Hilliard Davidson’s Delande goes out on top


Bo Delande

Bo Delande of Hilliard Davidson scored five TDs in the Division I state title game in December leading the Wildcats to a championship. Last week, he participated in the 62nd Annual Ohio North-South game and helped the South to a 50-7 win with a touchdown. Now, Delande looks ahead as he prepares to walk-on at Ohio State.

Steve Helwagen checks in with more.

Bo Delande closed a chapter in his football career June 16 by helping the South team take a 50-7 win over the North in the Ohio North-South Classic.

Delande, a 6-0, 190-pound running back who helped Hilliard Davidson win the Division I state championship last fall, caught a 27-yard touchdown pass in that game. He now plans to walk on at Ohio State in the fall.

“It was so fun getting to meet these guys and make some new friends,” Delande said following the game. “To step up and play with these guys, it was a great experience.”

Delande discussed his fourth-quarter touchdown catch from Marshall-bound quarterback Chris Smith.

“I was lined up at wideout,” Delande said. “I had (OSU-bound) Nate Oliver lined up against me, a good friend of mine. I was supposed to run a hitch (route). Nate jumped another route so the middle of the field was wide open. I went over there. The quarterback, Chris Smith, read it real nice. He hit me over the top.

“It was fun to get into the end zone. We talked all week about what kind of celebrations we would do, so it was fun stuff.”

As a senior, Delande (pronounced deh-LAND-ee) rushed for 2,214 yards and 25 touchdowns in a 15-0 season. In Hilliard Davidson’s 36-35 double-overtime victory over Mentor in the title game, he carried 47 times for 236 yards and five touchdowns. The latter statistic set a record for the D-I championship game. And, for good measure, he also scored the winning two-point conversion on a gutsy do-or-die call by head coach Brian White.

Delande discussed the circumstances that led him to become a preferred walk-on at Ohio State.

“(OSU offensive coordinator Jim) Bollman came in the school,” Delande recalled. “They offered me to be a preferred walk-on and join the team. They were like, ‘We want you to come out.’ Hopefully, in the next year or two I can get a scholarship.

“It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I have always wanted to be a Buckeye since I was little so I want to do it. I had offers from some other schools and I also looked into playing baseball for a while, but this is a dream of mine and I’ve always wanted to be a Buckeye. (Head coach Jim) Tressel is a great guy and he is going to turn me into a better person and a better football player.”

As a walk-on, Delande is not able to join the team for summer workouts. He will instead report for the start of preseason camp in August.

“I go in Aug. 2,” he said. “I go in for preseason camp, but I can’t practice with them over the summer. I have all of their workouts.”

Delande intends to work out this summer so he’ll be ready when camp begins.

“In order to compete, I want to do the stuff they want me to this summer and go in there in shape,” he said.

Delande could get a good share of work in practice, at least on the scout team. OSU will have four tailbacks on scholarship this fall in junior Maurice Wells, sophomore Chris Wells and incoming freshmen Brandon Saine and Daniel “Boom” Herron. Chris Wells and the two freshmen all had nagging injuries in the spring.

“I don’t know if they’re thin, but they’re not real deep at running back,” Delande said. “I’m going to start off there and work hard. I’ll go wherever. I think I am  capable of playing flanker, wideout, defensive back or running back as well.”

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