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April 14, 2000

%^$Coach John Cooper liked what he saw Thursday at the Wody Hayes Athletic Center%^$

%^$ “That was a pretty good practice,” he said, following the Buckeyes two-hour workout. “The%^$ weather was great and we were able to work on some situational stuff — down and distance plays –%^$ for the first time.”%^$

%^$ Asked about the tailback situation, where seniors Derek Combs (Urbancrest, Ohio) and Jerry Westbrooks (Boca Raton, Fla.) are%^$ contending with junior Jonathan Wells (River Ridge, La.) for the vacant starting spot, Cooper declined naming a pecking%^$ order.%^$

%^$ “I think you can win with all three of them,” said the veteran coach. “Jonathan is a very good%^$ football player. Derek has had a good spring and can hit the homerun for you. Jerry may be the most%^$ improved player on the team. He has the size and speed you are looking for. All three of them are%^$ going to play for us, and in this league you can never have enough good tailbacks.”%^$

%^$ The Buckeyes practiced without defensive tackle Ryan Pickett (Jr., Zephyrhills, Fla.), who%^$ underwent successful shoulder (his left) surgery Wednesday morning. Offensive tackle Tyson Walter%^$ (Sr., Bainbridge, Ohio) made his first appearance of the spring after sitting out the first six sessions with%^$ an inner-ear infection.%^$

%^$ In a position switch, Cie Grant (So., New Philadelphia, Ohio) was moved to linebacker from strong%^$ safety.%^$

%^$ “He’s 200 pounds right now and capable of putting on more weight. We think linebacker may be%^$ his best position.”%^$

%^$ The Buckeyes are off Friday, but resume practice Saturday morning.