Jard Work: It's Michigan Week

What sort of impact will Saturday's game against Michigan have on the recruiting efforts for Ohio State? What one superpower would Dane Sanzenbacher most like to possess? Why was Jim Cordle waving a wand while dressed like a fairy? The answers to these burning questions and more lie in the final regular-season edition of "Jard Work."

For as long as the rivalry has endured, Ohio State and Michigan have found themselves going after the same prep football players.

But with the Buckeyes holding the recent advantage in the series, having emerged victorious in seven of the last eight meetings between the teams, it would seem they would hold a recruiting advantage when going head-to-head with the Wolverines for a player.

Not so, each head coach said.

"I don't think it makes that much of an impact," Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez said. "When you recruit against someone, you want to be able to sell success and those things but more than anything you're selling your university and all the things that the school is about and their role and their role in the system and how they fit. With some recruits I think it makes a difference, but I think the majority of them are picking the institution for different reasons like the relationship with the staff and those things."

It was a point OSU head coach Jim Tressel agreed upon, adding that winning does not hurt the cause.

"I'm not sure that wins and losses have as high an impact with kids as much as the comfort levels and sometimes proximity, sometimes the opportunity to play according to how many of this position or that position you have at a young age," he said. "It's one of the things that you certainly would rather be victorious in your games than not."

To that end, Rodriguez said he has not had recruits or coaches tell him they would not consider the Wolverines simply because they have not won enough in recent years.

"What we're telling our guys now in recruiting is we're in a process and we're going to be there and they can help us get there," he said. "That opportunity is maybe helping us in recruiting because a lot of young men are looking at, ‘I have an opportunity to go to a great place and help them get to where they want to win championships.' We've been fortunate to do it in the past and we're in a process right now.

"I think if they're around our players and around our staff and around our program, they can see what's happening."

For what it's worth, Michigan's 19-member 2010 recruiting class sits 19th in the nation and OSU's 13-member class is ranked 21st-best.

Super Sanzenbacher
In the team's online-only 2009 media guide, a number of players were asked what superpower they would most like to possess. The ability to fly was frequently mentioned, as were the abilities to either read minds or be invisible.

Junior wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher got a little more creative with his response: incredible accuracy.

As it turns out, he put a lot of thought into his answer.

"Flying is, I guess, cool. Whatever," he said. "I think if you would be able to throw anything you want and hit exactly where you want to hit it, you could do anything. Obviously you could do whatever you wanted in sports so money would never be an issue. Even if you were lying on the couch and wanted to change the channel, you could throw a peanut at the button and get it changed.

"I think it would be pretty awesome."

Think Fast
On the Big Ten weekly coaches teleconference, Tressel asked who he would consider for the Chicago Tribune's Silver Football award. The coach said he had not thought about it one bit and had no answer, so the follow-up question asked him if he could think on his toes and come up with a name or two.

"I'm not sure I've ever been accused of thinking on my toes, so probably not," he said.

Script Ohio - Unseen
One of the lesser-known traditions for Michigan week involves the OSU marching band. Following the team's Sunday meal as the week is getting started, the band comes to the Woody Hayes Athletic Center and plays for the football team.

The football team then joins the band for a rendition of Script Ohio in which each player pairs up with a band member and marches alongside them carrying their instrument. While a few players talked about how hard it was not to collide with each other, senior linebacker Austin Spitler focused on a different part of the process.

"The most difficult part for me was how heavy those darn things were," he said. "They didn't fit on my shoulders, there was like this little strap thing and it didn't sit on them, so they kept falling off. More power to those little guys carrying those things. I don't know how they do it."

Freshman defensive back Corey Brown was nominated by his teammates to dot the ‘i.'

"When he ran out there he ran past it and then had to run back up to the top because he didn't realize where he was in the word," said Sanzenbacher, who carried a trumpet and ended up in the lower portion of the ‘h.' It was pretty funny."

Pass The Turkey…And The Football
This year's OSU-Michigan game will be the last one played before Thanksgiving in the near future, as the Big Ten had adjusted its conference schedule starting next season.

Tressel has long been a proponent of having his team's schedule end before the holiday so he can send his players home to be with family, but he will obviously accept whatever the conference decides.

"Kids work out all year round," he said. "They train and play tough schedules. To have a chance to be with your family over Thanksgiving I've always felt was a real positive thing for our kids.

"The decision was made to make it back. I'm not sure I was a proponent of that, but when they schedule the games you go play them. I'm sure it will be fine. Whatever day it happens to be on, that's a special day."

Rodriguez has found a silver lining in the situation, however.

"Now we have an opportunity to have an open date somewhere during the season," he said. "Our game with the Buckeyes is always going to be the last one and the biggest one. I do think having an open date is going to be beneficial to us and to the rest of the teams as well."

The Best Class Ever
In his biography in the media guide, senior offensive lineman Jim Cordle listed as class he surprisingly liked as theatre. The course consisted of reading plays and attending a few performances, but it was the final project that brought out Cordle's inner acting abilities.

His words speak for themselves.

"We had to do a play at the end," he said. "My group was Keith Wells, Travis Howard and Orhian Johnson. We did a parody on reality TV, so Travis was New York from ‘I Love New York' so he was a woman, and he was a really good woman. He pulled it off. Keith was the midget from I think it was ‘I Love New York.' So he got on his knees. There's a midget that has dreads, so he was Midget Mac. I don't know what he's from but that's his name. Orhian was Flavor Flav. Picture that. It works, right? He was hilarious.

"We pulled it off like you couldn't imagine. I was the magic fairy that posed the scenes and everything and talked about how at the end that people waste their lives or whatever watching reality TV. I was this fairy. I had a like a 3-year-old fairy costume that went down to here and I skipped around and I had a magic wand."

Yes, Cordle received an A. No, there is no video of the play.

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