Tuesday, August 10, 2010

BUCKEYES, MOELLER LIVE AND IN FULL PADS ON TUESDAY MORNING

COLUMBUS — It may have been scorching hot at the Harmon Family Football Park on Tuesday morning, but it didn't prevent the Ohio State football team from turning up the heat.

(left, photo of Tyler Moeller by The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)

It was the first time during fall camp that the Buckeyes were in full pads, and even though temperatures on the turf were north of 105 degrees, the intensity displayed by the troops was even hotter.

Ohio State senior cornerback Chimdi Chekwa said that the Buckeyes have been chomping at the bit to pop some pads and nothing was going to keep them from doing so.

"Like every other day it's time to practice, it's another opportunity," Chekwa said. "It was the first day in full pads so everyone was excited to come out here and hit."

No one was more excited than senior safety Tyler Moeller.

Moeller, who missed all of last season after suffering a head injury from an assault at a Florida pub 13 months ago, was able to hit Tuesday in live contact drills for the first time since spring of 2009.

Moeller said it meant the world to him to be back doing he what he loves to do.

"It means everything to me. Playing here is everything to me," Moeller said about being back out on the football field. "Riding the bench for three years and then getting a shot (in 2009), and then getting hurt — and then most people saying I couldn't play again — to come back here and play and contribute on this team is just everything to me."

Moeller didn't show any ill effects on the field Tuesday, displaying great quickness and awareness while manning the nickel (star) spot in scrimmage drills.

Even though it's been a while since he was able to go full throttle, Moeller said he doesn't feel like he ever fell off the horse.

"I feel like I was there before I got hurt," Moeller said. "Maybe my vision is a little rusty right now, things like that just getting back into it. But as far as a football player, you know, I'm still on the horse."

Chekwa said that it was great to see his buddy back on the playing field.

"It's great to see him back," Chekwa said of Moeller. "Not just because he's a great football player but because he's a close friend of mine. It's great to see him back."

Below is The Buckeye Times post practice interview footage with Moeller and Chekwa ...

Tyler Moeller
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Chimdi Chekwa
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FRESHMAN LOOKING SPECIAL ... True freshman cornerback Christian Bryant may not be big in stature (5-9, 175) but he is showing that he can be a physical type of player.

During live scrimmage drills on Tuesday, Bryant pushed some receivers around and also made some nice open field tackles, most notably a one-on-one stop of the super elusive Jaamal Berry in the right flats.

It's difficult to determine as of yet if Bryant will get some playing time at corner this season behind Chekwa, Devon Torrence, Donnie Evege and Travis Howard, but he will definitely be one to watch as camp moves forward.

He reminds me a lot of former Buckeye and current Minnesota Vikings star Antoine Winfield.

PLAY OF THE DAY ... During live scrimmage drills, Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel wanted his first team offense to run a play from the 14-yard line as if it was the final play of the game.

Going against the first team defense, junior quarterback Terrelle Pryor took the snap from the gun, rolled right and threaded the needle on a scoring strike in the end zone to receiver DeVier Posey.

Watch The Buckeye Times footage of the play below ...

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INJURY NOTES ... Senior cornerback Devon Torrence didn't participate in live drills today. His right knee was wrapped during the practice. He's considered day-to-day.

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