Haw Wants To Put Off-Field Mistake Behind Him

OSU redshirt freshman tailback Erik Haw found himself in hot water in May when he was cited for marijuana possession. But Haw told reporters at Thursday's photo day that he has undergone counseling and paid a heavy price for his off-the-field mistake. He said he is looking forward to putting that episode behind him and being a solid contributor for the Buckeyes. Click here for more.

Media members had a chance to speak with Ohio State redshirt freshman tailback Erik Haw Thursday for the first time since he was cited for marijuana possession in May.

Haw has served team penalties and undergone substance abuse counseling since that time. He made it clear on Thursday that he regrets his actions.

"I'm a man," Haw said. "I make mistakes. That's OK. I can except the criticism because I was at fault. But I've been going to church since I was young. I asked God to keep me on track and keep me focused. My family and my supporters were behind me 100 percent.

"I apologized to my mother first off because that in no way depicts how she raised me. And I apologize to all the fans of Ohio State, who were behind me."

Haw ended spring practice as OSU's No. 2 tailback behind sophomore Antonio Pittman. Those two and incoming freshman Maurice Wells are the only scholarship tailbacks on the squad as the team goes through preseason camp.

Haw was asked if he expected to lose playing time for his off-the-field indiscretion.

"I wondered about it," he said. "There hasn't been any (playing time repercussions). You have to just work through it. I haven't been suspended for any games so far."

But Haw did pay for his misstep by having to report for early morning extra duty at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

"I've already endured a lot of counseling and a lot of off-the-field consequences, including having to wake up at 6 a.m," he said. "I still have a few more meetings, too."

Haw was asked about his early morning regimen.

"I'm actually not a morning person," he said. "But if you've got to get up, you get up. You don't wake up at 6 a.m. You wake up at 5:30 because you have to go to the Woody Hayes. You still have to go to class and you still have to come back and lift. You've still got homework to do.

"But at Ohio State, what else would you expect? This is what I live for. This is what you do. It's beautiful. I wouldn't ask for anything else."

Haw said he plans to work hard to gain the trust of his coaches, teammates and OSU fans.

"It's hard to shake that, but throughout the season and throughout the years I'm going to try and push that behind me," he said. "I'm a young man and I'm going to make mistakes. I just turned 19 on July 30. I'm going to make mistakes and probably make some more. But I just ask for forgiveness from my family and my friends, the fans and all the supporters. That's basically it."

Thinking about the season ahead is exciting for the 6-1, 212-pound Haw.

"I get the jitters," he said. "I can feel the atmosphere. It's going to be a beautiful season. With the running game and the offensive line coming back, we look strong as a team."

Of course, before Haw realizes the glory of scoring touchdowns on Saturday afternoons at the Horseshoe, he and his teammates will endure two weeks of two-a-day workouts.

"Two-a-days are coming up on Monday," Haw said. "If you're hurting, you have to get through it and just be persistent."

But Haw said the hard work is needed if the Buckeyes intend to improve their rushing game.

"We have something to prove," he said. "There's so much you can do to get ready in the preseason and that's what we have to do. All of the magazines talk about stuff, but it comes down to just getting the job done."

Like any player, Haw wants to be OSU's every-down back. But he said he'd accept whatever role he is assigned.

"The key goal is to win the national championship, whether I have 300 carries, 200 carries or zero carries," he said. "If we win the national championship, I'll have a ring."


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