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Aug. 22, 2005

Nate Salley, senior free safety
On the offense
“Our offense is hard to stop. They have a lot of weapons, including (Ted) Ginn who is tough to tackle, especially if he has a little room to work. Antonio Pittman is running hard and you can definitely tell a difference from last year.”

On senior linebacker A.J. Hawk
“A.J. is the quiet guy. He is fun, but very intense on the field. When he is on the field, he means business. He is very confident, but still remains humble, which makes him a great player. People admire that about him. A lot of the guys on the team look up to him. He is a role model not only to the younger guys, but also to us.”

Steve Rehring, sophomore offensive tackle
On the offensive line
“At Ohio State we are expected to run the ball, and in order for the running backs to be able to do that we (the offensive line) have to be doing our job. We were younger last year but we have come together and gotten to know the offense a lot better so I think our game will definitely improve.”

On losing and gaining weight while still being healthy.
“Last year I was at 348, which is the biggest I have ever been. I felt fine but I really couldn’t play at my best, so I lost about 20 pounds and I’d like to get to about 317. Last year with Korey Stringer and the 49ers player this past weekend, I am definitely aware that I need to be healthy, and it is possible to be a big guy but still take care of yourself.”

On getting the starting job at tackle
“Right now mostly Doug Datish and I have been rotating at that position, I’d like it to be mine but I know I need to go in every day and work hard to earn that spot.” Antonio Pittman, sophomore tailback
On establishing himself as the number one back
“That is my intent, but I feel like I still need to keep working everyday. The starting guy won’t be determined until that first game, and even then you know it is something that can be taken away if you’re not earning it.”

On getting bigger for this season
“I knew I had to gain weight. I was playing at 180 pounds last year which is unheard of for a back in the Big Ten, especially at Ohio State. It was hard and I got pushed around a lot but I am up to 201 pounds right now, and I’d like to stay somewhere between that and 195 pounds. I was always ready mentally for the game but now I feel I am much more physically prepared.”

On his progress from last year to this year
“I definitely feel that I know the offense a lot better and can focus more on playing. Last year I just wanted to get out there and score and make the big plays. It took awhile to realize that it would take me sometime to be able to do that effectively.”

A.J. Hawk, senior linebacker
On the jersey scrimmage
“I think the defense took steps to get better. The score wasn’t like we wanted. Actually, it was a pretty low score for a jersey scrimmage. Obviously, we’re not where we want to be yet, but from the start of camp we’ve gotten better and are still improving.”

On his career
“My whole career here has been unbelievable. I came in at a great time, with a national championship as a freshman. I started my sophomore year after getting some decent time as a freshman. I don’t think I really can grasp how great it is. I’m sure I’ll realize 20 years down the road how special it is.”

On preparing the defense
“We know we can’t blitz every play, so we have to learn to play our positions. It’s not too different from last year. We just want to simplify things. We have the fundamentals right and all of the gaps are getting filled.”

### Go Bucks! ###