Underwood Happy To Get Ohio All-Star Classic Nod

Hamilton, Ohio, cornerback Brandon Underwood, an OSU signee, was a late addition to the South roster for Saturday's Ohio All-Star Classic (7 p.m., Ohio News Network). Click here to see how Underwood avoided his own injury problems to make this game.

When rosters for Saturday's Ohio All-Star Classic (7 p.m., ONN) at Columbus Crew Stadium were originally announced back in February, it seemed that only seven future Buckeyes would be participating.

But that number is now all the way up to 10. Gahanna kicker Jonathan Skeete recently switched his verbal commitment from Northwestern to Ohio State. Then, OSU signees Curtis Terry of Cleveland Glenville and Brandon Underwood of Hamilton were selected to the game as injury replacements.

Underwood's selection is somewhat ironic, given that he played in a Cincinnati area all-star game just this past weekend and suffered was what originally believed to be a dislocated shoulder. But, when it was diagnosed as just a stinger, Underwood was given the green light to accept the All-Star Classic invitation.

"I found out on Sunday," Underwood said. "I got here and found out somebody was hurt. I was glad I got picked because my time in the (Cincinnati East-West) all-star game was cut short because of an injury. This should be even better competition, which is what I crave."

Underwood was forced to leave last Saturday's game, saying, "I came off the field and they said I had a dislocated shoulder. But I thought it was weird because I didn't have any movement. I thought it might just be a stinger."

As it turned out, he was right. And now he will match up with some of the state's very best in this Saturday's game.

"I love competition," said Underwood, who starred at cornerback for Hamilton. "I can't wait to go up against everybody."

Like many of the OSU recruits in this game, Underwood said he plans to move to Columbus next week to begin working out with the Buckeyes. Of course, it helps that he can bunk with his older brother, OSU junior cornerback E.J. Underwood.

"Yep, I think I'm moving in with E.J.," he said. "I'm just excited to be going up there and to be working out. It should be interesting."

OSU seems to be loaded in the secondary, but the younger Underwood – listed at 6-1, 180 pounds -- thinks he can make some waves as a freshman.

"I just want to get out there and show what I can do," he said. "I just want to compete and do my best up there and whatever happens happens."

Joining Underwood on the South team will be Alex Barrow (Dublin Coffman), Erik Haw (Columbus Independence), Chad Hoobler (Carrollton), Jonathan Skeete (Gahanna Lincoln), Ben Person (Xenia) and SirJoseph Welch (Columbus Beechcroft). The South squad will be coached by Steve Channell of Trenton Edgewood.

OSU signees on the North squad include Brandon Smith (Euclid), Shaun Lane (Hubbard) and Curtis Terry (Cleveland Glenville), who was a late addition to the game. The North will be coached by Mentor‘s Steve Trivisonno.

The Ohio All-Star Classic was played in Columbus Crew Stadium for the first time in 2001 after being held in Massillon or Canton from 1977-2000. The Ohio All-Star Classic was also held in Columbus in 1975 and 1976 when the game was contested in Ohio Stadium.

The players have a full week of activities planned. They will visit Children's Hospital, Columbus City Council, a Clippers baseball game and have a swimming night at a Columbus area pool. Plus, the annual Ohio All-Star Classic banquet is scheduled for Friday night.

Tickets are available for $10 at the Crew Stadium box office. Call (614) 447-CREW for more details.

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