OSU wide receiver becomes YouTube celebrity

COLUMBUS – Dane Sanzenbacher has become very well-known throughout the Buckeyes’ nation for his talents and production as a wide receiver.

He’s now becoming known all over the world for his work as an actor.

Sanzenbacher probably won’t show up on the actual big screen anytime soon, but he’s definitely a YouTube celebrity.

The Toldedo Central Catholic product was assigned a project for his Marketing 750 class this quarter to do a public service mission.

After looking through several options, Sanzenbacher settled on organ donation in Ohio and the quest for the cause’s awareness.

“It was kind of a group decision to do that cause because it’s something that’s getting more awareness now even outside of what we did,” Sanzenbacher said. “It didn’t have to be a video, but that’s just what we chose to do.”

The video is a shade less than three minutes long and it’s a spoof of the Nike, LeBron James’ commerical, which is currently airing nationally. As of Monday afternoon, the video had drawn more than 44K viewers.

There was plenty of work involved in the commercial, which is just 2 minutes, 14 seconds long, before the filming even began.

“Someone from Lifeline Ohio come in and talk to us and you kind of start feeling for the cause,” Sanzenbacher said. “The group really took it seriously and decided to go with it.”

Sanzenbacher plays a starring role, but there are cameo appearances by Cam Heyward, Ross Homan, DeVier Posey, Jim Tressel and an extended segment on a basketball court with OSU senior basketball player Jon Diebler.

Sanzenbacher, who is wearing the ‘Starbury’ gear from Steve and Barry’s during the basketball segment flicks the ball over his head for a bucket. Diebler, meanwhile, buried a three-point goal from the left wing and indicates he’ll be an organ donor since he made the shot.

“I actually made the shot on my first try,” Sanzenbacher smiled. “I got to know Jon when we were freshmen and now we live in the same apartment building.”

While both players made their shot on the first try, there were other issues involved.

“Either I was making noise in the background or he said the wrong words,” Sanzenbacher said. “It was cold out there and Jon was still making them all.”

Tressel has a few lines in the spot. He’s inside his office in the Woody Hayes Center and points to a picture of Woody on the wall and says, ‘He was a donor.’ And then holds up his own driver’s license and shows that he is as well.

Sanzenbacher even dons the Ohio State sweater vest after his head coach appears in the video.

“I can’t say how many more people are organ donors because of the video, but it’s definitely gotten enough exposure to bring some more people into the cause.”

According to Sanzenbacher, the project took more time to edit and he got the assistance of his brother, who was “a lot more knowledgeable” than Dane.

As for his career, Sanzenbacher expects to stick with football though he’s kicked around the idea of Hollywood.

“I’m packing my bags right now for L.A.,” Sanzenbacher joked.

If Sanzenbacher’s acting career doesn’t work out, he’ll probably be able to find a gig in football. The senior has caught 52 passes for 889 yards and 11 touchdowns. He’s developed into Terrelle Pryor’s most reliable target as the season’s gone along.

The Buckeyes completed their regular season Saturday with a 37-7 victory against Michigan. They’ll find out their bowl destination this weekend when the final BCS standings are released.

Staskey can be reached at sstaskey@timesleaderonline.com