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COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State Buckeyes will have a “little bit different type of spring practice” when spring football drills begin for the defending outright Big Ten champions Thursday in Columbus.

Coach Jim Tressel believes his veteran team needs different challenges than in previous springs. “We have 47 guys on the roster who are entering either their fourth or fifth year, so we don’t want spring practice to seem like the same old, same old. We want to focus a little bit differently in how we present the material we need to improve.

“We will focus on mentally challenging our group in terms of their football knowledge and thinking. We’re also asking them to train through spring practice with a harder regimen in the weight room. We’re asking more from our guys mentally and physically because they want us to test them on how good they can be.

“We need to continue evolving in terms of who we are offensively and who we are defensively, and how far we can go. I am as excited about this spring as I am for any of them.”

Spring practice concludes Saturday, April 19, with the annual spring game at Ohio Stadium. This year, a men’s lacrosse game between Ohio State and Denver will start the day’s action at 11 a.m. The football scrimmage is scheduled to kick off at 1:30 p.m.

Click the link above to listen to coach Tressel’s Wednesday press conference.