SOPHOMORE LEFT GUARD ROB SIMS
How is the offensive line looking?
"Real good. We're all in real good shape – everybody is ready to go. Our offensive line is going to be a strong point this year and hopefully I can just move in there and get settled in with these guys and get some good chemistry going."
You and Nick Mangold impressed a lot of people last year. Do you feel as though you still have more to prove?
"I think so. Me and Nick had great years last year, but we're not by any means done. We're trying to come in this year and have another solid year and build upon what happened last year."
Talk about the summer conditioning sessions.
"They were well-attended. There had to be about 98 percent of the team there. Everybody was working together in the mornings, evenings, bleeding and sweating… it was serious."
Were you surprised that there was such a good turnout?
"Not from these guys. Everybody at Ohio State works hard. That's why you come to Ohio State: to be the best. Everybody out here is trying to be the best."
Do you like the NCAA's new rules that cut down on the amount of two-a-days?
"I don't know, I kind of like the old style with two-a-days every day because it really gets you into shape and gets you ready. But with coach (Jim) Tressel, he has a plan together and we'll be fine."
When does camp begin to feel like a drag?
"Usually the second or third day of two-a-days. We'll see what happens this year."
You seem stronger, like you've put on some weight and muscle.
"I put on about three pounds (up to about 308), but I got a lot stronger in the offseason working with the strength coaches down here as opposed to being back home. So, I feel real good right now. I am ready to go."
What are you benching now, compared to last year?
"Last year I came in benching 410 and our last test this year I benched 470."
What is the most important strength exercise for an offensive lineman?
"Probably the hand clean and the power clean, because we've got to be in that position to pass protect. I power clean 300."
Do you have a lot of confidence coming into this year?
You won't ever forget that Penn State game last year, will you?
"Oh, no. I always think about that game, everyday. Going up against some of those guys like (Michael) Haynes and (Jimmy) Kennedy, it was so emotional for me being a freshman. It wasn't my first start, but it was a big start. Coming out here and the crowd was so alive and in the game, everybody was working together. It was the biggest game I ever played in until the Miami game."
What can you improve on this year?
"Missed assignments, you know, I can always be more dominant. I just want to be dominant."
What is the strength of your game? Run blocking? Pass protection?
"Probably my strength is pass blocking right now. I really pride myself on pass-blocking. I don't let nobody touch Craig (Krenzel) and things like that."
If you keep D-end off of Krenzel this year, is he going to take you out to dinner, or buy you Isotoner gloves?
"We'll see, I doubt that."
SENIOR RIGHT TACKLE SHANE OLIVEA
Does this picture day feel any different than the last three?
"It feels different because it's the last one. Four years went by really fast."
You've been through a broken leg, you had an appendectomy during last season, and then you had shoulder surgery in the spring. How does it feel to finally be healthy?
"It feels real good. Rehab has been going real well, getting back in shape and working out with the guys again and just kind of feeling like part of the team again. So, I'm as healthy and in the best shape I've been in since my sophomore year. So, I feel really positive. I've been cleared fully by the doctors so I can participate when we go full-go on Monday and start with the two-a-days. I know the coaches have faith in me and I've demonstrated throughout the summer that my shoulder is back 100 percent."
Is getting first-team All-Big Ten, or even All-American a goal of yours?
"It would be nice. But the most important thing to me would be to win another national championship, and anything less than that would be like a failure to me because last year no one expected us to do much and we kind of wrote our own history book. The individuals are nice, but at the end of the day, I'd rather have that ring on my finger. So, it's not anything that drives me."
Even though the team is more talented this year, is the road to the championship going to be tougher than last year?
"It's always tougher because every week you are going to get that team's best game. Not too many opposing coaches have to say much to their team. They know what we did last year and they are going to want to knock of the defending national champions. We know that each team is going to give us their best shot, and we're prepared for that, and I think as long as we prepare for that each week and throughout the course of the season, we'll be all right."
The offensive line is looking good. You guys all seem to be in excellent shape.
"I think this is the best all-around offensive line we've had since I've been here. We've all taken it upon ourselves to get in better shape, prepare ourselves as much as we can physically, and with myself rehabbing and with other guys rehabbing injuries."
How much does the loss of Ivan Douglas hurt?
"Losing Ivan is hurtful, but it's always good to know we've got a player like Rob, who is a young kid that wants to prove himself and has played a couple games last year, so we trust that he can go a good job and I know he's eager to prove he can do it for a full year."
Are you more of a natural guard that is forced to play tackle?
"No, I think tackle is more my natural position. I've played guard before, but tackle is my natural position. That's what I've played since I've been here."