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Day 2 in Chicago featured two hours of interviews, autographs and the luncheon

CHICAGO – After a night at Wrigley Field watching the Chicago Cubs get defeated by the Milwaukee Brewers, 18-1, the Ohio State contingent at Big Ten Media Days spent Tuesday morning doing roundtable interviews at the McCormick Place Convention Center. That was followed by an hour autograph session and then the luncheon, attended by approximately 1,700 with ESPN’s Rece Davis the master of ceremonies.

Bryant Browning, Cameron Heyward and Dane Sanzenbacher took a cab ride to Wrigley that cost each player only $7. They bought their game tickets from an official ticket window at the stadium, knowing full well that some in last year’s media day group was “taken” when they bought tickets on the street.

“They were obstructed view seats but they were fine,” Heyward said. “We stayed until the 8th inning. The game was getting out of hand by then, but it was still fun.”

“Besides the Cubbies just getting smashed, it was a great time,” said Sanzenbacher.

Illinois coach Ron Zook sang “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” at the seventh-inning stretch. Asked how it went, he replied “about as well as the game went [for the Cubs].”

Table Topics
Each player, along with Coach Jim Tressel, was seated at his own table in a huge interview room for the interview session. It should be noted that all three Ohio State players had media at their tables for the entire two-hour session. Coach Tressel’s table was packed for the duration. Some topics by player:

Cameron Heyward on…

Staying for his senior season: “It wasn’t that big of a decision. It has always been in my mind to graduate and have a shot at winning another national championship for Ohio State.”

The departed Doug Worthington & Thaddeus Gibson: “Doug and Thad were always clowns…wherever we went. Every night before a game these guys were clowning around and keeping us all loose.”

Dexter Larimore: “Dex is a senior who has been through a lot. He played very well last year. He and John Simon are keys in the middle for us. We can’t play well without these guys inside.”

John Simon: “John really came on strong last year and he has gotten himself stronger and made himself better. He is always in the weight room. You never have to tell him to go; he’s always there. He is overly strong.”

Bryant Browning on…

Cameron Heyward: “He is very active and never takes a play off. He goes straight through an offensive line. He is very strong and very powerful.”

Protecting Terrelle Pryor: “You need to stay on your block forever because you never know what he might be doing behind you. At any given moment he can make a great play.”

Terrelle’s play in the Rose Bowl: “He was hungry and determined. He wanted to win that game for the seniors.”

The offensive line flying under the radar: “That’s the role for an offensive lineman, but we know it is on our backs to be productive, though. It’s up to us to execute as a unit so the quarterback has time to make a pass and the running backs can make a big run.”

Dane Sanzenbacher on…

His name: “It’s SONZ-in-bach-er and not SANZ-in-bach-er (rhymes with ‘on’ and not ‘an’). There’s been some discrepancies in our family with the name but it’s SONZ-in-bach-er.”

Still having wow moments about being a Buckeye: “I probably have more of them than you think. I still sit in my locker sometimes and think this is crazy that my name is on the back of this jersey. It is still humbling to get to run out through the tunnel onto that field.”   

Being a leader: “It’s a great position to be in. As a senior you are expected to lead and it is an honor.”

Freshmen receivers T.Y. Williams and James Louis : “T.Y. has impressed me with how well he can move for the size he is. And James has that Florida style. He is a speedy guy.”

Nice to See
Brian Bashnagle was at Big Ten Media Days. A star on some of the great Ohio State teams of the early 1970s, Bashnagle has lived in the Chicago area since his pro football career with the Chicago Bears ended after the 1986 Super Bowl season. Bashnagle works for the same company he started with in January 1987: North American Corp. His son, Luke, just graduated in June from Ohio State with a degree in business finance.

Nice to See II
Former Ohio State basketball player Marquis Miller also attended the media day luncheon. Miller has lived in Chicago the past 14 years after leaving the Ohio State Office of Development. He has been consulting for a group called The Business Mosaic, but says he’s ready to figure out “what I want to do for the next 50 years of my life.”

Taste of the Day
The players and coaches had a convenient little buffet set up before the interviews started at 8 a.m. CDT. Early reviews were positive for the French toast, but the taste of the day had to be the plump little breakfast sausages. Browned perfectly, they had a crisp initial bite that led to a tender and juicy pork finish. For the fans of sweet and savory, a dipped-in-syrup sausage was the way to go.