Name: Brian Hartline
Hometown: North Canton, Ohio
High School: GlenOak
Position: Wide Receiver
Last season: 52 catches for 694 yards and six touchdowns; Ohio State record 90-yard punt return for TD vs. Kent State
This season: Returning starter at wide receiver
COLUMBUS, Ohio Speed and agility, quick feet and soft hands. Adjectives associated with today’s top wide receivers. To be the best, athletes are striving to refine the characteristics required. For Ohio State’s Brian Hartline, improvement and consistent growth is constant theme for himself and his teammates this spring.
“In order to keep the great Ohio State wide receiver tradition alive, we need to gain more depth, get healthy and learn more football,” Hartline said. “Looking back on last year, I can see how much I’ve grown and I feel comfortable jumping right into spring practice and becoming a better player.”
The native from North Canton, Ohio, looks to improve from his breakout sophomore season, where he finished second on the team overall in receiving. Hartline amassed 694 total yards and six touchdowns, while leading the team with 229 yards in punt returns, including an OSU record 90-yard return for a touchdown.
With spring practice in full swing and the spring game just around the corner, Hartline understands the importance of his own progress and the hard work necessary to prepare for the upcoming season. However, despite focusing on his development, he also sees the great strides being made by his teammates.
“Dane Sanzenbacher is doing a really good job at making great strides in his game,” Hartline said. “There is a point when you get to college and lose your swagger and become not as edgy. As you keep playing, you gain an understanding of the speed of the game and things slow down and you learn how to make adjustments on the run. Dane is doing that and is seeing things a lot quicker.”
“For Dane and a lot of the other young guys, they are getting to the point where they can run and react so much quicker. Those are the kind of things we look for at practice and get excited about.”
While Hartline likes to speculate the progress of the up and coming receivers, others have put their interest this spring in the contrasts between him and last year’s leading receiver Brian Robiskie’s style of play. However, for the dynamic duo, the differences are few and far between.
“On the field, we play so well together that it’s hard to see the differences between us,” Hartline said. “We do things equally and play off of each other. We listen to each other, give each other advice and are working towards one goal.”
Sitting about 10 feet away from one another during an interview session last Friday, Robiskie echoed Hartline’s comments almost simultaneously.
“We are similar in a lot of ways,” Robiskie said. “Each of us constantly wants to get better everyday and work hard to do so. Both on and off the field, we understand the importance of growth and want to study the game and learn as much as we can to be better players.”
~ Kendra Lee, OhioStateBuckeyes.com