Worthington Looking to Contribute as Freshman

Doug Worthington was one of the prize recruits in Ohio State's 2005 class. Now that he has arrived at OSU, he intends on earning playing time as a freshman. Worthington knows that there are good players in front of him, but also sees some opportunities on the depth chart. We caught up with him for more.

Defensive end Doug Worthington is one of Ohio State's true freshmen that have a realistic chance at seeing playing time this season.

Worthington, from Athol Spring, N.Y., was ranked as the No. 3 defensive end in the country by Scout.com last year. He was one of the prize recruits of OSU's 2005 class and he's anxious for his first collegiate season to begin.

"I can't wait for the season to start," Worthington said. "Camp right now is a learning experience and you get acclimated to college football as far as the hitting and the speed. But when we come out of that tunnel on Sept. 3 to play Miami of Ohio is going to be one of the best days of my life because it will be the beginning of what I hope is a great, great career here at Ohio State."

In terms of their listed height and weight from their high school days, some recruits come as advertised, and some don't. But Worthington is every bit of 6-7, 260-plus pounds.

"Right now I'm about 265," he said. "I gained about five pounds when I came up here. Yeah, I'm 6-7, but everybody at Ohio State is legitimate. From the wide receiver, to the punter to the running backs, to the defense. We're all five star, whatever you want to call it. I think this is a great team and I can't wait to see how far we're going to go."

Worthington could grow into a defensive tackle some day, but right now, he's just looking to provide depth on the outside.

"I'm hoping to do everything (defensive coordinator Jim) Heacock tells me to do," Worthington said. "Relieve Jay Richardson when he's tired and help out Alex Barrow. Whatever I can do to get on the field – special teams, whatever – I'm going to try and be a great part of this Ohio State Buckeye team."

Worthington thinks there is a good chance that he will see playing time this season.

"Well, the depth at defensive end is pretty good, but it's not where I can't play, so that's even better," he said. "We've got J-Rich and Alex (Barrow) in front of me right now for the position of defensive end. Leo (Mike Kudla, Vernon Gohlston) is a defensive end position all in itself. So, I think that the depth is great, but at the same time, I do have the opportunity to come in and help the team. So, it's a beautiful situation for myself."

Photo Day last Thursday wasn't Worthington's first time inside Ohio Stadium. But it was his first time in the Horseshoe without 105,000 fans packing the place.

"It's huge," he said. "Right now it doesn't seem as big as it really is, but I've seen it packed before and it's unreal. I've been to Buffalo Bills games, been to a couple other pro games, but it's nothing like it. The two games I saw here were the two best games of my life. So, when I play here it's going to be even better."

Worthington might be a green freshman, but he is already talking like a seasoned veteran. He knows that OSU has the potential to have an excellent season and he wants his first taste of the Rose Bowl.

"We have big expectations," Worthington said. "Every time we break, we say, ‘Pasadena.' So that right there tells you that we have goals and the seniors do a good job of always talking about our goals. And our senior class is real. They are great players, but they're not stuck up. They talk to everybody and they keep it real. I can respect that.

"We have a lot of things in our heads. We have big games, like we do every year in the Big Ten conference. We also have Texas and Miami of Ohio and it's going to be hard, but I think everybody is going to be ready for it."

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