With the dead period over and recruiting heating up for the home stretch, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer awarded scholarships to two players who have long since arrived on campus.
Walk on linebackers Craig Fada and Joe Burger – both set to be fifth-year seniors in 2016 – earned scholarships from Ohio State on Friday after making a big impact on special teams for the Buckeyes, according to an OSU release.
“There is nothing better than to be able to reward two guys who have become among the heart and souls of this program,” Meyer said in the release. “They are leaders and they are among the most respected players on the team.”
Both players took part in each of the team’s 13 games last season, with Fada recording five total tackles while Burger tallied a key tackle for loss on a fake punt attempt by Indiana. Burger, a Cincinnati native, has played in 34 career games while Columbus native Fada has played in 39 games. The pair are both set to graduate in December.
If the scholarships carry over to the fall, Ohio State would have 66 of 85 scholarships filled, not including the incoming freshman class. That number includes wide receiver Corey Smith, who Meyer said could receive a sixth year of eligibility after suffering a season-ending injury against Indiana.
Adding the seven true freshmen who have already enrolled at Ohio State, the Buckeyes are up to 73 scholarships while the team currently has 11 other verbal commitments. That leaves just one potential scholarship open for any additional members of the 2016 recruiting class.
These numbers don’t take into account the potential for transfers out of the program, dismissals or any potential medical waivers that could free up more scholarships for 2016.
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