Aug. 19, 2000

COLUMBUS, Ohio- Ohio State head coach John Cooper directed the first full-contact scrimmage of the 2000 OSU football season Friday afternoon at Ohio Stadium.

Cooper said the opportunity to see his squad in game situations was overshadowed by the feeling of entering the renovated stadium.

“The best thing about today was the feeling of coming down the tunnel and seeing the stadium,” Cooper said. “I got goose bumps.”

There was concern about working out on the new playing surface after heavy rains soaked the field in the early morning hours Friday.

“The field held up great,” Cooper said. “We ran about 80 or 90 plays all over the field and I did not see and significant divots.”

Once the coaches and players overcame the feeling of being in the Horseshoe for the first time in a competitive mode, several players stood out once the offensive and defensive squads got down to business.

Three quarterbacks shared time and all made big plays.

Junior Steve Bellisari (Boca Raton, Fla./Boca Raton) connected on several occasions with seniors Ken-Yon Rambo (Cerritos, Calif./Long Beach Poly) and Reggie Germany (Hazelwood, Mo./East).

Redshirt freshman signal caller Scott McMullen (Granville, Ohio/Granville) worked well with tight ends Ben Hartstock (Fr., Chillicothe, Ohio/Unioto) and Tim Cheatwood (Jr., Cleveland, Ohio/Benedictine). McMullen also connected with senior flanker Tony Locke (Urbana, Ohio/Urbana) for a 60-yard pass play.

True freshman Rick McFadden (Struthers, Ohio/Struthers) used his 6-foot, 7-inch frame to see over the defense to connect on several long pass plays, including a huge gainer with redshirt freshman Drew Carter (Solon, Ohio/Solon).

Cooper liked what he saw from senior tailbacks Derek Combs (Urbancrest, Ohio/Grove City), Jonathan Wells (River Ridge, La./John Curtis Christian) and Jerry Westbrooks (Boca Raton, Fla./Pope John Paul II).

“Derek, Jonathan and Jerry have all had great camps,” Cooper said. “Derek looked pretty good today.”

In addition to working on the offense and defense, the Buckeyes spent a significant portion of the scrimmage working on the kicking game and a variety of situations, including goal line offense and defense.

Cooper said his staff wouldn’t know for sure the benefit of the scrimmage until Saturday.

“We won’t be able to evaluate the what we did today until we have a chance to break down the film and go over what we did well and the mistakes that were made.”