Tucker Discusses Haul Of Defensive Backs

OSU co-defensive coordinator Mel Tucker shared his thoughts on the school's five new signees in the defensive backfield, including USA Today national defensive player of the year Ted Ginn Jr.

OSU co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach Mel Tucker added five new players to his position group on national signing day, including USA Today national defensive player of the year Ted Ginn Jr.

Here are comments from Tucker on each of these players.

* On Ted Ginn Jr. -- "He's a great kid. He comes from a great family. His mom and dad have done a great job with him. He comes from a great school. I think Cleveland Glenville is one of those schools where they have a lot of quality students there. Their administration is great. Jackie Bell does a great job there as the principal.

"The best thing about Teddy is he is just such a good person. He's just very solid. He's very focused. He does well in school. He's very humble. And yet, when he gets on the field, he is a fierce competitor. When he gets into track, he is a fierce competitor. He's always looking to get better. I've seen him grow over the years. I've had my eye on him since he was an eighth grader. He's done everything possible to put himself in a position to be an elite athlete in his age group. It's just a credit to Teddy, his mom and dad and everybody else there at Glenville."

* On where Ginn may play at OSU -- "I think initially he's a guy who would be a corner who can also be a great return man and also give you some plays on offense, if need be. But primarily, he's a corner first and a return man. I know he has some aspirations of playing some offense. I think we have proven here that we are willing to do that. It's not just talk."

* On Glenville head coach Ted Ginn Sr. -- "I think Coach Ginn, Teddy Ginn Sr., is a special person. He really cares about young people in general. His devotion to Glenville and those kids is 24 hours a day and seven days a week. When you have that kind of person and that kind of dedication to devote to kids on and off the field and you have good athletes to work with, you can produce good players and guys who can compete on and off the field at the college level. I don't know anybody who does a better job."

* On Shaun Lane -- "Lane is a guy, I think, you start him off at corner and see how he goes from there. He's got really good speed. He's a strong kid and a tough competitor. He's very instinctive. He's got it in his blood."

* On Brandon Underwood -- "He would also be a corner. I would consider him a slightly larger version of (his brother) E.J. He's a little bit taller, a bit longer. A very smooth athlete like E.J. He's got good speed and runs track. He does well there. We would put him at corner. You like to have the bigger size defensive backs here. They're hard to find. But when you see them, you like to try and get them."

* On Nick Patterson -- "Patterson came to our camp and showed he is a great athlete. He's 6 foot and over 200 pounds. He runs well and has good change of direction. He has good ball skills. He had an excellent season as a receiver for his team. He's an extremely smart kid, he's extremely intelligent. He's a guy we will start off at safety. He's a guy we would ask to make those checks and calls back there, that quarterback-type guy you need. He'll help run the show. He'll be groomed in that manner."

* On Sirjo Welch -- "Sirjo is also a very good football player, very instinctive. He is an extremely physical player. He strikes people and would be in the category of Mike Doss or Donte Whitner or Nate Salley. But also he has the quickness to play corner if you need him to. He's an extremely quick. If you see him on the basketball court, he is like lightning out there. He's a swing guy. We would initially put him at safety and see how he goes from there."


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