When he was lifted in the second quarter of last weekend's victory against Indiana in favor of freshman Andrew Norwell, some surmised that it was based on his on-field performance. After the game, head coach Jim Tressel said the junior right tackle has been battling a foot issue for the better part of two seasons.
Wednesday, offensive line coach Jim Bollman said he has a high level of respect for Shugarts' mental capacity for playing through pain.
"There have been times it affected him a lot," the coach said. "He's played a lot of football though in the last 2½ years. He usually sucks it up and does a really good job in the game. Sometimes after the game it's very rough. We'll see how this new treatment works this week. I'm sure they'll keep trying to help him."
The 6-7, 297-pound Shugarts has started all six games this season and 10 games last season at right tackle. Bollman said the Buckeyes have been able to give Shugarts assistance that has come in the form of fellow tackles Marcus Hall and Norwell.
Hall is taking a redshirt this season after starting one game as a freshman in relief of Shugarts last season.
"He's had to fight through it," Bollman said of Shugarts. "Last year there were some times when he needed a little help through this same kind of situation. That's all part of the deal. Hopefully you have a little bit of depth or you can help each other out."
Norwell is back in action after suffering a broken left tibia as a prep senior at Cincinnati Anderson that cost him nearly his entire season. He had issued a verbal commitment to the Buckeyes in February of his junior year. That he has been able to see significant playing time so early in his career has not caught Bollman by surprise.
"He's a good football player and we knew he was a good football player when we recruited him," the coach said. "What he's done so far this year has not surprised us at all. When people commit early they get out of your limelight and they're not talked about as much. We knew from the very beginning that he's a very fine football player."
As for how Hall is doing on the scout teams, Bollman said, "He's doing good. (We need him to) keep improving, keep getting stronger, keep getting better and keep helping the football team. I'm sure it's very tough but he's handling it pretty good."
Practice Pays Off: The Buckeyes must have been pleased that Kyle Turano could not take a hint. The punter enjoyed one of the most prolific seasons in school history when he took the starting job in 2004 after walking onto the team.
Looking back, Tressel said the fact that Turano ever got to that point was a credit to his persistence.
"I remember Kyle Turano," the coach said. "We begged him to quit. I would always tell him, ‘I can punt farther than you and I can't punt.' Those guys just keep working and all of a sudden when they show those results that you're looking for, Kyle had an extraordinary year."
As a fifth-year senior who was not on the roster the previous two seasons, Turano averaged 42.8 yards per punt during the 2004 season. It was his only year with the team, and that performance puts him fourth all-time in career punting average.
It's Official: What was a foregone conclusion has been confirmed: freshman running back Roderick Smith will take a redshirt this season. The four-star prospect from Fort Wayne (Ind.) Paul Harding was projected as a change-of-pace back who had drawn comparisons to former Buckeye Chris "Beanie" Wells.
However, by the time the NCAA finished certifying his classwork Smith had missed all of fall camp.
"He's doing well," Tressel said. "Rod Smith is a good player. He'll redshirt. You can't miss preseason. That's 29 practices there. All those other guys had 44 practices including spring. He's going to be a good player. He's a versatile guy, a good receiver as well as an excellent back. He's done a good job giving our defense good looks. I'm happy he's here."
Muse-ing About Pryor – Fans of both the alternative rock band Muse and OSU football had to have enjoyed Tuesday evening.
That night, the British rock trio played the Jerome Schottenstein Center on Ohio State's campus, marking their first Columbus appearance in five years. As they emerged for their final song of the evening, the three band members were decked out in scarlet No. 2 jerseys with their names stitched on the back.
It was a visual reminder of the celebrity status Terrelle Pryor attempts to decline at every chance.
"I humble myself regardless," said Pryor, who said he had not heard of the band. "I don't really like seeing that. Sometimes I get on Facebook and people say Heisman stuff. I'm not really interested in that. It just humbles me and I tell myself as funny or as stupid as it sounds I tell myself you're not a big deal. I don't put myself in front of anybody else. That's the main thing – I try to avoid talking myself up or reading articles about myself because that's not what I'm about."
While he spoke, Pryor wore a pair of personalized white shoes. The left heel read "Fresh" and the right heel read "Prynce" while each had his jersey number at the bottom.
As for having bands wear his jersey, the quarterback said there could be a practical reason for it: "Having a Buckeye jersey might be a good way to bring some people in."