COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Sitting in the University of Phoenix Stadium a few days before the national title game, Brian Hartline looked like he knew something few others did. Maybe the Ohio State wide receiver did.
Sitting in the University of Phoenix Stadium a few days before the national title game, Brian Hartline looked like he knew something few others did.
Maybe the Ohio State wide receiver did.
A few days later, Ted Ginn Jr. and Anthony Gonzalez announced they were leaving for the NFL. Hartline knew he would have an opportunity to be a starting wide receiver for the Buckeyes this season. He also knew he had to stay healthy and put in the work.
On Saturday against Youngstown State, Hartline will take his spot opposite Brian Robiskie and try to do what Ginn and Gonzalez did: Be better than the previous guy.
“Ted and Gonzo were great, and now it’s our turn,” the 6-foot-3, 180-pound redshirt sophomore said. “There’s an anxiety to get out there and do it. We both know we can play.
“It’s more of a competition thing (with Ginn and Gonzalez). I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. What they did was remarkable. When Santonio (Holmes) left, they were saying the same things about Teddy and Gonzo. ... You want to be better than the past guys.”
Hartline caught the first pass last season against Northern Illinois. He caught 17 passes in all for 256 yards and two touchdowns.
Robiskie caught 29 balls for 383 yards. Ginn and Gonzalez combined to catch 110 passes for more than 1,500 yards.
“I’m a little less nervous now,” Hartline said. “My nerves always came from trying to find playing time. When you get to the point where you know you’re going to play, the nerves take care of themselves. The coaches know what we can do and who they want. There’s no reason for me to be nervous.”
That and a Quarter
Florida Head Coach Urban Meyer is offering to eat dinner with a fan — in exchange for $1 million as part of a fundraising project to renovate Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. For $1 million, a Gator fan can eat with Meyer and break down film. Asked what he could fetch from a Buckeye fan for dinner, Jim Tressel laughed. “A buck-fifty,” he said.
Tressel said he roots for Youngstown State 99.9 percent of the time. The rare occasion is Saturday. “Youngstown State is like home,” Tressel said. “Other than this Saturday, I hope they win ’em all. ... I remember when Earle Bruce called on my behalf over there. I remember in his calm way, he said, ‘YOU CAN WIN THERE!’ He was right. He knew more about them than I did, because he spent time in Salem.”
Count on freshman WRs Dane Sanzenbacher and Taurian Washington to play against the Penguins. Don’t be surprised if Canton South’s Devon Torrence gets on the field, too. Torrence was switched to receiver two weeks ago and is making daily progress toward playing. “Even though he started a few days late on the offensive side, he’s going to be impactful,” Tressel said.
What Size Are You?
Because his suit was at the cleaners, senior co-captain Kirk Barton had to call an old friend to borrow a suit. T.J. Downing, who graduated from OSU, made a 45-minute drive back to Columbus to drop off a suit so Barton could attend Tuesday’s lunch. Barton managed to work Downing’s name into one answer. That was the deal for borrowing the suit. The answer? “My diet’s a lot better,” Barton said. “I cut out junk food and going to Hooters with T.J. Now I’m going to Subway by myself.”
Tressel said the offense won’t differ much from last year other than he didn’t expect to run as many four- and five-receiver sets because he wanted to keep at least one tight end on the field ... Former Massillon QB Justin Zwick is working for a Columbus television station doing sports commentary.
Reach Repository sports writer Todd Porter at (330) 580-8340 or email@example.com.