Lydell Ross Q&A

It goes without saying that OSU is now counting on Lydell Ross tremendously. Charles Babb caught up with him after Saturday's game and talked with him about what went on on-the-field and much more.

Did you send a message today?

I think the way we played today showed a lot of people that, you know, we can play our game. We can play what we have been playing?

What did you think about the move of Craig?

It did not surprise me because Craig, he is a great scrambler. When he gets in the secondary as a quarterback he can make big plays happen just like us running backs.

Did either you or Maurice take a step forward to be the starting tailback?

"I have no idea. I mean, I guess that would be the coaches' decision. I just know I went out and played my game."

How important was your touchdown?

"It was good to get that touchdown. You know, just to go up another seven points. It is always good to get another touchdown, so it was big."

How would you grade yourself?

"I feel solid. I feel solid about my day. I made some good decisions, I made some alright decisions, but all around I think I played solid."

What were you happiest with and most disappointed with?

"I was most happy with just my durability. A lot of my teammates commented on me, ‘hey – I was falling forward' you know, when I got tackled. I wasn't let one man bring me down – the example the touchdown run. I felt good about the way my durability held up, but on the other side, you know, I could have made some better decisions. Definitely I could have been a little more patient in the hole and waited for things to happen. I was just too etchy and sketchy, you know, to anxious to get to the hole, but I could have made some better decisions."

What enabled you to run over that defensive back?

"I think a lot of that came down to heart. I have a heart. You know I have a heart to run that guy over in any situation."

So, would you have tried to run around him last year?

"I think so. Personally, on a personal note maybe I would have tried to make that man miss. But I wanted to showcase and see how my body held up."

What does it feel like when you break free from a tackle like that?

It felt – it just felt powerful that I was going one on one with a guy and he had the perfect chance to tackle me and he didn't. He got ran over so I felt powerful."

How big was it to get win one in game one?

It was definitely important. Defending national champions – one of the most important things coming to get that win off the bat.

How do you and Maurice feel tonight after your performance? A lot of people were questioning your ability to get it done.

"Well, we got it done, and I think me and Maurice Hall back there in the backfield took care of business. We did what we had to do and the outcome was pretty successful."

Comparing last year to this year, do you feel like you need to throw or run the ball more?

"Whatever it takes to get the job done, to win the game, that is what we will do. Coach Tressel, he is smart. Our coordinators are smart. I am sure they know exactly what to do when it comes time to get it done."

How many carries per game would you like?

(laughing) "I'll take 40 carries. Whenever I am called upon, I am going to do my job. I am going to do whatever it takes to get it done on running the ball."

How will some of the close games of last year help this year? Will it help you win in 2003?

"I think so. Our confidence is up being defending national champions."

Outside of winning the national championship, what has been your greatest moment at OSU?

"My greatest moment at Ohio State was my first carry. Definitely my first carry in the ‘Shoe."

Besides the Horseshoe, what is your favorite venue to play football?

"I liked – for a place to play – I liked Tempe. All our fans were out there, and it felt great."

What has been your worst moment at OSU? Have you had any?

"I can't really think of any low moments right now… Everything I do, every low thing that happens, I try to turn it around into a positive. I try not to stay down on myself because that just makes it worse."

Who has had the biggest influence in your life?

"It has been my family. You know, they have been there for everything – all my family members. I mean, growing up they influenced me to do a lot of things."

Was it difficult for you to leave them in Florida and come play at Ohio State?

"It was a little because I knew I was going far away, but in the meantime it was for a good reason – going to get an education and play football while I was at it."

Who has had the greatest influence on you at Ohio State?

My teammates. Definitely all of my teammates.

What makes you say that your teammates have been such an influence?

"Because you know, we are family. This is my home away from home. This is my family away from family, and we have been through it all with each other. When I am down, my teammates pick me up..."

Of your teammates last year, who was a guy that stood out as a leader and as a person?

"Kenny Peterson. I remember I would walk by him and see him talking to people and just giving them great information about what was going on at the time. He is a really religious guy and puts God first."

What do you think of this senior class?

"I think they are great. I think we have a bunch of leaders in this class – just as good as last year's seniors."

You are no longer an underclassman. What are you attempting to pass on to a younger player like Ira Guilford?

"(I am trying to) just pass on my knowledge of how long I have been here, what I have heard, what I have seen, what I have done – pass it on to them."

What is your strength as a player?

"I think my greatest strength as a player is my ability to change direction on a dime because I think I am really good at that."

What area have you worked the hardest on to try and improve?

"I would say my speed. I worked really hard since I have been here. I always want to get faster. Faster and faster."

How much time have you shaved off of your 40?

"I think I went from a 4.55 to about a 4.4."

How much weight did you add in the off-season?

"16 pounds."

What did you do to add that amount of muscle? That takes hard work.

It was lifting weights mostly. I put more heart into my weightlifting this year and plus, I ate a lot more protein.

For the average Joe, what might be surprising to them if they tried to step into your shoes and play your position?

"You have to know the whole field. You have to know what is going in every part. You have to be a wide receiver, you have to be an offensive lineman, you have to be the tight end, you have to be the quarterback. You have to know if you have a blitz coming off of the corner, that is being a wide receiver right there. You have to be able to feel it. Even if you are running the ball, you have to be able to feel somebody coming from your blind side so you won't get tackled."

What is your least favorite question?

"Questions about Michigan. When it is Michigan week, y'all are asking all these Michigan questions, you know?"

What is something you would like to talk about but nobody asks you?

High school football in Tampa. I like to talk about high school football, but I like to talk about high school football in the south. Me and the players, we get in little disputes about who is better, and you know, is the south football better than the north? What are the football states – Ohio, California, Florida?

What dreams do you have outside of football?

"To be a successful person in whatever I want to pursue."

What do you want to pursue? Do you know at this point?

Outside of football I want to be an entrepreneur. I would like to be an entrepreneur, but I would also like to be in communications. You know, be out there in the world, hearing what everyone has to say and listening…"

What is one thing that fans might be surprised to know about you as a person or something that they might not see?

"Long walks on the beach…"

Now you sound like you are trying to pick up a girl…Do you miss the beach?

"Yeah I do. That is the biggest thing. I miss the beach; I miss the ocean. But the thing is that I just like to walk on the beach anyway – period.

What are your hobbies?

"I like to stay home and play on my Playstation – NCAA."

What do you want fans to remember about the 2003 team?

"Class. That is the key word, class."

How do you want fans to remember you?

"It might take a couple minutes to answer that… To know that Lydell Ross has been a gamebreaker."

Talking about being a gamebreaker, you have been hurt a lot. It has been the nagging injuries that have kept you down, how are you feeling this year?

"Right now, I feel 100%. I am back up to 100%, and I feel great."

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