Hartline has High Expectations

Brian Hartline is one of several young players who will be expected to step up for Ohio State and make a big contribution. Hartline figures to grab one of the starting wide receiver jobs in 2007. Bill Greene caught up with the red-shirt freshman to get the latest.

Brian Hartline had a memorable year for Ohio State in 2006. Hartline was a special teams demon and performed well in limited action at wide receiver. Hartline is projected as one of the starting wideouts for 2007. How is he handling the pressure of being a starter?

"I don't feel any pressure at all," Hartline exclaimed. "The pressure was always trying to get on the field. I'm really liking this feeling of knowing I'll be out there. The pressure was last year to get playing time. That drove me. Now it's kind of like I feel that I'm just ready to play."

Hartline is excited about the 2007 edition of the Ohio State Buckeyes.

"Look we're Ohio State," he said. "That means the talent is excellent. We have guys ready to go. We should always be thinking BCS game, Big-10 championship and national championship. Next year the situation will be the opposite of this year when everyone was worried about the defense. Look how those guys stepped up. The offense will do the same next year. Chris Wells will be great at tailback. We have three starters back on the line and Brian Robiskie and I are ready to do our part. We'll have a new quarterback but he'll have experienced people around him to help him succeed. Plus, don't forget we have Jim Tressel, the best coach in the country."

Hartline went on to explain his relationship with Buckeye head coach Jim Tressel.

"Coach Tressel is a mastermind," Hartline said enthusiastically. "The man is just a great coach. We have a great relationship off the field. We talk almost every day. He is a phenomenal coach and there's nobody I'd rather play for. He took a little heat for the national championship loss but us players deserve a lot of the blame. We were the ones that played bad."

What about the loss to Florida in the championship game? Hartline was candid in his reply.

"I think we were complacent," he admitted. "We were out there so long that it seemed like we lost our edge. It's hard to say what went wrong. I know we were the best team in the country all year long and we sure didn't show it that night. I wish I knew what went wrong, and I'm sure our coaches are looking to make sure it never happens again."

Hartline has been working hard in the off -season conditioning program. He hopes to be stronger next season.

"I'm working on putting on more muscle," Hartline said. "My weight is at 187 pounds right now. I'd like to play at around 195 next year. I did alright on special teams and I thought I blocked pretty well but I think we'll be more of a run oriented team next year and I'll need to be a better blocker.

"We'll have a new quarterback and a star running back in Beanie, so I'll be getting more opportunities to block downfield. The coaches told me I'd be in Teddy Ginn's spot and I like that challenge. When we go to 3 and 4 wides I might see some time in the slot, but for the mist part I'll be on the outside. I'll be ready to handle it. I just can't wait for spring practice to get here. I'm ready to get the pads back on again."

Buckeye Sports Top Stories