OSU's Friendly Neighborhood Spider Man

Dave Biddle caught up with OSU WR Chris Vance lately, and they talked about a number of issues. Take a look.

The movie hits theaters this week, but Ohio State unveiled its version last year.

Wide receiver Chris Vance (6-2, 180, Sr.), better known to his Buckeye teammates as "Spiderman," spoke with Bucknuts.com about the upcoming season and how he got that nickname in the first place.

"It started in junior college," Vance said. "I had a couple of friends call me Spiderman. When I got here, no one knew about it. But someone on the team - actually Fred Sturrup - mentioned it one time and it has just stuck."

Why Spiderman? It probably has something to do with Vance's unusually big hands and the way the ball seems to stick to his fingers - even when using only one hand. His long arms and leaping ability might have something to do with it as well.

So, does Vance like the nickname?

"I do, I take it as a compliment," he said.

Any plans to see the movie?

"Yeah, I'm definitely going to check it out."


A Fort Myers, Fla. native, Vance is a lifelong Buckeye fan and said he always told friends, "If I don't go to school in state, I'm going to Ohio State." 

But things didn't work out academically coming out of high school and Vance was forced to go the JUCO route. He had a productive career at Fort Scott Community College (Ks.), leading the team in receiving in both 1999 (43-688-5) and 2000 (37-598-10).

Technically a member of Jim Tressel's first recruiting class, Vance actually committed to John Cooper in the fall of 2000, picking the Buckeyes over Colorado.

His first year in Columbus was a success. Vance immediately cracked the starting lineup and after a slow start, he finished the season second on the team with 34 receptions and 605 yards, and led the team with four receiving touchdowns.

How good was he at times? Ask the defensive backs from Purdue who the best receiver is in the Big Ten and they'll probably tell you Vance. He made two unbelievable one-handed grabs against the Boilers last year, one for a touchdown, but Vance said he wants to be known as more than just a guy who makes spectacular plays.

"I want to make big plays, but I think I'm the type of receiver that can do it all. It's all about taking advantage of your opportunities. Last year, I didn't have many opportunities over the middle after the catch, but I think I might get more this year. This summer, I'm going to work really hard on my speed, my routes and my concentration. I want to be a complete receiver."

Vance's ultimate goal?

"I want to help bring us a national championship. That's everyone's goal around here."


Pop quiz: How many senior starters will Ohio State have on offense this year? 

Yep, the answer is one - Vance.

Quarterback Craig Krenzel, tight end Ben Hartsock, left guard Adrien Clarke, right guard Bryce Bishop and right tackle Ivan Douglas are all fourth-year juniors, but Vance, a guy who has been on campus for exactly 16 months, is the only senior.

He might, or might not be elected one of the offensive captains, but Vance said he is confident in his leadership abilities.

"Yeah, I'm well adjusted now and it's expected of me to be a leader and a guy who makes plays. This is my last year, there's nothing to hold back."


Vance was asked if Ohio State has the best group of receivers in the Big Ten.

"Most definitely," Vance said. "You've got Illinois and they've got (Walter) Young and (Brandon) Lloyd and that's a pretty good corps, but I think we do have the best... Last year, from what I've seen, it was the Lloyd show. But his quarterback isn't there anymore. We need to go out there and prove this year that we're the top group."

Like everyone else, Vance believes that the Big Ten race is wide open.

"Right now, the Big Ten is definitely up in the air. No one really knows who is going to win it, but we expect to be up there. You've got a lot of teams that lost a lot of seniors. Right now, probably the only team I'm worried about is Wisconsin. Well, I'm not really worried, but that's one of the teams we'll be contending with."

Spiderman vs. the Cheeseheads? You've got to like our chances there.

Buckeye Sports Top Stories