If there were one message the new Ohio State captains wanted to express on Tuesday, it was that every member of the Buckeye squad was prepared and ready to do their part.
“The coaches are really stressing the importance of doing your job, doing your 1/11th,” said Austin Spitler, senior linebacker and 2009 co-captain. “Because if one guy doesn’t do his 1/11th they are going for 15 yards down the sideline at least.”
Doug Worthington, senior defensive lineman and co-captain, spoke to the same effect saying that if any players try to do too much, or more than their 1/11th, that will cause problems as well.
“If you do too much, that’s when that dive is going to come, that’s when that pitch is going to come and you’re not going to be there and it’s going to be a long game,” Worthington said. “You have to make sure that you stay ready and know that the plays will come to you sooner or later.”
Kurt Coleman, senior safety and this season’s last designated co-captain, said that this sort of play is most important in the season opener against Navy because of the unique offense that they will be facing on Saturday.
“It’s really about getting physical and playing assigned football, and that’s how you eliminate a triple-option,” Coleman said.
The three senior defensemen were named co-captains earlier this month, with a fourth captain spot to be decided each game day by the offensive staff, according to coach Jim Tressel.
The captains were voted by their teammates, and according to Tressel, the results were heavily undisputed.
“It’s a blessing. I really can’t put it into any words to express how I feel about my team and the coaches who have given me that opportunity,” Worthington said. “It’s something unreal, something that will be with me for the rest of my life.”
Coleman said that it was a tremendous honor for him personally to be able to lay down a legacy of Buckeye football as a captain.
“Me, Doug and Austin are really trying to help lead this team the best way we can. We really want to leave our stamp mark on this program,” Coleman said.
Spitler said that he was unsure of why exactly the players voted him as a captain but thought it might be because of how much he cares about the program and the team.
As a linebacker Spitler has large shoes to fill both on the field and in the captain’s shirt following behind linebacker James Laurinaitis, who was a captain during his junior and senior years as a Buckeye.
Spitler said that he spoke with Laurinaitis after he was named captain and said that the former Buckeye had a few words of advice.
“He said to just be yourself you know, don’t change who you are. You have this title now of captain and the guys elected you already for what you have been doing so don’t change what you have been doing,” Spitler said.
In his press conference on Tuesday, Tressel said that it is a sign of the progress that the Buckeye defense has made as well as the maturity of the defensive forerunners that these three players have been elected as captains.
“When you have Austin Spitler, Kurt Coleman and Doug Worthington clearly voted as three guys that the team wanted out front, that just goes to show you that they’re pretty good,” Tressel said. “They’ve made a pretty good impact on everyone through their training, through the leadership, through the things you do in the summer when no coaches are around.”