Photo Day Roundup: Tressel On Ginn, Kerr and More

True freshman Ted Ginn Jr. and his status were a big topic of conversation at Wednesday's OSU football photo day at Ohio Stadium. Coach Jim Tressel also discussed the status of linebacker John Kerr, who was not listed on the team's preseason camp roster. Click here for more.

Media covering the Ohio State football team got to see the 2004 edition of the Buckeyes with their brand new helmets and uniforms upon the immaculate grass field of Ohio Stadium during the team's annual photo day Wednesday.

But this was just one part of their day. The Buckeyes began preseason camp this morning with a conditioning test, followed by the first regular practice session in helmets and shorts.

"I thought they ran well conditioning-wise," said OSU coach Jim Tressel. "We were pleased. We ran the test right over here. Then, they had long meetings and a long practice. When we came back over here tonight, a couple of them commented `Was it two days ago that we ran the test?' And it was this morning, so it's been a long day. But that's what the beginning of preseason is."

Of course, one of the biggest topics after one preseason practice was the status of freshman Ted Ginn Jr. Is he an offensive player or a defensive player?

"Today, we practiced 24 periods," Tressel said. "He spent about three on offense and 21 on defense. He spent times with the special teams as a return man. I would anticipate that while we're trying to figure out where he can best help us, we'll have him look at all three areas."

Tressel was asked if Ginn would play on both offense and defense this year.

"There's a good chance of that," Tressel said of Ginn. "He's very talented. I haven't seen him, other than this one practice in a helmet and shorts. He looked pretty good to me.

"That was kind of the way we recruited him that he was going to come in as a cover corner, with the change-up being the return game and the offense. Both offensive and defensive staffs would probably like to have as many periods with Ted Ginn as they can get."

Tressel was asked if he was concerned about such a talented freshman getting a big head.

"Ted's a pretty even keeled young man. I don't anticipate him having a problem with it," Tressel said. "Will some of us have more expectations for Ted than maybe we should? That could happen. But I'll say this, we were riding home from the Big Ten media day the other day and Dustin (Fox) and Lydell (Ross) each said to me, `Coach, you better find ways to get Ted Ginn the ball.' That told me that they had really grown to respect him from summer workouts."

There were other headlines from photo day. Two scholarship players and one heralded walk-on were not in attendance. Offensive lineman Andree Tyree and punter A.J. Trapasso were missing scholarship players. Linebacker John Kerr, a walk-on technically as a transfer from Indiana, was also not in attendance. Trapasso will serve a reported two-game suspension for a pair of underage drinking citations. Tyree reportedly is dealing with some health issues, but should return. Tressel also indicated Kerr would return, but would not elaborate on why he would not participate in preseason camp.

"He will be on the team and on the roster, but it will not be through the first game," Tressel said. "The NCAA has a 105 limit through your first game. We didn't choose to have him in the 105 that we're allowed to bring. Can I elaborate beyond that? No."

Tressel was asked about other pressing topics, like:

* Ira Guilford -- Guilford is reportedly ready to enter a plea in connection with his pending robbery case. Tressel left a glimmer of hope that Guilford could one day return to the team, although he noted that the exiled running back had several hurdles to clear.

"I know that is in the process right now (with the court)," Tressel said. "Plus, you don't know the length of those things, entering pleas and having completion satisfactorily enough to make decisions institutionally, then athletic department-wise and finally football-wise and academically as well."

* Chad Hoobler -- Two outstanding performances at linebacker in the all-star games have put this freshman at Carrollton on the defensive side of the ball at OSU.

"Chad will play defense," Tressel said. "I anticipate, unless we would get a rash of injuries at tight end and he is versatile enough to help us there, that he would be on defense. In watching the Big 33 and the replay of the North-South game, he looked like a legitimate candidate at linebacker. In the one day he has spent there, we have been pleased."

The Buckeyes will be looking at Marcel Frost, a former defensive end, at tight end as well.

* The quarterback race -- "I'm sure the thing that they're most anxious about – the same that all of us are – is to get some work under our belt and go out and find out who does it in this place (Ohio Stadium). The nice part of preseason is that you can give reps to the three units. It won't be until after that first scrimmage that we will thin it down and someone will get more reps than someone else. We'll try to get through 12 or 13 practices where everyone has an even chance."

* The battle for positions on the offensive line -- "The fact that there is inexperience in a lot of places, I think we will see a lot of competition. The offensive line is one area where I wouldn't be surprised if eight, nine or 10 guys might play early on. You'd be blessed with everybody staying healthy.

"If everyone would stay healthy and come along the way they can, it may take multiple games. We will play multiple guys in those early games. It would be unfair to do it any other way. No one has a lock on anything because they've played a bunch. Nick Mangold and Robbie Sims have played a good bit, but beyond that it's wide open. I think you've got to let them play games."

Notables

We will have more updates in the hours and days ahead. However we also wanted to point out that:

* Senior tailback Maurice Hall, who missed spring practice due to a pair of knee injuries, declared himself fit and ready to go.

* Freshman WR Albert Dukes will wear No. 5 instead of the originally posted No. 9, while Frost will wear No. 81 instead of No. 84. Wide receiver John Hollins also wears No. 84 and they could not have appeared together on offense with the same number.


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