————————————–
 
TANK::    I think switching over from another position is not hard to do especially if you have that spring to get used to the position. It may be a little harder for Curtis and Ryan than it was for me because they are coming from the defensive side. That is where the coaches will work with them during the spring and build the foundation for them at that position. The coaches will find the best player for a position whether they have to move someone or not.

——————————————————————————–
 
OSU::    Dimitrios, the teams have traded punts in the last two possessions. How big is spring ball for the specialists?

——————————————————————————–
 
DM::    When there is a spot open and a job to be won spring ball is huge. It is the first chance to show the coaches and your teammates what you can do. As everyone knows the scarlet and the gray teams are chosen by the seniors and upper classmen. Thus, if you prove to your teammates that you are worthy enough to take over the job it will reflect in the draft. In my opinion, getting the support and favor of your teammates is just as important as what the coaches think. 

——————————————————————————–
 
OSU::    Tank, that is two deep balls to Hartline this quarter. Is that something we can look for this season?

——————————————————————————–
 
TANK::    I think that’s something we will see a lot. Hartline just has that open field speed that will allow him to make plays. He is not afraid to go up for balls and just like the catch he just made to set up the touchdown was a great catch that will be consistent throughout this coming season.

——————————————————————————–
 
Rachel:Lewis Center, Ohio:    First off, I wanted to say GO BUCKS!!!!!!!! I think you guys are really great and I love y’all so much!! 🙂 Anyways, my question was what is the best part about being a buckeye??

——————————————————————————–
 
DM::    THE FANS OF COURSE… yeah we have a great band, team, coaches, but we have the best damn FANS in the land!!! I was just talking with Tank about how this is honestly in our opinion the greatest university in the country, second to none. The shoe and the games in my opinion are the best. Their is nothing like college gameday in columbus. All the hard work and long hours all year round are without a doubt worth it on Saturdays in the fall. Then, of course, playing in the THE GAME… nothing compares. 

——————————————————————————–
 
Jamison:Ironton:    Tank, can you talk about the difficulties of walking on the team from a small town? I know you had a lot of people believing in you, such as myself, but what would you say to all the people who were nay-sayers?

——————————————————————————–
 
TANK::    I believe walking on was hard to do and faced a lot of adversity. I feel having the support of Ironton even though there were some nay-sayers really encouraged me to do my best and never give up. When I did hear the nay-sayers talk negative I just used that as motivation to do whatever I needed to do to succeed.

——————————————————————————–
 
OSU::    Dimitrios, Scarlet passed up on a FG attempt and threw on fourth down to convert. Surprised?

——————————————————————————–
 
DM::    Well we had this situation where we would be anywhere in between the 35-25 yard line last year on fourth and short and I would say we went for it about 90 percent of the time. Of course, with Beanie it’s a pretty safe move. So considering the weather and the fact that it is the sping game I am definitely not surprised. Also, I know the head coach for the Scarlet, Coach Hazell, isn’t afraid to open it up a bit… his calm cool demeanor will fool ya, when he gets on the field its all business and anything goes.

——————————————————————————–
 
OSU::    Joe Bauserman just took his first snap. How has he come along as a backup from the first part of last season?

——————————————————————————–
 
TANK::    Joe has come along good. Coming in last season was his first and I feel he has picked up the system really well. He is making good decisions and I was very surprised about how strong his arm was last season when he came to Ohio State. He is a very solid quaterback.

——————————————————————————–
 
OSU::    After the TD, we have a break in action and we’ll get to one of the questions from the fans … 

——————————————————————————–
 
gary:savannah, ga:    We have a huge turnout for spring football down here at southern schools. I heard there were like 70,000 people there at your game last year. Why do you think some many people come out to a game that doesn’t count?

——————————————————————————–
 
TANK::    I think it shows how great and dedicated our fans are. They will come out rain or shine to get a glimpse of the up and coming football team. I think the fans have not had football since the season and this is a time to get out  and tailgate and come watch some football on a Saturday to fill a craving of theirs. It is such a great atmosphere that it is truely hard to pass up.

——————————————————————————–
 
OSU::    The Scarlet is has possession at midfield. Is this a good time to work on 2-minute drill?

——————————————————————————–
 
TANK::    Yeah I think so because this is a game situatoin and you need to put another score in the endzone before half to put more pressure on the other team. Plus it would be something else they could work on and really simulate a real game.

——————————————————————————–
 
OSU::    Gray called a TO before the FG attempt. Does icing the kicker work?

——————————————————————————–
 
DM::    APPARENTLY NOT FOR AARON PETTREY! That was a great kick. I am very close friends with Ryan and Aaron and they have actually told me that it makes them more comfortable out their on the field for a bit. I would have to agree with them. It only gets to you if you let it get to you. So yeah, if you stay focused and block out everything around you it actually helps being out there the extra minute or so. 

——————————————————————————–
 
OSU::    We just had a couple more questions come in from Tank’s hometown in Ironton. We’ll answer those before the end of halftime.

——————————————————————————–
 
Jameson:Ironton:    Tank, are you mad that you can no longer say, “I play football?”

——————————————————————————–
 
TANK::    Well actually there is still a chance I can say I play football. If it does not happen I will not be upset.

——————————————————————————–
 
Jerry S:Ironton:    Do you think the head slap maneuver should be legalized in football?

——————————————————————————–
 
TANK::    I think that it is hard to really act upon it and make it a die hard rule in a game where there is so much movement and hitting. I believe it is always going to happen so I do not think it should be a penalty that is looked at so closely.

——————————————————————————–
 
AJ:Ironton:    Tank, did you play any other sports in high school, like basketball, baseball, or boxing?

——————————————————————————–
 
TANK::    I actually played baseball and really enjoyed it. I wish I could have kept playing both football and baseball. I did not really box unless my friends and I were playing around. I did like to weight lift and actually enter weight lifting meets in high school.

——————————————————————————–
 
Matt :Ironton:    Tank, other than your family, who was your biggest inspiration growing up?

——————————————————————————–
 
TANK::    Other than my family I would say my friends back home. When my friends were doing their best I wanted to do my best. The competition between my friends and I drove me to be the best I could, and I was fortunate enough to grow up with friends that were good in what they did and they all always strived to be the best. 

——————————————————————————–
 
James Holt:Akron:    Tank, I know you are very close with your friends and family. Can you talk about how your friends and family influenced you in not only your football career but life, but your best friend JT?

——————————————————————————–
 
TANK::    Well my family and friends are the reason I made it to Ohio State. Without them I would have not been able to make it through the tough times of not only being in college but facing the life as a walk-on. JT was always a great friend especially my freshman year when he was my roommate. Thanks James.

——————————————————————————–
 
OSU::    That will wrap up the chat for today. Thanks again everybody. Please visit OhioStateBuckeyes.com for all postgame coverage. 

——————————————————————————–