Fox Eager To Have Leadership Role

Senior cornerback Dustin Fox is eager to get preseason practice under way this week. Headed for his third season as a starter, Fox figures to be one of the team's leaders. Click here for more on his outlook on the eve of preseason camp.

If Dustin Fox gets tapped to serve as a captain for the Ohio State football program, he will gladly report for that duty.

He would be following in the footsteps of his uncle, Tim Fox, who was a captain on OSU's 1975 Big Ten championship team.

"It would mean the world for me," Fox said. "Playing football at Ohio State means so much to me. The opportunity to be a captain here would be something I would cherish forever. I think I would do a good job at it. If it doesn't happen, that's fine, too. Other guys will step up. But it would be an honor to carry on that tradition.

"In the past, I have not been very vocal. In high school, I was a captain and I would get ‘em going. I didn't feel comfortable in the past here. Who wants to stand up to Mike Doss, Donnie Nickey, Craig Krenzel or Will Smith? I just sat back and let them do their job."

Fox joined senior tailback Lydell Ross in representing Ohio State at last week's Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon festivities in Chicago. Fox spoke for all of the players at the luncheon.

He returns for his third season as a starter at cornerback for the Buckeyes. He is hopeful that the Buckeyes can carry on the momentum they have enjoyed over the last two seasons.

"Every team I've been a part of has been just a little bit different," Fox said. "It is the tradition we always talk about with hitting hard and running to the ball. Every team has done that. But your identity is different. It's how you play the game. It's the little intangibles that make your identity.

"We need to find that. We need to find our niche of what we're going to be all about."

To that end, Fox is eager to start practice this week.

"That's what camp is all about -- molding together and jelling into a team," he said.

Fox will be back at the boundary corner position. He began his OSU career as a safety, but is entrenched at corner now.

"I came in as a safety," Fox said early in August. "Safety is an easy position to play. You don't have to be a great athlete. You have to be a smart guy and a physical player. As far as playing corner, you have to be on top of your game the entire time. You can't take a play off. If you take a play off, it's six points.

"It's a tough position, but it's also fun because it's a challenge. Every receiver is different. It's fun for me to be challenged like that and put into a situation that is not the easiest to be a part of."

OSU head coach Jim Tressel had nothing but praise for Fox.

"I am sure if you asked every kid on our team they would say that Dustin Fox does what you're supposed to do," Tressel said. "He carries himself off the field with humility. Academically, he's a 3.4 student who does an outstanding job. On the field, he plays what I feel is the toughest position on the field at the boundary corner. That ball is not in the air very long. At the field corner, you sometimes have time to break on it and see things develop.

"We coach our quarterbacks to take the easiest throw and a lot of times that is to the boundary side. It is a tough duty. Plus, you have to also be able to play the run when you're on the boundary side. You have to respect the difficulty of his task and the way he plays it. He is a leader without saying a word."

After helping OSU to back-to-back top-five finishes, Fox was optimistic that the Buckeyes will maintain their momentum and have another big year.

"At a place like Ohio State, you're not going to be mediocre because we have tremendous athletes and tremendous people," he said. "They have great character. They want to win football games and the talent we have is the cream of the crop."

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