Rose Pushing To Make Rotation In First Year

Freshman defensive end Robert Rose told reporters at Thursday's media day that he came in early over the summer to increase his chances of cracking the rotation for Ohio State this season. Rose has already drawn strong reviews from teammates and coaches for his play. Click here for more.

Robert Rose has been through this before.

The 6-5, 260-pound freshman defensive end from Cleveland Glenville might be a rookie when it comes to Ohio State, but he's far from new to seeing the transition from high school star to college fish-out-of-water take place.

Rose joins six other former Glenville standouts on the 2006 Ohio State football roster, giving him a good idea of what to expect when Media Day took place this past Thursday. Despite that, Rose is taken back by the reality of his childhood dream coming true as practice begins.

"It does help (that my high school teammates are here) but this is still a new experience for me so I'm just going with the flow right now," he told on Thursday afternoon. "Me and the rest of the freshmen are just doing what the older guys do and following their lead."

Like many of his former high school teammates, Rose has made the most of the summer months spent in Columbus preparing for his upcoming college debut. He has put on no fewer than 20-25 pounds from work in the weight room.

He may have known what was coming when it comes to conditioning, weight training and two-a-days, but that hasn't taken away from the experience Rose is facing.

"Like everything in life," he says, "you should never listen to what somebody tells you – you should find out for yourself and use your own information."

It would be easy for Rose, a talented disruptor on the defensive side of the football that accounted for 17 sacks this past season as a senior, to come in with lofty expectations for himself and his team.

It would be equally easy for the U.S. Army High School All-American to have a slightly inflated ego and plan to dominate.

But Rose is not one of those kids. Sure enough, on Saturday's first day of full pads, Rose was taking instruction from veteran defensive line coach Jim Heacock on proper technique.

In fact, he's taking a page from players like Lawrence Wilson, Doug Worthington, Jay Richardson and Vernon Gholston who have already been through the acclimation process.

"I'm just watching these guys and learning plays and everything," Rose explains. "Everybody is in my ear from Doug, to Jay to Lawrence – they're all in my ear. "They just want me to be as good as they are," he added.

For Rose to be as good as his predecessors, the largest criticism involved bulking up and getting stronger.

Done and done.

"I got here early in the summer and I've been lifting ever since," Rose laughed at the comment that his arms were already giving witness to his time spent in a weight room.

If Rose would like to be as good as the ends in front of him on the depth chart, he's not indicating he expects that to happen quite so soon.

His idea of playing time appears to be quite grounded as he continues to learn from his teammates and gets adjusted to the college life.

"I just want to contribute the team (this year)," Rose said. "It doesn't matter what situation or how much I play, I just want to contribute to the team."

According to Rose, he has no idea whether or not he has a chance to crack the rotation for this season. But he's treating any playing time as a bonus.

In the meantime, the playmaking end is just biding his time, trying to improve and hoping that he will eventually become the next Glenville product to succeed in Columbus.

"It's bigger than me – it's bigger than any other player on the team," Rose said of what he's learned since getting to Ohio State. "It's a tradition."

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