Quotebook: Kyle Turano, Albert Dukes

Much of the focus at punter has been on Josh Huston, but walk-on Kyle Turano could put up a fight for the punting spot this month. Dave Biddle talked with Turano as well as freshman receiver Albert Dukes, who appears to be settling in well in Columbus.

Senior Kyle Turano is battling Josh Huston for the punting job and it's a race that's too close to call right now.

Turano actually began his career at Bowling Green in 2000, but walked-on at OSU in '01 and has been trying to work his way up the depth chart ever since.

"I didn't punt at all at BG," Turano said. "Just kickoffs."

Like Huston, Turano hopes this is not his final season in a Buckeye uniform.

"Yeah, I had a medical injury my first season at BG, so I'm applying for a sixth year," he said. "I have all the paperwork filled out with the NCAA - we'll see what happens."

Turano knows that the punting job is there for the taking. Neither he, nor Huston, looked especially great in the spring and these next couple of weeks will decide things.

"Yeah, they made it apparent that it's open," Turano said. "They pretty much said whoever is the better punter in camp is going to get the job, so me and Josh are just feeding off of each other. I think the competition is really good for both of us and it will benefit the team too."

Even with the loss of B.J. Sander, the goals have not changed for the punt team.

"We have the same punt unit goals," Turano said. "Our average net punt goal is 38 yards and we have get off times between me and the snapper. It's like 1.93 seconds. Most of our goals are performances goals."

Even if he doesn't win the punting job, Turano will have a spot on the team. He is the "starting" holder.

"Yeah, I'll be the holder for sure," he said. "They asked me if I wanted to hold in the spring and I was like, 'Heck yeah.'"

It could be a good sign for Turano. Every year that Jim Tressel has been at OSU, the starting punter and starting holder have been the same person. It was Andy Groom in 2001-02 and Sander last year.

"Yeah, definitely that could be a good sign," Turano said. "I just need to keep working hard and have a good camp. Ultimately it's the coaches decision, so I've got to keep impressing them and hopefully it will work out for me."

Freshman wide receiver Albert Dukes is not shy about admitting that he does not want to redshirt this season. He thinks he can help the Buckeyes right away.

"I'm just looking to come in, work hard, show the coaches the things that other players aren't doing," Dukes said. "I'm looking forward to playing this year."

Dukes said he would have signed with OSU, even if high school teammate Santonio Holmes were not already here.

"Yeah, I think I'd probably be here if he wasn't here because I had a good recruiter - Mark Snyder - and I was checking this school out ever since they started recruiting me," Dukes said. "They came down to Glades Central to see Santonio, and ever since I've been real interested. I'm just glad to be here."

Not counting Ted Ginn, the Buckeyes only brought in two receivers in this class: Dukes and Devon Lyons.

"Yeah, I like that," Dukes said. "Competition is good, but you don't have to worry about one other guy. Instead of three or four, there's just two of us. So, it's a good thing."

Dukes will wear the No. 5 for the Buckeyes.

"Well, I was aiming for No. 10 because that was my high school number, but my birthday is on the fifth, so I just took No. 5," he said.

The 6-foot-1, 170-pound Dukes worked out with the team over the summer. He came to Columbus in July and participated in most of the seven-on-seven sessions. He also had a daily wake-up call from his buddy.

"Yeah, it was hard," Dukes said. "Santonio was always pushing me to get up early and go work out with him. I had to get accustomed to doing that."

It's been unseasonably cool in the capital city this summer. For a guy from Florida, it's been downright cold.

"Yeah, it feels good," Dukes said. "It's a lot different than being back in Florida. I'm used to the sunlight and much hotter weather. It's funny, sometimes I'll think it's chilly up here, but other players are like, 'This is a nice breeze.' But I'll adjust to it.

"I really like Columbus. I've been going to different places. To the mall, the movies and just getting to know the campus because it won't be that long until school starts."

We had to ask Dukes which of OSU's quarterbacks stood out over the summer. But he's already smart enough not to bite on that one.

"All three of them looked good," he said. "All three of them showed the different aspects that they have. I think all three of them are good quarterbacks."

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