Aug. 3, 2011

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Twenty Ohio State true freshmen football players received their first media exposure on campus Wednesday afternoon at media suites at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

The 55-minute session provided about 30 members of the media with an excellent chance to familiarize themselves with the Buckeye freshmen, and it provided the newcomers an opportunity to experience the media attention they will likely be given over the next four years in Columbus.

Two frosh were not with their classmates today. Connor Crowell, a linebacker from Waldorf, Md., and North Point High School, and Kenny Hayes, a defensive lineman from Toledo’s Whitmer High School, each had scheduled appointments.

The new Buckeyes provided insights into what kind of person they are off the field but also what drives them and what they have seen on the field in their short time on campus. A few of their thoughts:

Michael Bennett – DL – Centerville, Ohio
“From the time I committed, I really don’t remember a time where I regretted my decision. There is a lot more to Ohio State than the coach. I never thought for a second about reconsidering. This made it even more concrete, it doesn’t feel like we’ve lost a step at all.”

Brian Bobek – OL – Inverness, Ill.
“The first month has been a great experience for me; I have been gaining a ton of experience. Taking classes and going to workouts, I feel like I have had a great start to getting into college.”

Tommy Brown – OL – Akron, Ohio
“I just love to be here. I’m very happy to be here. I started here in the spring. It is a huge jump from high school and it’s a lot faster.

“I am getting much stronger and learning the playbook, learning the plays and getting to know the guys. Mike (Brewster) and Mike Adams have helped me out a lot.”

Chase Farris – DL – Elyria, Ohio
“We are all on the same page as defensive linemen. We all need to step up because it is us against the world this year. That is the team’s attitude.”

DerJuan Gambrell – DB – Toledo, Ohio
“Learning from other players like Travis Howard has been a huge help to me. He has been a big brother helping me learn plays, coverages and everything.”

Curtis Grant – LB – Richmond, Va.
“Coach Fickell and I have a great relationship. He was always a guy that was truthful with me. He wasn’t trying to sell me; what you see is what you get.”

Doran Grant – DB – Akron, Ohio
“As a freshman class we are together. We can’t wait to make an impact. I think this class is very strong, I feel like we have a lot of underrated guys and I think we are going to make some noise this year.”

Joel Hale – DL – Greenwood, Ind.
“I feel coming in early really helped me as a student and as a football player. I gained so much knowledge of the way Ohio State plays football and of how Ohio State runs things as a team, and not just a defense.”

Bryce Haynes – LS – Cumming, Ga.
“So far this summer has been interesting and fun. I really love this team. I’ve been through some hard workouts but I feel like they are all going to pay off. I’ve been getting a lot better.”

Jeff Heuerman – TE – Naples, Fla.
“I enrolled early in January and it has been great since I got here. Ohio State has a cool feeling. I didn’t want to stay in Florida and I got up here and liked it. I feel like everyone here is so experienced and everyone knows what they’re doing.”

Braxton Miller – QB – Huber Heights, Ohio
“Right now I feel a little more pressure than I did six months ago but I am trying to take it day by day. I really want to work on the passing plays because I have the running plays down pat.  It’s a long learning process. I really want to get the plays down pat so if I do get in I know what I’m doing.”

Steve Miller – DL – Canton, Ohio
“I’ve had a lot of fun this month with my teammates. We have bonded so much and this is a great group. We are really close.”

Ryan Shazier – LB – Plantation, Fla.
“Everything is getting much easier, the older guys are teaching me things and I feel a lot better now. I have been learning the Mike, Will and Sam linebacker spots. I am most comfortable at Sam but if coach wants to move me he can put me wherever he wants.”

Devin Smith – WR- Massillon, Ohio
“If I work hard and keep working and keep trying to learn as much as possible, I could make my way onto the field.”

Evan Spencer – WR – Vernon Hills, Ill.
“My first month here has been exciting. My father (Tim Spencer) is really excited I’m playing at his alma mater and on the next level. It’s going to be fun.”

Ron Tanner – DB – Columbus, Ohio
“Since spring quarter this has been a wonderful experience. Growing up in Columbus and always looking at the Buckeyes and The Ohio State University, this is a pleasure and a privilege.”

Antonio Underwood – OL – Shaker Heights, Ohio
“We most definitely have a personality as a class. We hang out a lot. We joke a lot and we don’t have one guy on the team that doesn’t get along with another guy.”

Nick Vannett – TE – Westerville, Ohio
“This has been a big difference since high school, being around the players is kind of surreal because you have made it here (Ohio State).

“I don’t think it’s been a tough adjustment. We have just been doing work, working hard and doing all that we can control. That’s all we can really do.”