Amos Doing Best To Seize Camp Shot

If two straight seasons cut drastically short by injuries have left Andre Amos frustrated, he has at least gained perspective. The senior has tried to keep an even keel during camp while moving between the first and second units, but there's no denying he's relishing his chance to prove his worth and grab a starting role

Talking to Andre Amos, one gets the sense that the Ohio State cornerback has been looking forward to the 2009 football camp for a while.

Two-a-days may seem tough, but not being able to play football is even tougher. That's a truth Amos learned the hard way after spending most of the last two seasons on the shelf because of injury.

So as the August sun beats down, the senior has no problems dealing with the exhaustion and work because he knows the alternative would be even worse.

Up to this point, his efforts have been worth it. Amos has stayed fully healthy and continues to be locked into a competition with Devon Torrence for a starting job opposite 2008 starter Chimdi Chekwa in the Buckeye secondary.

After two campaigns of just hoping to get another shot at playing for the Buckeyes, Amos has gotten it and made his case for playing time just as he hoped he would.

"Man, (this means) everything," said after the team's Saturday jersey scrimmage. "That's all I can say about that. This means everything. I played early and I've had two down seasons. Now it's time to get back on track."

One would have had a hard time believing Amos would be in this position after his first two years on campus. After taking a redshirt year in 2005, he worked on special teams and as a backup cornerback in '06, making nine tackles and grabbing his first career interception. Extensive playing time in 2007 after the graduation of senior Antonio Smith seemed possible.

Then came the series of injuries that have put him on the back burner for the past two years. He suffered a serious knee injury during the spring of 2007 that limited him early that year, and he finished the season playing only on special teams. Last season, he injured a pectoral muscle that kept him to a single game and off the stat sheet entirely.

He said he never doubted he'd be back having the chance to contribute for the Buckeyes, but the past two seasons did wear on him.

"The last few years, I haven't really had a lot of time to really be excited," he said. "It was either rehabbing or something like that. Now just to be able to go out there and play, it's a great feeling right now."

He continues to battle Torrence – who has looked improved after staying in Columbus all summer instead of playing baseball – every day. The two have switched into the first defensive unit on and off during fall camp, with Torrence getting the call in the initial two practice sessions the media saw before Amos started with the ones during the jersey scrimmage and at OSU's open Monday night practice.

Amos said he hasn't worried about how the depth chart has moved on a day-to-day basis even after he got the honor of the start in the jersey scrimmage.

"That's just how it went," Amos said. "The way I look at it now, whether it's with the ones or the twos, just me being healthy is the No. 1 thing right now. Right now it's me, (Torrence) and Chim. We'll see on Sept. 5."

When he's on the field, Amos has appeared to be rock solid for the most part, the only real issue coming in the scrimmage when Duron Carter beat him on a stop-and-go route only to see the pass fall beyond his reach.

Other than that, Amos has looked the part. He says his status as a veteran has helped him get an edge because of how well he knows the defense.

"I'm just the old guy around here," he said. "I try to play mistake-free and let the game come to me. I try to slow it down as much as possible."

"I've always known Dre to be a really competitive guy," safety Anderson Russell added. "He's showed that he's a great player. He can make plays for us, and I'm expecting that to continue for him."

Only one player will be able to get the start come Sept. 5 against Navy, but it wouldn't be a surprise if Torrence and Amos end up splitting reps on the field once the season commences in a similar fashion to the way Chekwa and Donald Washington did a year ago.

There's also the possibility of the team using three cornerbacks at a time as it did sparingly last year, as there were situations in which Malcolm Jenkins, Chekwa and Washington all were on the field when the Buckeyes faced the threat of the pass.

No matter how it works out for Amos, perspective is on his side. He appears to have not gotten too high or too low, allowing him to continue to hold a philosophical look as his final year of college football nears.

"We'll see what happens," he said.


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