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Stoneburner responding following talk

November 2, 2012
By SETH STASKEY - Buckeye Blitz ( , Times Leader

One of the things that's been the most impressive about Urban Meyer since his hiring as the head football coach at Ohio State University has been the level of directness with which he speaks to and about his players with.

He had to have one of those grown-man talks with senior wide receiver Jake Stoneburner a few weeks back.

And has been the case for most of the players when Meyer has had one of his chats, Stoneburner has responded.

The former Dubin Coffman standout has played - by his own admission - two of his best games in an Ohio State uniform the last two weeks.

The bittersweet part is that it took Stoneburner nine games before he finally got into a groove.

So what took so long? Meyer believes that he was getting some bad advice and needed to be dialed back into the way of thinking inside the Woody Hayes Center.

"There's nothing worse than false confidence," Meyer said. "Maybe people telling you that you're better than you are, and deep down, Jake Stoneburner is a very, very smart guy. There are sometimes when I first got here that Jake Stoneburner was the greatest thing in the world and he wasn't."

For the season now, Stoneburner has caught 14 passes for 236 yards and four touchdowns.

"I just told Jake that at some point, he has to play better," Meyer said. "The cool thing is he said I agree 100 percent, coach and you got it. He's been great."

Stoneburner shifted to wide receiver from tight end this season and has actually started playing some fullback since Zach Boren made the move to the defensive side of the football due to necessity.

With his new role, there's being more asked of Stoneburner than just catching the ball down the seam. He's being asked to block and play a more physical style, which he's actually accustomed to and fond of.

"You can watch the video, he's going after people," Meyer said. "He's much more physical. Our goal is also if he's blessed enough to help him have a career playing football, and I think there is a potential now that that might happen."


"We've had our seventh different lineup on punt right now," Meyer said.

* ILLINOIS' roster features 16 players from the state of Ohio and of those 11 have seen regular time this season in the Illini's rotation.

* TICKETS WERE still available for this week's game through much of the week through the university.

* AFTER NEXT week's bye week, the Buckeyes hit the road for Madison to meet Wisconsin before coming home to meet arch-rival Michigan in 'The Game.'



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