‘It doesn’t change anything’ and ‘Ohio State is Ohio State’


Centerville’s Michael Bennett

Jim Tressel
signed some of the top recruiting classes in the country during his
tenure as the Buckeyes’ boss. below we have some thoughts and comments from the Buckeye’s 2011 and 2012 recruiting classes. What was the reaction?

Jim Tressel
signed some of the top recruiting classes in the country during his
tenure as the Buckeyes’ boss. One of those top classes was the one he
signed last recruiting season. Tressel’s 2011 recruiting class was
almost universally hailed as a Top 10 class nationally.

has the reaction of a number of the prospects in the Buckeyes’ 2011
class to the announcement of Tressel’s resignation. 

“My dad told me about it,” defensive back Doran Grant
said. “I was like, ‘oh man.’ I knew something like this could happen,
but if it did I thought it would happen a little later. It doesn’t
change anything. I’ll be down there June 19.”

Grant spoke this morning with OSU defensive backs coach Taver Johnson.

“He basically told me about Tressel resigning,” Grant said. “He just said to come in ready to play.”

Grant sees a good year ahead under interim head coach Luke Fickell.

“Coach Fickell is a good coach,” Grant said. “He doesn’t mess around. He knows the game. He’ll be a good coach.”

“I’m doing alright,” defensive end Kenny Hayes
said. “I heard about coach Tressel’s resignation this morning. I just
thought, ‘wow!’ I didn’t expect this at all. It’s very sad.

“Coach Heacock called me. He called my parents. This doesn’t
change anything at all. I’m still a Buckeye. I’ll be there June 19.”

Hayes has some definite feelings as to who he would like to see replace Tressel.

“I’d like coach (Luke) Fickell to be the coach,” Hayes said.
“He’s been around the system. He would be a good coach for us. All this
talk on ESPN about Urban Meyer and all – he’s a good coach – but coach Fickell has been around and the players would like him.”

“I’m a Buckeye till the day I die,” tight end Nick Vannett
said. “That is not going to change. I picked Ohio State for the big
picture – the people, the academics, the football too – but it was
really the big picture.”

Vannett said OSU tight ends coach John Peterson was in contact this morning.

“He said he would be my coach and we’ll grind it out and get the
job done,” Vannett said. “He said to keep my head up and we’ll get the
job done. I have full confidence in Luke Fickell.”

“I’m still going to Ohio State,” offensive lineman Chris Carter
said. “I report June 19. They haven’t talked about me ‘redshirting’ so
I’m going down ready to play.

“My family and I, we are OK with everything.”

Also OK with everything is defensive lineman Michael Bennett.

“Coach Heacock called me this morning,” Bennett said. “I called
him back. He said he was sure I heard about coach Tressel and he said
it was really hard for the coaches that have worked with him.

“But it’s not that big a deal – I feel bad for coach Tressel
because he’s a great guy – but I’m not worried about Ohio State. Ohio
State is Ohio State. I’m not worried about Ohio State at all. It
doesn’t change my thinking for one second. We are still going to be
good. I just feel bad for coach Tressel.”

How did 2012 commits react?

“I was surprised,” running back Brionte Dunn
said. “I didn’t know what to think. My grandma woke me up and said turn
on the T.V. I had no idea this was going to happen. I’ll just wait
until August and see who they hire. I think Urban Meyer would be a good guy.

“I’m still committed to Ohio State. (But) my next visit will probably be Penn State. And I’ll visit Ohio State again soon.”

“I think it’s hard to believe,” linebacker Josh Perry said.
“Coach Tressel is a smart man. I’m sure he made the decision that is
best. (But) I’m going to stick with Ohio State. The only way I would
de-commit is if there would be a four-year ban on bowl games at Ohio
State or something like that.

“And Ohio State will get a good coach.”

“I was prepared for it because of what people were saying,” tight
end Blake Thomas said. “But I didn’t expect it to happen this soon.
I’m surprised, but it doesn’t change what I’m thinking. I’m still a
solid Ohio State commitment at this point.

“I was planning to talk to the tight ends coach (John Peterson)
tomorrow about coming down for another visit, so I’m sure I’ll be
talking to him on Tuesday.”

When asked if he had any thoughts about de-committing, Thomas said, “No, not at all.”

“Frank is a Buckeye, I can tell you that,” Frank Epitropoulos
father John said. “I would be surprised if this changes anything. I’m
confident Ohio State will find a good coach that won’t come in and run
anyone off and will honor the offers to the commitments.”

“Kyle is going to be upset,” offensive lineman Kyle Kalis
mother Stephanie said. “This is definitely going to be something he has
to think about. I want him to go to Ohio State so bad, but Jim Tressel was a big part of his decision.

“When I told him he just threw his hands up in the air over his
head. He is pretty upset. I think the NCAA has lost a lot of respect
from a lot of people. This whole thing has been a witch-hunt and it’s

“I was surprised, but Ohio State is my dream school so nothing
has changed,” running back Warren Ball said. “I talked to Paul Haynes.
He was just telling me Ohio State is Ohio State. It’s still a great

As far as who might be his coach once he gets to OSU, Ball said,
“I’m excited for coach (Luke) Fickell – he’s a DeSales grad. But we’ll
see what happens from here.”

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