Arrested player doesn’t hurt OSU recruiting class

Published 3:24 am Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Associated Press

COLUMBUS — Even though one recruit spent Tuesday night in jail and his future is in question, Ohio State coach Jim Tressel was pleased with the 23 players who signed letters of intent Wednesday to be Buckeyes.

“The versatility, the balance, the attitude — I like everything about it,” Tressel said. “It’s a good sized group and we think they’re going to be a good one.”

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Offensive line recruit Chris Carter was arrested Tuesday on a sexual imposition allegation after a complaint that he fondled a girl at their Cleveland high school while pretending to measure her for an ROTC uniform. Police are investigating whether he might have fondled as many as eight girls.

Carter was not listed as a signee and his future at Ohio State is in limbo.

Tressel began his remarks by saying the Buckeyes had signed 23 players “so far.”

Asked to elaborate on Carter’s status, he said, “I think everyone is aware that we had something pop up yesterday that we didn’t know much about and we can’t talk about it. The only thing we’re allowed to talk about today is the kids who have signed letters with us. We don’t know what the situation is. It could be larger, it might not.”

The headliner of the class is acclaimed quarterback Braxton Miller out of Wayne High School, near Dayton, Ohio.

Starter Terrelle Pryor is scheduled to sit out the first five games as part of an NCAA suspension for selling rings and awards and receiving discounted tattoos. As a result, Miller might get a chance to have an immediate impact.

Backup Joe Bauserman returns, along with A.J. Guiton and Taylor Graham.

Miller, however, is seen as a good decision-maker in addition to his physical tools.

“A very dynamic player, very strong arm, great feet, has very quick hands for the quarterback position,” said Ohio State quarterbacks coach Nick Siciliano.

“The most important thing we liked about Braxton was his leadership abilities. He’s very calm and reserved as he’s playing. He doesn’t show a lot of emotion, good or bad, he’s just out there trying to get the job done.”

Miller began classes at Ohio State early in January.

“The first week was hard to adjust to. But now I’m cool,” he said. He will be able to participate in all spring drills.

Asked his goal for his freshman season, he said, “Develop as a passer.”

Tressel said he thought any of the quarterbacks might step to the forefront during workouts.

“The evolution is seeing who steps to the front,” he said. “There’s going to be days when one person does and there’ll be days when maybe another doesn’t. But repetitions are huge and I think they’re going to have some opportunities.”

No running backs were brought in, but Ohio State signed five defensive linemen, four defensive backs and four linebackers. Thirteen of the signees are from Ohio, with seven other states represented.