Sunday, April 27, 2003

Lesser-known Buckeyes star
in spring game

Tressel mum on position decisions

By Shannon Russell
The Cincinnati Enquirer

COLUMBUS - Ohio State wide receiver Santonio Holmes had waited a long time for Saturday's Scarlet and Gray game at Ohio Stadium.

Redshirted throughout the Buckeyes' national championship run, and heralded by coaches during the spring season, Holmes had a chance to show the public what Ohio State would be like when Chris Gamble takes a breather.

Holmes was just one of the players making a name for himself as the Scarlet defeated the Gray 37-29 in an action-packed scrimmage before 57,200 fans. Holmes' highlights were a 79-yard punt return for a touchdown and a 23-yard touchdown pass from Gray quarterback Troy Smith.

Flanker Bam Childress, who played only 56 minutes last season, was equally impressive for the Scarlet. He returned a kickoff 94 yards and caught two touchdown passes from Justin Zwick.

And then there was Gamble, whom coach Jim Tressel had expected to stay on the sideline.

"Guys were behind so I think (coaches) broke the rules. Chris Gamble wasn't supposed to play in the second half, but I was up in the TV booth and I saw him catch a touchdown pass," Tressel said.

The biggest plays of the day came off turnovers and special teams play, Tressel said. Mike D'Andrea, a sophomore linebacker aspiring to fill the shoes of Cie Grant or Matt Wilhelm, intercepted a Scott McMullen first-quarter pass and returned it 14 yards. D'Andrea also had seven tackles, including a McMullen sack for seven yards.

"I'd say I'm about 65 to 70 percent comfortable with (how I played)," D'Andrea said. "I still have a lot more work to do. I'm not going to be satisfied until I go through a game without making a mistake or missing a tackle."

The Scarlet's A.J. Hawk, another linebacker contender, led both teams defensively with 13 solo tackles, an assisted tackle and a sack.

Tressel said no major position decisions were immediately made.

"The best thing was that there were no serious injuries," Tressel said. "When that occurs, you know we've had a successful spring game."




RUSHING-Scarlet, Ross 4-5, Schnittker 1-3, Zwick 3-3, Parker 2-1, Otis 2-(minus 4). Gray, Smith 12-21, Hollins 1-11, Hall 6-6, Team 2-(minus 2), McMullen 3-(minus 8).

PASSING-Scarlet, Zwick 17-29-0-217, Krenzel 3-7-1-30, Otis 1-3-1-22. Gray Smith 18-36-1-215, McMullen 8-12-1-82, Trombitas 1-1-0-4.

RECEIVING-Scarlet, Hamby 6-77, Chattams 5-39, Childress 4-109, Hall 2-16, Jenkins 1-21, Caldwell 1-4, Ross 1-3, Parker 1-0. Gray, Carter 6-85, Hartsock 5-36, Holmes 4-65, Gamble 3-42, Hollins 2-29, White 2-24, Hall 2-(minus 3), Allen 1-21, Bishop 1-7, Staubs 1-(minus 5).

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