Buckeye bound

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 7, 2001

The Ohio State Buckeyes coaching staff can breathe a sigh of relief.

Wednesday, February 07, 2001

The Ohio State Buckeyes coaching staff can breathe a sigh of relief. Redgie Arden has joined the team.

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Arden, who committed to the Buckeyes in November of his junior year, made it official at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday as he signed a national letter-of-intent to play for Ohio State.

"I’m glad to have this part over," said Arden. "I’ve been talking about going to Ohio State for a long time and now it’s a done deal."

Wednesday is the first day for high school seniors to sign national letters-of-intent. Arden said the he really didn’t feel any extra excitement since he had committed so early.

"This wasn’t that big of a deal. This is just another step toward getting to Ohio State. I’m looking forward to going to Ohio State," Arden said.

The 6-foot-6, 240-pound senior linebacker led Ironton in tackles last season and was named the Associated Press Division IV co-Defensive Player of the Year along with another Ohio State recruit, Sandusky Perkins’ Brandon Schnittker.

Arden was a first team All-Southeast District selection the past two seasons and was the district defensive Player of the Year this past season.

One prominent college scouting service lists Arden as the ninth best player in the Midwest region.

Arden also played tight end for Ironton and was an outstanding blocker in the ground-oriented attack. He caught 12 passes for 229 yards and three touchdowns, all second on the team.

He had three interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown.

Ironton was 10-2 this past season and reached the regional finals before losing 10-7 to Licking Valley on a last-second field goal.

The Fighting Tigers were state runners-up Arden’s junior year, but he was injured the ninth week of the season and did not play the rest of the season as he missed the entire playoff run including the 16-14 state championship loss to Sandusky Perkins.

"This was a goal of mine from the junior high. I stayed back back and that gave me another year to get ready," Arden said. "Staying back helped. When I got injured it made a big difference. It gave me anther year to work out."

Ironton coach Bob Lutz said Arden is no stranger to hard work.

"Redgie is as hard of a worker as we’ve ever had," Lutz said. "He’s big, strong, and aggressive and gives you 100 percent all the time whether it’s in practice or the game. He’ll be a good one for Ohio State."

Arden was a four-year starter for Ironton, a rare accomplishment at Ironton during Lutz’s 29-year tenure

Arden is the son of Redgie and Sally Arden of Ironton.