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April 19, 2006

Dick Tressel, running backs coach
On Antonio Pittman, junior running back
“We have not put him in any kind of full contact drill yet. He is at about 90 to 95 percent and there is no point is putting him out there and risk him getting hurt. It is just not worth it this early in the year.”

On Chris Wells, freshman running back
“On signing day I said he looked a lot like Jim Brown. Now, that I have a chance to look at him up close and personal I have to say he looks even more like Jim Brown to me.”

On Antonio Pittman missing most of spring ball
“He has a ton of time to make up with the reps that he is missing right now. He is a very hard worker and if all goes well he should have all those reps made up in summer ball and be ready come fall.”

On Trever Robinson, junior LB/FB
“Well he started of the spring as a linebacker but he has switched positions and is playing fullback now. I am happy to give him the opportunity to earn a spot a fullback.”

Maurice Wells, sophomore running back
On spring practice
“I’m out there just trying to get better everyday. I just want to get better so that I will help be able to help the team come fall.”

On the offense vs. the defense
“People have talked about the offense as being the strength of this team but in practice it is a very even match. The guys we have on defense are good and are going to surprise people.”

Dionte Johnson, junior fullback
On Maurice Wells
“He has improved a great deal from last season. He is willing to wait for his blocks more and he is better at reading blocks too.” On the running backs
“They are all really good. With Pittman being down a lot of these guys are getting a chance to see a lot of reps and it should really help them come fall. It is going to be hard for coach to keep some of these guys off the field.”

Stan White Jr., senior fullback
On his teammates improvement
“I’m excited to see Maurice Wells improve since last spring and I think Antonio Pittman has developed into one of the best backs in the country. That’s pretty exciting.”

On his teams running game
“I expect our running game to be the best it’s been since 2002. We have a lot of depth and that’s the difference. We have a lot of different types of backs. We have guys with speed and guys with power who can come into the game and take the pressure off (quarterback) Troy (Smith).”

Antonio Pittman, junior tailback
On sitting out practice because of his pulled hamstring
“It’s real tough to sit out. You get hungry and it’s hard when someone makes a great play. You think they’re out to take your spot. It’s pretty frustrating”

On his fellow players
“The young guys are looking really good. I don’t think any of us are alike though.”

On last season
“It felt good to score against Notre Dame and it capped a great year for me personally. To get the winning touchdown against Michigan was pretty great too.”