SOPHOMORE SAFETY NATE SALLEY
I noticed you didn't grow your hair back out. What gives?
"Because I'm thinking I am going to do it again (play basketball), so there's no need to grow it back again and then have to cut it off again. My mom and my girl like it this way, so I might keep it this way even if I wasn't going back out for basketball."
Talk about the conversation with Jim O'Brien when he told you that you had to cut your hair.
"The first day I showed up, I didn't really get to talk to him because that was right after they lost to Louisville. They were having a rough practice. So, I came the next day and he told me he'd like to have me on the team and everything was cool, but there was one thing: I had to cut my hair. So, I just said, ‘Yeah,' right on the spot because I knew it was something I really wanted to do."
You are listed as a starting safety. How excited are you about that?
"It's pretty cool, I'm very excited. Kind of a little bit of pressure, but I'm very excited. But I know that any day things can change, so I'm just trying to work hard everyday and get better and just hopefully I'll go into the season as the starter."
When did you make your move? Was it last spring?
"Yeah, it was in the spring. After the first week, they moved me with the ones and I've been there ever since and I'm just trying to stay there."
You came in at 180-pounds and now you are listed at 205. Did you really put on that much weight?
"Well, I wasn't really 180, I was like 190. But I gained about 10 or 15 pounds in the offseason, trying to get stronger and work hard in the weight room and just get better. I knew that was one thing I needed to work on being a safety. You're going to have to do a lot of hitting and everything. I really just wanted to get stronger, but the weight just came with it."
Were you able to keep all of your speed and quickness, even with the added weight?
"Yeah, I feel good. I'm feeling faster, I'm feeling stronger, so, we'll see how it goes."
SOPHOMORE FULLBACK BRANDON SCHNITTKER
How exciting was it to win a national title in just your second year on campus?
"It was extremely exciting. It's a real blessing to get a chance to play here at Ohio State and even a greater blessing to have the kind of season we had last year."
Is the Maurice Clarett situation a big distraction, or can you guys block that out?
"Our team is focused. We are going to play the way we play and that's just how we're going into the season. On Aug. 30 at 8 p.m. Washington is coming in and that's what we need to be prepared for. We're going to make – here in camp the next three weeks – Ohio State the best that Ohio State can be. That is why we're here. We'll be successful as long as we do the little things right, play as a team and work hard. That's how you win games."
So, there are no distractions?
"No, because we've got tunnel vision right now. There is nothing we can do and a lot of us don't have that much information on it. So, we're blocking that out, we're not even thinking about that. We're thinking about playing the game Aug. 30 in 24 days. That's the reality and that's what we're focused on."
How excited are you to be the starting fullback?
"I'm excited. I feel bad for Branden, he worked so hard and it was kind of a freak injury. But, the reality is that he's hurt and I have to take responsibility for the fullback duties, and that is fine. That's why I came here. I am excited to start, but it's kind of in a bad situation."
But you were going to play a lot anyway, so this isn't a big change for you, is it?
"No, not at all because I'm prepared. Coming into the season, even before he was hurt, I realized I needed to get better at what I needed to get better at. The things that my game was lacking last year, I needed to work on that. I just need to work on myself being the best I can be and how I can contribute. And now I just might have a larger role and that is fine."