Thomas Bradley / Campus editor
As the dust settles on an off-season to forget, Ohio State players are using the events of this past spring to their advantage. They’re using it as motivation.
“We’ve gotten more pissed off,” said senior center Michael Brewster in a press conference Tuesday. “We’ve gotten a lot tighter and we’re working even harder toward our goals.”
Brewster believes that it is easy to become content and complacent when you’re used to winning and this “gut-check” might just be exactly what the Buckeyes needed.
“(Becoming content and complacent) is definitely not going to happen now I can tell you that, just because of everything that’s gone on,” he said.
Brewster and the Buckeyes expressed that they have no intentions of losing hope this upcoming season.
“All we think about is winning,” Brewster said. “Getting ready to win, and doing everything to win. We’ve been a part of a winning program since we gotten here and we’re not going to let that stop just because of what’s happened.”
Senior defensive back Nate Oliver said although Jim Tressel’s departure on May 30 has been tough on all Buckeye players, they must continue to move forward.
“It hurts,” he said. “But it gives you an extra burst, it makes you want to work harder… And we know that he’s always a phone call away.”
Oliver expressed that he is confident in Coach Fickell’s ability to lead the team.
“You lose knowledge (with Tressel gone), but you also have knowledge from Coach Fickell so it’s really not going to be that big of a drop-off,” Oliver said. “(Fickell) is going to bring that toughness. His toughness, his character, and his passion about what he does—guys are going to be lined up to play just like we always are.”
While Oliver is fully confident of coach Fickell’s ability to lead the Buckeyes football team, he said he has continued to maintain a close relationship to Tressel after his departure saying that he talks to coach Tressel “once a week.”
Senior lineman John Simon added that the departures have given the Buckeyes something to play for, but it is up to them to turn negatives into a positive.
“It’s definitely going to put a chip on our shoulder,” he said. “But we’re going to have to game plan and practice hard all week and execute or it don’t mean nothing.”
After the athletic director, Gene Smith, removed the “interim” title from now head coach Luke Fickell’s name this month, Fickell made his first statement as to his starting quarterback for the 2011-12 season.
“(The quarterback job) is completely wide open, and (Joe Bauserman) understands that,” Fickell said.
After allegations sidelined former quarterback Terrelle Pryor indefinitely, senior quarterback Joe Bauserman expressed that the job opening didn’t change anything.
“There’s no change, you prepare for the long haul.”
Not known for his leadership off the field, Bauserman says it will be extremely important for him to be an example for his teammates if he wants to be a leader.
“I want to show the guys that I can workout with the best of them and I can give the most effort and be one of the tougher guys and stuff so they can do the same thing and believe in me.”
Brewster and the Buckeyes fully expect to continue their winning ways this season and set their standards high.
“Every season we have a goal to win the Big Ten Championship and the National Championship,” he said.
“We’re full steam ahead,” Brewster said. “We’re fully behind coach (Fickell). We’re not going to skip a beat. “