Tuesday, August 24, 2010

NORWELL COULD SEE SOME PT; BATTLE STILL GOING ON AT LT


(Photo of Justin Boren, left, and Andrew Norwell
by The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)


COLUMBUS — Ohio State freshman offensive tackle Andrew Norwell may be getting on the field sooner rather than later.

With the announcement that sophomore tackle Marcus Hall will be red-shirting in 2010 (academics), Norwell has been pushed up to the two-deep at right tackle, and could see some action behind junior J.B. Shugarts as early as the season opener against Marshall on September 2.

The 6-foot-5, 310 pounder from Cincinnati has been catching the eyes of not only his coaches, but his teammates, as well.

"Norwell's been doing really well," OSU senior offensive guard Justin Boren said. "I've been impressed with the way he's playing. Hopefully if he keeps on improving he'll compete for some playing time."

Buckeyes head coach Jim Tressel has also taken notice of his true freshman tackle.

"It's going to be interesting to watch Andrew Norwell, I've been very impressed with him," Tressel said. "He was working a good bit with the second group (during the jersey scrimmage), and for a young lineman he's been very, very impressive."

With Mike Adams and Andrew Miller battling on the left side, and Shugarts locked in on the right, Norwell is hoping to be the fourth tackle in mix. As we all know, especially early in the season when temperatures are warmer, the Buckeyes usually platoon offensive linemen in and out during games. The main question is: Will the Buckeyes have enough faith to put a true freshman in over the likes of a veteran?

Tressel said that is something that he and his staff are going to have to figure out soon.

"Will (Norwell) be able to be that fourth guy? We'll see," Tressel said. "Or do you have to go with (guard) Bryant Browning if you need a fourth guy? To me those are some of the decisions I'm not sure that we can answer quite yet. But we're going to have to start answering them."

BACK TO THE LEFT SIDE ... As stated earlier, Adams and Miller are locked in a battle for the left tackle spot. Adams appears to have the lead in the fight, but right now Miller has been dealing with a bad elbow which has prevented him from getting more reps in practice.

"Well Mike Adams has been fortunate to be a little healthier," Tressel said. "Andrew Miller missed a little bit of a time, he's been a little bit banged. But I've been pleased with both those guys, I think they're both coming along. And we're going to need them both.

"We're fortunate that we have a little competition going on there. We just need to get Andrew a little healthier. He's going to help us a bunch this year."

Boren said that Miller's elbow could be a factor in which player gets the nod.

"Andy's elbow is bothering him a little bit, so that's one of the reasons that Mike took more reps (during the jersey scrimmage)," Boren said. "But they're both doing good. I know it kills Andy to sit out there. His elbow ... it's just killing him."

So when will a decision be made on which player takes the No. 1 spot on the left side?

"That's probably something that's going to play out here in the next week," Boren said. "We'll see more going into Marshall week. You know, the starters will definitely be taking most of the reps."

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