Player Spotlight - Doug Datish

Although he's not getting as much pub as Justin Zwick, Maurice Clarett and now Mike D'Andrea, Warren Howland offensive tackle Doug Datish is one of the key components of the '02 class. Datish is regarded as the No. 1 offensive lineman in Ohio and if you think back to the beginning of this recruiting season, you'll remember that landing O-Linemen was the top priority for the Ohio State coaching staff.

"They made it clear that offensive linemen were very important to this class. They stressed it," Datish said.

Datish is humbled that the recruiting experts have pegged him as the best lineman in the state.

"That's a huge honor - it's pretty nice to be considered No. 1. Especially with all the great offensive linemen in the state this year like Rob Sims, T.J. Downing, Nick Mangold and Kyle Ralph," Datish said.

The 6-foot-5, 290-pound Datish committed to the Buckeyes on June 27, becoming the fourth O-Lineman in the class behind Sims, Downing and Mangold. But Datish always knew where he wanted to go.

"I didn't take any other official visits than Ohio State. I considered Tennessee and Colorado, but Ohio State was the right fit. It's a great place, it's close to home and my dad played there."  Mike Datish was a backup center for the Bucks from 1973-76.

Doug also said that the OSU coaching staff was a big factor in his decision.

"Coach Tressel is a great guy; he just has an aura about him. My high school coach is friends with him and I knew him while he was coaching at Youngstown State - it's really close to where I live. Coach Tressel is amazing."

And Bollman?

"I really like the guy. Coach Bollman is awesome. He makes everything simple for you. I'm looking forward to playing for him."

Datish knows that he is part of one of the nation's best recruiting classes, if not the best.

"That's awesome. It's good to know that great players will be playing along side of you. It gets my confidence up knowing that we are going to be one of the best."

And Datish has no trouble keeping up with the latest recruiting news.

"Actually, my mom is on BuckNuts.com everyday. She keeps me updated on what's going on."

Everyday?

"Yeah, she's really into it."

Datish took his official visit to Ohio State the second weekend in December along with most of the other verbals.

"That was fun. I got to know all of the guys pretty well and I got along with everyone. I mostly hung out with the recruits, but we also hung out with some of the other linemen like Alex Stepanovich, Adam Olds and Ryan Cook. All really good guys."

Datish led Howland to a 7-4 record this past season as the Tigers qualified for the playoffs for the first time in 15 years.

"I'm very proud of that. We were 2-8 my freshman year, but we got things turned around." Datish was also a standout defensive end in high school.

"I liked playing D-end. Actually, most of my awards this year came from defense."

Did he ever consider playing defense in college?

"No, because I just always knew I wanted to play offensive line. That's what I'm suited best for. I like run blocking the most."

Datish hasn't set any specific goals for his freshman year.

"I think every kid's dream is to come in and start as a freshman, but realistically, starting at a place like Ohio State as a freshman will be tough. I just want to come in and be the best possible player I can be. If that means I start, or I'm on the two-deep, I'll be happy. But I just want to do what's best for the team."

Sounds like a kid with his head on his shoulders, huh?

Well, it gets even better.

Datish holds a 3.6 GPA and lists "reading history books" as one of his hobbies.

"World War II books are my favorite."

Datish will major in pharmacy at OSU and will get a jump on the books this summer.

"I'm going to come down for summer school and get settled in. I'm glad we're probably going to start the season a little earlier (if Ohio State hosts the Pigskin Classic). I'm excited to get going."

And what is he most excited about?

"Just getting on the field in Ohio Stadium and wearing the Scarlet and Gray. That will be awesome. But my biggest goal is getting that degree."


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