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Freshmen to be tested early in the Horseshoe

September 3, 2013
By SETH STASKEY - Buckeye Blitz , Times Leader

Whether it's a coach, player or even a fan, the first time inside Ohio Stadium can be a jaw-dropping experience.

Even Urban Meyer had to get a hold of his emotions last year a few times during the Buckeyes' opening game against Miami of Ohio. He found himself just soaking it all in at times and this from a guy who'd been on the coaching staff at Ohio State early in his coaching career.

He's actually spent time preparing his highly touted group of freshmen, many of whom are going to see the field on Saturday against Buffalo, about the atmosphere and environment and not getting caught up in the moment.

Many of the in-state Buckeyes had been to games whether it was a fan growing up or on a recruiting visit. However, Dontre Wilson - the much ballyhooed recruit from Texas - has never been to a game at OSU. He was a late addition to the recruiting class after he had originally committed to Oregon, but re-opened his recruiting after Chip Kelly accepted the coaching position with the Eagles.

Another player, who is expected to see the field in situations, is Ezekiel Elliott. He's been a spectator at OSU during the recruiting process, but neither signee was on campus for spring ball.

"The kids that came early, at least they had a chance to play in front of a big crowd for the spring game (which was held in Cincinnati)," Meyer said. "I don't, but I think coaches have a tendency to devalue what happens when you jog out of that tunnel, especially at a place like Ohio Stadium. There will be a lot of deep breaths being taken and you just can't create that animal until you get the opportunity."

Wilson is expected to return kicks, which means he's liable to have the ball in his hands on the first play of his Buckeyes' career.

"I want to see how Dontre's going to handle it, but the thing I like about him is he doesn't seem fazed," Meyer said.

Other frosh who Meyer has spoken highly of and expects to see some action are Von Bell, Joey Bossa, punter Cameron Johnston, Jalin Marshall, James Clark, Eli Apple, Cam Burrows, Gaeron Conley and Mike Mitchell.

These guys are going to become household names over the course of the next three years.


It took many by surprise, but on Tuesday evening, the Ohio State head coach created a Twitter account. Meyer can be found on Twitter at @OSUCoachMeyer. In less than 24 hours, Meyer surpassed the 30,000 follower barrier. In case you were wondering, Meyer only follows 90 people on the website.


Will be broadcast on ESPN-2 and for the second straight season the season opener will be called by Bellaire High School and Ohio State graduate Joey Galloway. He'll provide the color analysis, while Beth Mowins will handle the play-by-play.

If you're unable to get to a television, the Buckeyes' radio broadcast can once again be heard on 106.3 FM or AM 1370 locally. Paul Keels and Jim Lachey will call the action all season.


Ohio University opens its 2013 campaign Sunday at Louisville. Making the trip for the Bobcats will be walk-on freshman Jerrid Marhefka. The former St. Clairsville Red Devil has been impressive during the summer and earned a spot on the travel roster for this season.

According to Marhefka, he still believes he'll redshirt this season and have four years of eligibility remaining, but could be thrust into duty should the Bobcats experience a rash of injuries. He's made steady progress up the depth chart.

Out of high school, Marhefka had nary a Division I scholarship offer and passed on a chance to play at the Division II level to accept the preferred walk-on role.

The Bobcats make their home debut next week against North Texas.



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