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Former Buckeye Mike Vrabel reported to be returning to Ohio State as linebackers coach

Ohio State appears to have found a new linebackers coach in former Buckeye and Super Bowl champion Mike Vrabel.

Multiple media outlets have reported Vrabel’s hiring by OSU. According to the university’s online directory, Vrabel’s working title is “Assistant Coach-Football.”

In an email to The Lantern, Jerry Emig, assistant athletics communication director, said the athletic department was working Sunday on details regarding a press conference. Emig added that OSU has not “announced an (assistant) coach hire yet.”

Emig also said the athletic department would release details on an upcoming press conference shortly, though he did not address what the purpose of the press conference would be.

Vrabel, a former defensive end at OSU from 1993–96, was the Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year during both the 1995 and 1996 seasons.

During his college playing days, Vrabel was also a defensive line mate with new OSU head coach Luke FickellVrabel was a defensive end while Fickell played nose guard.

Vrabel was drafted in the third round of the 1997 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers, and spent his first four years as a professional there. Vrabel was later traded to the New England Patriots where he became a force on both sides of the ball.

In short-yardage situations, Patriots coach Bill Belichick used Vrabel as a tight end. In his eight years with the Patriots, Vrabel, who typically played linebacker, had 10 receptions, all for touchdowns.

During his time in at New England, Vrabel won three Super Bowl and also appeared in the 2007 Pro Bowl.

Vrabel was then traded to the Kansas City Chiefs in 2009, where he is still under contract. Media outlets have reported that multiple sources close to Vrabel expect the former Buckeye to retire from the NFL and accept the coaching position at OSU.

The Kansas City Chiefs did not immediately respond to a request for a comment on Vrabel’s status with the organization.

Vrabel would be coming to OSU after a recent run-in with law enforcement.

On April 5, Vrabel was arrested for theft at an Indiana casino and was released later that day after posting bond. Vrabel called the arrest an “unfortunate misunderstanding.”

More recently, Vrabel has been a vocal member of the NFL Players Association and is one of 10 players involved in the antitrust lawsuit against the NFL.

Vrabel could not be reached for comment.  

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