Slagle Chooses Walking On At OSU Over Offers

In under a month, OSU football practice will start, with the true freshmen getting their first look at life as a Buckeye. One freshman, Zach Slagle, will be looking at it from a different perspective. Unlike other freshmen on the OSU roster, Slagle will be doing things the hard way -- paying his own way to play OSU football. Read on for more on this player.

Canton McKinley star guard Zach Slagle will be a member of the 2006 Ohio State football team as a preferred walk-on.

Slagle, a special mention All-Ohio selection, turned down scholarship offers from Fairmont State and Slippery Rock to pay his own way to Columbus.

"I'm working four different jobs right now trying to earn the money needed to go to Ohio State," said Slagle. "Some people might think it's odd to turn down a full ride to pay your own way, but that's what I decided to do. I just wanted to be part of a great football program."

Slagle has been admitted to Ohio State after succeeding both on the football field and in the classroom at Canton McKinley.

"I graduated with a 3.3 grade point average and scored a 25 on the ACT," said Slagle.

Slagle has spoken with Ohio State offensive line coach Jim Bollman about playing football for the Buckeyes.

"I've talked with Coach Bollman about what to expect when I get there," said Slagle. "We're scheduled to meet again in early August to further discuss what I need to do next. I'll report in early September, right after the first game. Coach Bollman has stressed the fact that Ohio State has typically seen walk-on offensive linemen see the field since he and Coach [Jim] Tressel have been at Ohio State. They are projecting me as a guard or a center."

Slagle, who is 6-3 and weighs 325 pounds, talked about how playing at a football powerhouse like Canton McKinley prepared him for college.

"We always played in big games before big crowds at McKinley," said Slagle. "I've always had to deal with lofty goals and big expectations. Playing in the Big 33 game allowed me to see that I can compete at a high level. Every day I was able to watch guys like Bryant Browning and Thad Gibson play. That will help prepare me for what to expect at Ohio State."

By all accounts it appeared Slagle performed at a high level during the practice week and in the Big 33 game. Considering the recent success of walk-on offensive linemen contributing at Ohio State, it's not out of the question to assume that Slagle might add to that list some day.

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