Buckeyes Report To Start Preseason Camp

Returning players, including senior defensive end Mike Kudla, as well as incoming freshmen gathered today in Columbus as the Buckeyes opened preseason camp. The team went through physicals today and will go through a conditioning test before their first practice tomorrow.

The 2005 Ohio State football season officially began today as members of the team reported for preseason camp at the University Plaza Hotel near campus.

The players were set to go through meetings and physicals today before beginning practice with their conditioning test on Monday. A handful of veteran players met with the media early this afternoon to discuss the start of camp.

"The tempo really gets going," said senior defensive end Mike Kudla. "We really crank it up a notch here. We figure things out and you have to get your body prepared physically for the long season and the Big Ten. It is a long season.

"Camp is always camp. It's fun to get back here and be with the guys again. It's long, it's grueling. That's part of football. But we all have high expectations this year."

Kudla talked about what it's like for a freshman to enter his first preseason camp at a place like Ohio State.

"A lot of these guys are coming in here highly touted," Kudla said. "They get to come in here and showcase their abilities. They are great athletes and that's what we need to help the team out."

Offensive tackle Rob Sims said the expectations levels have been raised coming off an 8-4 season in 2004.

"Now we know we can win," he said. "Last year, that was a problem. I think we were just kind of out there, feeling our way and trying to see what we were about. But now we know we can win. We've got some of the best people in the country at their positions. We're just looking forward now to going out there and kicking some butt.

"Everybody around the country talks about winning a national championship. But here, it's real. We can make it happen. I'm glad to be a Buckeye."

Sims was asked if the grind is mostly physical or mental.

"It's definitely mental," he said. "Your body is going to be beat up – when isn't it when you're playing football? But you come in that second Monday and say, `I've got five more days.' You mark those off and you say, `I've got five more days.' It's rough. But you deal with your teammates. It's a mental grind. This is my fourth time doing it. You fight through it. You know the next six months will be great for us.

"We'll be fine, though. Our guys are in shape and we'll go out there and get the job done."

Senior kicker Josh Huston will go through preseason camp for the sixth time. He shared some of the ins and outs of surviving.

"You start figuring it out after a while," Huston said. "There are never enough beds. They always seem to give the kickers' rooms a full bed and a cot. I've learned through the years to be the first one here so I can get that bed. That's why I got here at 11:50 a.m. today. You go out here and you start figuring out what you need to do and how to save your leg and when to kick and when not to kick."

Junior split end Santonio Holmes discussed the work that has already gone into this season.

"We made it mandatory that everybody pretty much showed up at every workout," Holmes said. "We stuck together. We had a pretty rough summer."

With the hard work beginning Monday, Holmes said he had no regrets in passing up a chance to go to the NFL last year.

"National championship," he said. "That is the only thought I thought about coming back for. I had an opportunity to be a part of the 2002 team. This time, I want to be the leader of the 2005 team."

Buckeye Sports Top Stories