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The Big Ten spotlight never quite finds the Buckeyes these days.
Some players leave before it reaches them: As juniors, offensive
tackle Korey Stringer and linebackers Craig Powell and Lorenzo
Styles were selected in the top 77 picks of April's NFL draft.
Some get upstaged: In '94 quarterback Bobby Hoying played third
fiddle to the Collinses--Penn State's Kerry and Michigan's
Todd--while tailback Eddie George was eclipsed by Heisman Trophy
runner-up Ki-Jana Carter. And then there is the Rose Bowl
blackout: It has been 10 seasons since Ohio State appeared in
the New Year's Day showcase.

Because of the early NFL defections, relative obscurity will
most likely be the Buckeyes' lot again this year. Orlando Pace,
the conference's Freshman of the Year, will help fill the void
at tackle, but, says coach John Cooper, "Styles and Powell
leaving early caught me pretty much off guard." Junior Ryan
Miller steps in for Powell, while junior Greg Bellisari shifts
from outside to the middle, Styles's old stamping ground.

The defense will be solid, anchored by junior defensive ends
Mike Vrabel (a school-record 12 sacks last season) and Matt
Finkes (11). Sophomore cornerback Shawn Springs, the son of
ex-Buckeye running back Ron, refuses to be overlooked; his
nickname is the Politician, because he has never met a
microphone he couldn't monopolize. "I'm Prime Time II, coming to
a field near you," he says. "I get a kick out of seeing myself
in magazines and things like that." Springs may well be the
Buckeyes' first All-America defensive back since Ray Griffin in

Hoying threw for 2,335 yards in '94, the second-highest total in
OSU history, and tied the school record with 19 TD throws.
George rushed for 1,442 yards.

The receiving corps of juniors Terry Glenn and Buster Tillman
and freshman Dee Miller should ease the pain of losing two-year
starters Joey Galloway and Chris Sanders. Glenn grew up in
Columbus, and he grew up the hard way. When he was 13, his
mother was murdered and he was taken in by a friend's parents.
After playing at Brookhaven High, he failed to score the
scholarship requirement of 700 on his SATs and walked on three
miles away at Ohio State. He proved himself worthy of a
scholarship in the spring of '92 but has almost lost it since
then because of academic shortcomings. "I've used up a lot of
lives," he says. "I think I'm like a cat. I've got about nine,
I'm about on number eight."

Tillman (33 receptions, 455 yards) excels at shaking tackles
after the catch. "I like to make something happen," he says, "as
opposed to a lot of receivers who like to run a post or

The Buckeyes will need all their weapons for their toughest
preconference schedule in years: Boston College in the Kickoff
Classic, followed by games against Washington, Pitt and Notre
Dame. Put it all together and it spells a third-place finish in
the Big Ten, and yet another solid--if not spectacular--season for
Ohio State.

--Hank Hersch

COLOR PHOTO: JOHN BIEVER Hoying (14) is a Buckeye stalwart but has yet to grab the Big Ten limelight. [Bobby Hoying in game]


Head coach: John Cooper
Career college record: 136-66-6
Eighth year at Ohio State (54-26-4)

1994 RECORD: 9-4
Big Ten record: 6-2 (second)

W Fresno State 34-10 (Pigskin Classic)
L at Washington 25-16
W Pittsburgh 27-3
W Houston 52-0
W at Northwestern 17-15
L Illinois 24-10
W at Michigan State 23-7
W Purdue 48-14
L at Penn State 63-14
W Wisconsin 24-3
W at Indiana 32-17
W Michigan 22-6
L Alabama 24-17 (Citrus Bowl)

Final '94 ranking: 14 AP, 9 USA Today/CNN

Lettermen lost: 16
Lettermen returning: 33
Returning starters, offense: 8
Returning starters, defense: 6

Sept. 30 Notre Dame
Oct. 7 at Penn State
Nov. 25 at Michigan