Buckeyes Headed To Texas Today

Ohio State players and coaches are excited about making a rare trip to Texas to play in next Wednesday's Alamo Bowl. Cornerback Ashton Youboty, one of two native Texans on the OSU roster, talked about the chance to go home. Click this free link for more.

Ohio State will convene today to fly to San Antonio for the Alamo Bowl. In fact, the Buckeyes are scheduled to be welcomed by fans, local alumni and bowl officials at their downtown hotel, the Hyatt Regency, at mid-afternoon.

The Buckeyes have a date next Wednesday with Oklahoma State in the Alamo Bowl (8 p.m., ESPN).

Speaking last week, OSU coach Jim Tressel talked about his program's first bowl trip to San Antonio.

"The past two seasons we've been in Phoenix," Tressel said. "That's been a wonderful opportunity for our guys. But even last year, talking to our guys they were excited about having a new experience. A lot of our guys have not been to San Antonio. They'll be amazed when they see it. They'll enjoy the Riverwalk and the Alamo and of course the Alamodome. We're hoping the Spurs are in town so we can catch that."

This will be OSU's second trip ever to play a game in the state of Texas, following a win over Texas A&M in the 1987 Cotton Bowl in Dallas.

Tressel said he hopes such bowl trips are a recruiting tool for the Buckeyes, who rarely venture into Texas for high school talent.

"Absolutely, we can see if we can sneak a guy out of here once in a while, that's great," Tressel said. "We take this as a great opportunity to reach out and branch out and get some of those great Texas players. You never now if some ninth grader watches the game and sees some reason we wants to come to Ohio State. We hope that this game will lead into the recruiting season. Bowl success can really lead into momentum in the off-season."

The Buckeyes do have a pair of scholarship players on the squad from Texas in sophomore cornerback Ashton Youboty and junior linebacker Anthony Schlegel.

Youboty prepped at Klein High School outside Houston – a three-hour drive from San Antonio.

"I have a lot of family coming and some of my high school teammates will be coming down," he said. "I'll have a lot of people there, so it should be fun. It's just three hours away from Houston."

Schlegel came to OSU by way of the Air Force Academy. But he is a Texan through and through. He prepped at Highland Park High School on the north side of Dallas – roughly four hours away by car.

The linebacker was asked what makes his home state so special.

"It's Texas," Schlegel said. "It's the Lone Star State. There are so many different things you can do down there. You don't ever have to leave the state. You go down south you've got the beach. You've got the rivers and the hill country and that's a beautiful area. They've got great bass fishing and great hunting in Texas. We've even got a canyon."

Fullback Branden Joe, a Westerville, Ohio, native, said he is looking forward to seeing what Texas has to offer.

"I'm excited to get down there and see what Texas is all about," Joe said. "Anthony Schlegel is always talking about Texas."

EDITOR'S NOTE -- Interviews for this story were conducted prior to OSU's announcement Monday that Troy Smith would not play in the Alamo Bowl.

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