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Nov. 13, 2006

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Jim Brown, Ohio State head men’s golf coach, announced Monday the addition of four student-athletes who have signed NCAA National letters of Intent for the 2007-08 season. Bo Hoag and Tanner Murphy of Upper Arlington, Ohio, Brad Smith (Peru, Ind.) and Evan Wood (Dublin, Ohio) comprise the class that will enroll at Ohio State at the beginning of the 2007 fall season.

“Needless to say we are thrilled to announce the signing of Bo, Tanner, Evan and Brad,” Brown said. “Each of these young men is proven winners and possess the outstanding qualities that will guide them to continued success. This group will have the opportunity to achieve the highest honors and will continue to lead Ohio State golf in the right direction. Their strong character and outstanding family values provide these young men with a solid foundation for their futures. We are grateful they, along with their parents, have placed trust in us to guide them through their collegiate years and beyond.”

Hoag will join the Buckeyes after an impressive 2006 campaign that saw him named 2006 Ohio Player of the Year and earn the 2006 Division I Ohio High School medalist honors. In addition, he helped lead his Upper Arlington team to the 2006 Division I State Championship. Golfweek ranked Hoag the top player in Ohio and the second ranked player in the Midwest. He was named to first team all-state in 2006 and was Ohio Capital Conference League Player of the Year in 2004, 2005 and 2006. Hoag was the youngest player in the United States to advance to the U.S. Open Sectional Qualifier at age 15 in 2004. Overall, he owns five Top 20 finishes in a total of eight AJGA events, with a personal best third place finish at the 2006 Coca-Cola Junior.

“Bo is an exceptional young man with a strong desire to compete at Ohio State,” Brown said. “He guided the Golden Bears to the state championship this fall as he captured the individual title at our Scarlet Course. Bo possesses a fine golf swing and owns one of the most accurate wedge games that we have seen. Those traits will carry him a long way in this game.” Murphy was named first team all-state in 2006 and first team All-Ohio Central District in 2005 and 2006. He was named Co-Player-of-the-Year in the OCC Buckeye Division and earned Academic All-Ohio honors. The Upper Arlington native captured the 2005 AJGA Memorial Classic title with a wire-to-wire win and was named 2005 Rolex Junior All-American honorable mention. Murphy also was a member of the Upper Arlington team that won the Ohio Division I State Championship in 2006.

“Tanner most certainly bleeds Scarlet and Gray,” Brown said. “As a fourth generation Buckeye, his spirit and enthusiasm are contagious and as an AJGA All-American he has proven he can compete at the highest level. Tanner is an accurate driver of the ball, possesses solid fundamentals and has the ability to score low. Tanner also guided the Golden Bears to their first state championship since 1999 placing third at the Scarlet Course.”

Smith not only excelled on the golf course, but on the basketball court and in the classroom as well. The Peru, Ind., native was his high school team’s captain during his junior and senior years. He is a three-time Indiana state finalist, two time all-conference member and won medalist honors 12 times. In his junior year, Smith went undefeated in dual match play. He was the Plantation Golf Tour Champion and was a five-time Indiana Junior Golf Tour Champion. He played on his varsity basketball team all four years in high school and was given the Hopper Award which is given to a basketball player for excellence in Mental Attitude, Scholarship, Leadership and Academic Ability his sophomore year. Some classroom awards include: No. 1 in his high school class, National Honor Society Vice President and a member of student council. Smith will look to improve on his resume this spring when Indiana high school golf is contested.

“Brad is a strong addition to our team in that he has proven himself to be a special golfer and outstanding student,” Brown said. “Brad will graduate at the top of his high school class and on the golf course has learned from two bright teachers, his father, Todd and his uncle, Chris, a former first-team All-American at Ohio State. Brad will bring a wealth of talent and maturity to our program and we will look forward to having him join our Buckeye family.”

Wood was the OCC Player of the Year, first team all-district and also was named his high school team’s co-captain and MVP in 2006. He has earned medalist honors eight times including a title at the PJGT National Championship in 2005. Wood was named 610 WTVN Athlete of the Week Sept. 14, 2006 and Columbus Dispatch High School Athlete of the Week Sept. 22, 2006.

“Evan will graduate from Dublin Jerome this spring after being and integral part of two-straight state championship teams in 2004 and 2005,” Brown said. “Evan is an extraordinary ball-striker and one of the most accurate players in junior golf. He combines those talents with a great feel around the greens and a deft putting touch. Evan’s consistency and ability to shoot in the 60’s will carry him a long way as he continues in this great game.”

Ohio State opens the spring portion of its schedule Feb. 10, 2007 at the Gator Invitational in Gainesville, Fla.