Talkin' Tressel: USC Edition

With this weekend's showdown against visiting USC looming, Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel gave the latest on his team in the final press conference of the week. In this update, find out what he had to say about the recruiting weekend at hand, the health of the team and the status of Mike Adams.

Plenty of the region's top prep talent will be on hand Saturday night to see No. 8 Ohio State host No. 3 USC.

At his final press conference before the game (8 p.m. ESPN), OSU head coach Jim Tressel said he is expecting seven or eight players to make official visits to campus for the weekend and an unknown, vast number of others making unofficial trips.

"We have a bunch of guys coming," Tressel said.

When the Buckeyes traveled to Penn State two years ago for a nationally televised night contest, the Nittany Lions opted to not host recruits on official visits so the coaches could better focus their attention on the game. With OSU not yet in session, Tressel said that was not a concern for the Buckeyes.

"Probably the majority of our recruiting will be done on Sunday," Tressel said. "The good thing about coming in for a Saturday night game is if you're coming in from a distance you can make it in time for the game and not be harried and caught in traffic.

"It's really better in September for us because in September our kids have off Sunday so we don't have meetings and practice and film watching with the kids. It will crunch (the coaches') schedules because we're going to have to find those hours to take away to do the recruiting, but it's a good time for us."

Two players who have confirmed that they will be taking official visits are West Chester (Ohio) Lakota West linebacker Jordan Hicks and Whitefish Bay, Wis., punter Will Hagerup.

When that assembled lot arrives, it will get a first-hand look at what appears to be a pretty healthy OSU team. Tressel said wide receivers DeVier Posey and Ray Small are back in action and will play this weekend. Small missed the season opener against Navy with what his father said was an illness while Posey suffered an undisclosed injury during the game and played sparingly.

Small will be on the field when the Buckeyes to go four receivers, Tressel said, and he will be back for punt returns as well. Junior wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher handled those responsibilities in Small's absence, and Tressel said the two could share time there this week.

In addition, redshirt freshmen defensive backs Travis Howard and Orhian Johnson are back in action after missing the first game with ankle injuries. Junior defensive lineman Dexter Larimore will be in action as well after suffering an injury against Navy and missing some practice time this week.

Senior safety Aaron Gant underwent arthroscopic surgery, Tressel said, and appears to be out indefinitely.

The bigger question is when sophomore offensive lineman Mike Adams will be back in action. The former five-star recruit was demoted to the scout team during fall camp and did not dress for the Navy game.

Tressel said Adams will again be a factor at left tackle "as soon as he shows that he deserves to be." Asked for a timetable when Adams will be in uniform again for the Buckeyes, Tressel said, "Day by day."

He will not dress this week.

The Buckeyes have not yet named an offensive captain for the week, but the honorary captain for the game will be Jack Tatum.

Tressel said that although the game against the Trojans is a big one, it remains just one part of the body of work the Buckeyes will put forth this season – good or bad.

"You're only as good as your last … game," Tressel said. "Now, will the body of your work for the season be affected? …yeah, but the world won't all of a sudden become perfect or impossible."


Buckeye Sports Top Stories