Aug. 4, 2000

%^$COLUMBUS, Ohio. — Thirty-four first-year players, filled with dreams of becoming Ohio State’s next great football player, embark upon the biggest adventure of their young lives Monday when they check in at the Fawcett Center For Tomorrow. It’s the unofficial beginning of the 2000 football campaign for the Buckeyes, who officially open the season Sept. 2 by hosting Fresno State in Ohio Stadium.%^$

%^$This class this year, which is comprised of 25 scholarship players and nine walk-ons, will say goodbye to their families and meet their new roommates between noon and 2 p.m. Monday at the Fawcett Center. The rest of the schedule Monday includes physical exams, a team dinner and an orientation session at the Woody Hayes Athletics Center.%^$

%^$Rated in almost everyone’s Top 10 recruiting classes last year, the soon-to-be freshmen hit the practice field for the first time Tuesday morning. They will have the undivided attention of the Ohio State coaching staff until Saturday, the first day of practice for the entire team.%^$

%^$Buckeye coach John Cooper, starting his 13th season in Columbus, has high hopes for the freshman class this year, which includes three players who originally signed on a year ago.%^$

%^$”We are probably counting on this freshman group more than any class we have had since I have been here,” he said. “Due to the lack of depth we have at a couple of positions, some of them will be on the second team from the first day of practice. But we feel like this is a very good and talented group of players, a group that will give us a solid foundation to build on the next three years.”