Name: Dane Sanzenbacher
Hometown: Toledo, Ohio
High School: Central Catholic
Position: Wide Receiver
Year: Junior
Last season: Was among Ohio State’s top three receiver rotation, totaling 272 yards and one touchdown
This season: Will look to gain more play time heading into his junior campaign and expand his role as offensive leader

by Emily Krizan,

In the game of football, the element of time can be one of the most influential factors on a team’s performance. When a split second can either end in a touchdown or a turnover, offensive players know that timing is everything when it comes to making plays and gaining yardage.

For wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher, the offseason has provided him with the opportunity to not only step into a new leadership role, but also perfect his timing and communication with quarterback Terrelle Pryor.

“With any receiver-quarterback combination that has been worth anything in college or the NFL, it’s all about timing,” Sanzenbacher said. “Terrell is trying to find his rhythm and I think he is making great steps. He has been doing everything he can to become a great passer.”

After converting 21 catches for 272 yards and a touchdown in his sophomore campaign, being on the receiving end of a Pryor pass quickly became familiar territory for Sanzenbacher in 2008. Now, with two years under his belt, the junior from Toledo, Ohio has emerged from spring practices as one of the new leaders of the Ohio State offense.

“I like having that responsibility,” Sanzenbacher said. “It kind of came on fast, but I like being the person that guys will come to with questions. It puts more responsibility on me and that will only make everyone better in the long run.”

One of the top three receivers for the Buckeyes last season, Sanzenbacher will again be in the hunt for playing time as a tried and true veteran of the Buckeye offense. The depth and talent is there at the receiver position to keep everyone on their toes.

“We’re as fast as we’ve been,” Sanzenbacher said. “Everybody out there who touches the ball can run. There’s competition, but that is the best way for everyone to get better.”

And while Sanzenbacher has the talent and potential to be one of the Buckeye’s main threats, he also understands the patience and time required to be a successful player.

“My first year and half was about getting comfortable with the system and doing all the little things,” Sanzenbacher said. “Now, I can focus more on the physical part of it, the technique part of it. You have to learn all faucets of the game, and not only on the field. You have to know where you need to be before you can get there.”

After obtaining a high ankle sprain at practice last week, Sanzenbacher’s future at the Spring Game next Saturday remains undecided. However, you can bet that he will be ready to jump in wherever he is needed.

“I want to get back, but we’ll see what they say next week,” Sanzenbacher said. “I just want to do my part, whether it is in a leadership role, or whether it is being the guy that goes up the middle for a catch.”