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Jan. 15, 2016

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Today – this morning, in fact, in front of the entire team – Ohio State coach Urban Meyer did something he truly enjoys to do: recognize achievement and accomplishment among his players. So, at a little past 8 a.m., he announced that fifth-year senior stalwarts Joe Burger and Craig Fada have each been placed on scholarship.

“There is nothing better than to be able to reward two guys who have become among the heart and souls of this program,” Meyer said. “They are leaders and they are among the most respected players on the team.”

Both players are already three-year lettermen, no small achievement for one-time walk-ons, and both will graduate with bachelor’s degrees this December. Burger will have a degree in industrial and systems engineering and Fada will have his degree in biology.

Burger, from Cincinnati and LaSalle High School, has played in 34 games the past three seasons, including every game during the 2014 national championship season and every game this year.

“I am blessed because of every one of you in this room and the coaching staff,” Burger said. “Thank you. I work hard for you all and I have fun doing it.”

Fada, who is from Columbus and attended Bishop Watterson High School, has also played in every game the past two seasons and in 39 altogether.

“Playing here at Ohio State has always been a dream and I can’t thank the coaching staff enough for allowing me this opportunity,” Fada said. “I’m ready to have one more really good year with this team.”

Burger, Fada and the rest of the Buckeyes begin winter conditioning drills under the direction of coach Mickey Marotti on Tuesday.