No Ringers On This Team

Can Steve Rehring lace up his skates and play hockey? Would James Laurinaitis ever wear a Cleveland Indians jersey? Why isn't Javon Ringer wearing scarlet and gray? The answers to these questions might surprise you, and they are all covered in our latest notebook.

As the Buckeyes take the field this weekend against Michigan State, there is at least a fair chance their fans might finish the game wishing Spartan tailback Javon Ringer was suiting up in scarlet and gray.

Leading up to the game, the former four-star prospect out of Dayton Chaminade-Julienne said in reports that grades were an issue when it came to gaining acceptance into the OSU program.

However, this week OSU safeties coach Paul Haynes shed more light on the situation. Haynes is in his third year at OSU and was a defensive backs coach at MSU as the Spartans were recruiting Ringer.

The Buckeyes never extended Ringer an offer, allowing the Spartans to snatch him up. For that, Haynes said MSU fans can likely thank an injury-plagued senior season.

"The thing about guys like that – and you hate to say it – but with guys like that, if he didn't get hurt we probably wouldn't have had a chance at him," Haynes said. "We felt like at the time at Michigan State we probably wouldn't have had a chance at him if he wouldn't have gotten hurt like he did in high school."

As a senior, Ringer missed seven games with a knee injury. This season, he has carried the ball 132 times for 932 yards and 10 touchdowns – an average of 7.1 yards per carry. He also has 23 catches for 216 yards.

As a freshman, Ringer rushed for 817 yards on 122 carries – an average of 6.7 yards per carry – and five touchdowns. He was hampered his sophomore year byinjuries, but he was worth the risk MSU took on him, Haynes said.

"We were very happy when we got him," Haynes said. "It was a surprise that we got him, first of all, because you would think he would want to be a Buckeye. He is very explosive, he is tough. He's a tough, tough kid and hitting him at the knee or the ankle is not going to keep him out."

An Impressive Second Half During OSU's 48-3 thrashing of Kent State last weekend, the Buckeyes' second-string offense got an entire half to show their wares.

Apparently, USA Today was paying attention. With OSU's ascension to the top of the BCS polls on Sunday, the newspaper's Monday edition featured a photo of an OSU quarterback at the top of the front page.

The picture, however, was not junior Todd Boeckman, the team's starter. Instead, it was sophomore backup Robby Schoenhoft seen cocking his arm before throwing a pass.

When asked about it, Boeckman was nonplussed.

"That's no big deal to me," he said. "They could put you guys on the front page and it wouldn't bother me at all. That's kind of funny. I guess they gave Robby a little press, so that's good for him.

"Hey, he went 7 for 9 in the second half."

For the record, Schoenhoft was in fact 7 of 9 for 79 yards with a two-yard rushing touchdown while Boeckman was 13 of 16 for 184 yards and 1 touchdown.

Larimore Not A Solid Backstopper The Buckeyes have dropped a number of interceptions this season, but one of the most notable came in the waning seconds of the team's 23-7 road victory over Purdue.

With the Boilermakers driving and the OSU defense struggling to preserve its first shutout of the season, one pass was tipped straight up in the air at the line of scrimmage. There, camped out beneath the ball, was redshirt freshman defensive tackle Dexter Larimore.

Tressel said he looked like a baseball catcher waiting for a pop-up to come down. Unfortunately for him, though, he did not come down with the ball and the Boilermakers were able to punch the ball across the goal line a few plays later.

Nearly two weeks later, Larimore said that missed interception was still haunting him.

"I think it was a great motivating tool for me because I've got to work on everything," he said. "As a defensive lineman, I'm supposed to make that play. It was hard for me after the game. I lost a little bit of sleep knowing that I could've had an interception."

Steve Rehring, Icer? There it is, in black and white, in the team's media guide under the entry for junior offensive guard Steve Rehring.

"If he didn't play football, he would like to play college hockey," it says.

But before you start imagining the 6-8, 329-pound Rehring lacing up his skates and hitting the ice for John Markell's hockey team, it turns out he has no idea how that tidbit got into the media guide. In fact, Rehring said he has only skated "once or twice" in his entire life.

"I think I said way back in the day that I like watching hockey," he said. "That's my other sport to watch on TV. I like playoff hockey so I guess I said I'd like to play hockey. I don't know how that came out, but I think it's funny."

A native Ohioan, Rehring said he grew up rooting for the Chicago Blackhawks but has since gotten on the bandwagon of a slightly closer team – the Detroit Red Wings.

While junior linebacker James Laurinaitis was a hockey player in high school, Rehring said the two do not discuss the sport.

His experience is a bit lagging when compared to Laurinaitis, as well.

"We played knee hockey a couple of times down in the basement when I was a kid," Rehring said.

Tressel Vs. Laurinaitis Following his typical Thursday press conference, OSU head coach Jim Tressel headed down the long main hallway of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center showing his pride.

Emblazoned on the back of his Cleveland Indians jersey was the No. 1 below his last name. As he headed down the hallway, he passed Laurinaitis, a native of Minnesota.

"I don't see any Twins jerseys," Tressel said to his linebacker, referring to Minnesota's baseball team. "Oh, that's right – they're not playing any more."

The Indians had game five of the American League Championship Series that evening, and Laurinaitis said he was well aware that his Twins had not advanced to baseball's postseason.

"I'll take that blow and I'll walk it off," Laurinaitis said. "I told him just because we were in the playoffs the last three years and won the division the last three years, we'll give someone else a chance.

"You'll never catch me dead in a Cleveland Indians shirt or anything."

Ever the quick-thinker, Tressel had a comeback for Laurinaitis.

"He gave me, ‘Well, you know we don't care about last year,' and I'm like, ‘I know,' " Laurinaitis said with a laugh.


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