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Despite nagging injury, Saine sets sights on healthy year

Andy Gottesman / The Lantern

Brandon Saine is making sure he’s not “getting caught up in the moment.”
 

“[It’s important to] go back and watch the film, and there are always things you can improve on,” Saine said.
 

This is what is driving Saine to have a breakout season after injuries slowed his performance last year. Saine’s top priority this season is to avoid major injury, though he has been battling a hamstring injury during spring practices.
 

“At any time, someone can go down,” Saine said. “With so many hits and so many carries and you’re in so many plays, all it takes is one and the next guy has to be ready. You have to be ready at all times.”
 

Saine thrives off of competition. With a lot of depth this season at tailback, Saine says it helps the guys push each other harder and not slip up.
 

“It’s a great thing, definitely makes us a lot better,” Saine said. “The younger guys are getting better and they’re pushing us older guys to get better too.”
 

Leading by example, helping them understand their roles, sharing experiences and answering any questions they have is a big deal for Saine, as he strives to be a mentor in his senior season.
 

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“We have a diverse group of guys and have a back for any down, and it will help us be a lot better,” he said.
 

Saine is happy to have a familiar offensive line in front of him, too. He said that makes them more confident and they mesh well.
 

On being a senior, Saine has not really captured the complete feeling yet. The feeling of him doing it all for the last time hasn’t dawned on him. He said that being voted a captain would mean a lot.
 

“I am a pretty soft-spoken guy and they give me a lot of slack for not having big rah-rah speeches for them, but I think it would be an amazing experience,” Saine said. “I wasn’t even the captain of my high school team, but it would mean a lot. I would be humbled and excited to do it.”
 

Saine should also have more impact on the offense also. With quarterback Terrelle Pryor’s progression in the passing game toward the end of last year, Saine is looking to catch the ball out of the backfield a bit more.
 

“Hopefully he can check it down to us a little bit and we’ll be able to do something with it and show him that if we get the ball we can catch it,” Saine said.
 

But Saine is not worried about the offense going from traditional “smash mouth” Ohio State football to an “air-it-out” game. He feels there is equal opportunity for everything to come about this season and show how versatile the offense can be.
 

Saine said he hopes to be 100 percent by next week. Despite missing some spring practices, Saine said he is just taking some time off to heal properly and not have any major issues before the start of the season.

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