Haw Turns Heads With Long Scrimmage Run

Freshman tailback Erik Haw knew he had an uphill battle coming into preseason camp at Ohio State. But Haw made a big impression with his 34-yard run in Saturday's jersey scrimmage. Click here for more on Haw.

Erik Haw may have come into preseason camp at Ohio State as the third or fourth tailback. But he certainly turned some heads at Saturday's scrimmage, when he got outside for a 34-yard run -- the longest play of the day.

Haw ended his first appearance at Ohio Stadium with 83 yards on 14 carries as the offense turned back the defense 81-69 in the jersey scrimmage. Haw also caught a pair of passes for 11 yards.

"It was intense," Haw said of the scrimmage. "My linemen did what they were supposed to do and I did what I'm supposed to do."

Of course, senior Lydell Ross remains penciled in as OSU's starting tailback. Senior Maurice Hall is gradually working his way back into the mix after undergoing off-season surgery on both knees. Tony Pittman, a freshman like Haw, enrolled early and went through spring football. Because of that, he may have the slightest of edges on Haw. But, as it stands, all four figure to play.

Haw, a 3,000-yard rusher at nearby Columbus Independence a year ago, was asked how preseason camp was going for him.

"At times, I have felt like I could have been moving faster," Haw said. "I know sometimes I need to make better reads. But overall, it's gone pretty good."

When asked how he hopes to contribute this year, Haw said, "Every time I get interviewed, I just say I want to make big plays and make runs to help the team. I guess we'll have to wait and see where we're at on the 4th."

Haw, listed at 6-1, 210 pounds, admitted he had to start at the bottom of the ladder as the newcomer in camp.

"Tony has done good early in camp," Haw said. "He also did pretty well in the spring game. I felt like I had to play a little bit of catch-up."

On his big run, Haw bounced outside to the left and was sprinting down the sideline. He displayed the speed -- reputed at sub-4.4 in the 40 -- that helped him succeed at the high school level. Only a touchdown-saving stop by Shaun Lane prevented Haw from going the distance.

"It was an inside run, but my linemen did a good job of collapsing the middle," Haw said. "I bounced it outside and saw some daylight. We're taught to run to daylight. I guess I just got tripped up and tackled."

The long run helped soothe Haw's psyche after he also fumbled once during the scrimmage. It appeared that Sirjo Welch, a former City League rival of Haw's, was successful in punching the ball out.

"I guess I got my first fumble out of my system," Haw said. "I'm going to try to not let that happen again."

OSU head coach Jim Tressel liked what he saw out of all of the tailbacks Saturday.

"I think Tony is going to be a good one," Tressel said. "He's aggressive and has a good burst. Erik Haw did some nice things as well. It was good to get Mo Hall back in there coming off those injuries. I'd like to think we're further ahead running back-wise than we were a year ago."

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