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April 17, 2000

He may be the Buckeyes’ incumbent quarterback, but Steve Bellisari isn’t taking anything for granted.

“I want to improve in all areas,” the junior-to-be signal caller said following Saturday’s practice, which included a lengthy scrimmage session. “I can be a more effective passer, a better decision maker and a better leader. Those are the things I am working on this spring.

“And I have two quys (Scott McMullen and Criag Krenzel) pushing me, so I can’t let up.”

“You don’t have to worry about Steve’s work ethic,” said OSU Coach John Cooper. “He is usually the first guy out on the field and the last to leave. That kind of dedication now will pay off in the fall.”

The 6-3, 220-pound Bellisari (Boca Raton, Fla.) vows to be more vocal this year, now that he is in his second season as a starter.

“I didn’t really feel comfortable last year in that role,” he said. “Looking back, I probably should have said more. This year I am ready to be more of a leader.”

“We need him to be a take-charge guy for us,” Cooper said. “The quarterback has to be a leader.”

Bellisari made a number of big plays during Saturday’s scrimmage.

“Steve can be really dangerous if we get him on the corner,” said Cooper, who noted that McMullen (R-Fr., Granville, O.) and Krenzel (R-Fr., Utica, Mich.) both showed well in the scrimmage.

“Scott has been banged up a little, so it was good to see him back in there,” he said