Beanie's Got Next

Ohio State freshman Chris Wells had an impressive season as the primary backup running back to Antonio Pittman. With Pittman headed to the NFL it appears Wells will get the opportunity to be the feature back for the Buckeyes in 2007. Wells attended Pittman's press conference Monday at Akron Buchtel high school and talked about his first season in Columbus.

By all accounts Ohio State freshman Chris Wells has shown that he is ready to assume the role of the primary ball carrier for Jim Tressel and the Buckeyes. With Antonio Pittman headed to the NFL, Wells will surely get that opportunity in 2007. Wells spoke about his first year at Ohio State and about the effect Pittman had on his career after the Monday press conference.

"Antonio Pittman has been like a big brother to me, " Wells explained. "He encouraged me to come to Ohio State during my junior year of high school. He helped me through some tough times this year. I'm happy to see him get a shot in the NFL, but at the same time I'm going to miss him."

Wells, who gained 575 yards and scored 7 touchdowns for the Buckeyes in 2006, is still suffering from the 41-14 loss to Florida in the BCS championship game. He steadfastly refused to blame the Buckeye coaches or his teammates for failing to be prepared for the Gators.

"I really don't know what happened to tell you the truth," he said. "Let's just say the better team won the game. They played really well and they kind of overwhelmed us early in the game. We hadn't really been behind much all season and we didn't handle it well at all. I'll never blame our coaches for what we didn't do on the field. I thought we had a good game plan going into the game. For whatever reason we just didn't execute the way we should have. We worked really hard right up to the game. I guess it didn't show but we worked hard. I'm really not sure what went wrong and my job is to work hard in the off season and make sure that never happens again."

Wells is already looking forward to the 2007 season. He is excited about an attempt to return to the championship game.

"I'm ready to get out there and play today," he emphasized. " We're going to be good again next year. Hopefully we can win all our games and get back and finish it right this time. We bring back most of our defense and I think we'll be a strong team once again."

The highlight of the season for Wells was his 52 yard touchdown run against Michigan in the Buckeyes 42-39 victory. For some Ohio State fans that scoring run was a preview look at the future of the Buckeye offense without Troy Smith. Wells is expected to shoulder the load next year as the Buckeyes break in a new quarterback.

"Winning that game was the highlight of the year for me, "Wells exclaimed. "My touchdown run was the icing on the cake. They haven't said anything to me about my role for next year. I'm going to work on my speed and my conditioning and prove to them that I can be their every down back. At Ohio State there will always be great competition. I'll need to prove myself every year and hopefully I can have a day for me like Antonio has today."

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