Notebook: Who's The Fastest And More

Straight from the horse's mouth, find out who Butch Reynolds thinks is the fastest player on this year's team, why Chris Wells' jersey does not say "B. Wells" and where Jim Tressel might have voted Michigan on his weekly ballot.

Butch Reynolds knows a thing or two about being fast.

After setting the world record in the 400-meter dash in 1988, the three-time Olympian is in his third season as the speed coordinator for the Ohio State football team. His duties range from stretching players out to helping the team increase its overall speed.

Speed is something this season's team appears to have in spades, according to Reynolds.

"We've got faster guys this year, though," he said. "I thought we had a fast team last year. With our new freshman class and what we had from last year coming back in, we've got more speed around. That's a good thing."

Reynolds settled a question that surrounded two of OSU's receivers last season. Many debated who was faster, Ted Ginn Jr. or Anthony Gonzalez. As it turns out, it depends on what kind of race was being run.

According to Reynolds, Gonzalez was the fastest route-runner on the team while Ginn was the fastest straight runner.

This year, the Buckeyes welcomed in freshman Brandon Saine, the state's prep record-holder in the 100-meter dash. While Reynolds said Saine's speed is impressive, he pointed to a player who has rehabilitated a knee injury as being his equal.

"Anderson Russell, he's a beast back there," Reynolds said. "He's as fast as Brandon Saine in the 100 meters. I don't know who's the fastest anymore. Taurian Washington is fast. Then you have (Dan) Potokar. Then you have this freshman dude, Dane Sanzenbacher. This boy is fast. He's got good hips."

Reynolds will serve as an honorary captain for Saturday's game against Akron. A 1991 graduate of OSU, Reynolds was inducted into the school's athletics hall of fame in 1995.

Chris Or Beanie? He is listed on the team's depth chart as Chris Wells. The back of his jersey reads "C. Wells." However, he goes by the moniker "Beanie," given to him at a young age by a family member.

When he carries the ball in Ohio Stadium, the public address announcer refers to him as "Beanie Wells, the ballcarrier." Head coach Jim Tressel said he only calls Wells "Beanie," which begs the question: Why doesn't the back of his jersey read "B. Wells?"

"It's whatever Louis VanHoose wants, I guess," Tressel said. "I micromanage, but not quite that bad."

Did You Hear Michigan Lost? Seemingly every player on OSU's roster this week has been asked for his thoughts on archrival Michigan's upset at the hands of I-AA foe Appalachian State. Aside from Alex Boone's somewhat-incredulous sound byte immediately following the game, the Buckeyes appear to not care a whole lot about the Wolverines' loss.

At least, that's what they're telling the media.

"We talk about it a little bit, but it doesn't, them losing doesn't have an effect on our season," sophomore cornerback Donald Washington said. "They lost, and we can't let that have an impact on how we play."

While the Wolverines fell completely out of the top 25, the Buckeyes dropped despite their 38-6 victory over I-AA Youngstown State. That fact did not bother Tressel, who said he had moved California ahead of the Buckeyes on the strength of its 45-31 victory over then-No. 15 Tennessee.

OSU now sits at No. 11 in the USA Today poll and No. 12 in the AP poll. One week before, the Buckeyes were No. 10 in the USA Today poll and No. 11 in the AP's poll After spending a solid minute discussing his thoughts on where the Buckeyes stand in the rankings, Tressel was asked where he put the Wolverines on his ballot.

"I'm not allowed to talk about the poll," he said with a wink.

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