Monday, September 27, 2010

SANZENBACHER GETS NO RESPECT, PRYOR TAKES BIG TEN POTW HONOR

Photo of Dane Sanzenbacher by The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell
COLUMBUS — Ohio State wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher is the Rodney Dangerfield of college football — he gets "no respect."

The senior pass catcher has dazzled this season for the second-ranked Buckeyes, hauling in 20 receptions for 316 yards and a Big Ten-best five touchdowns, and yet, he isn't even considered an elite wideout in the conference. In fact, many people don't even consider him the best on his own team.

However, thru four games this season, all of the other Buckeye wide receivers — DeVier Posey, Taurian Washington, Chris Fields, Corey "Philly" Brown and Grant Schwartz — have combined for 25 receptions, 310 yards and two touchdowns. That's six yards and three touchdowns less than Dangerfield, err, Sanzenbacher.

After Sanzenbacher diced up Eastern Michigan on Saturday for nine catches, 108 yards and four touchdowns, his own coach didn't even realize what the receiver had done in the 73-20 rout of the Eagles.

"Dane caught four? Hmm. Hmm," OSU head coach Jim Tressel said during the postgame press conference. "Dane's good. I don't know what to tell you."

Of course, we can't really blame Tressel for not recognizing Sanzenbacher's four touchdowns, his team did score 10 after all.

However, Phil Steele — publisher of Phil Steele's College Football Preview and one of the most respected prognosticators in the business — has rated Sanzenbacher as the 73rd best wide receiver in the country. He only listed 76.

According to Steele's rankings, Sanzenbacher isn't even considered a top five receiver in the state of Ohio. Really? Heck, Steele would have Sanzenbacher rated as the fourth best receiver on the University of Cincinnati.

Steele also listed Sanzenbacher as the eighth best receiver in the Big Ten, and placed him on the All-Conference's fourth team with the likes of Penn State's Graham Zug and Wisconsin's Isaac Anderson.

Where in the world is Aretha Franklin when we need her? Sanzenbacher needs a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

To make matters worse, most people don't even pronounce his name correctly.

During the Big Ten Media Day in early August, Sanzenbacher corrected some reporters who have been mispronouncing his family name.

"It's SONZ-in-bach-er," he said. "There's been some discrepancies in our family with the name, but it's SONZ-in-bach-er."

Boy, I'll tell ya ... no respect!

So, why all of the Dangerfield treatment for the Buckeyes top receiver?

Is it because he looks like he should be tutoring chemistry at the Younkin Success Center, instead of dissecting opposing secondaries at the Horseshoe? Is it because he's five inches shorter and 50 pounds lighter than the prototype NFL receiver? Is it because he doesn't have a choreographed dance after each catch? Is it because he runs precise routes and actually catches the ball with his hands, and not his body? Who knows?

There is one place of refuge for Sanzenbacher, though. A place where he always gets his proper due — the Buckeyes locker room.

"Sometimes I feel like he's really under appreciated," OSU junior center Michael Brewster said of Sanzenbacher. "But he's so good and our team knows it.

"He deserves the recognition."

Pryor photo by
The Associated Press
PRYOR TAKES BIG TEN HONOR ... Ohio State junior quarterback Terrelle Pryor was named the Big Ten Conference offensive player of the week on Monday.

Pryor finished 20-of-26 passing for 226 yards and four touchdowns in the Buckeyes 73-20 victory over Eastern Michigan on Saturday. Pryor ran for another 104 yards and a touchdown, and also hauled in a scoring reception from tailback Jordan Hall for his sixth TD of the game.

Pryor has 1,228 total yards and 14 touchdowns thru four games this season. He is the first Buckeye to win Big Ten offensive player of the week honors since November 2008 (Beanie Wells).

ONE OF THE NATION'S TOP 2012 RBs STILL VERY INTERESTED IN OSU ... With Ohio State reeling in early commitments from class of 2012 tailbacks Warren Ball (DeSales/Columbus) and Bri'onte Dunn (Glenoak/Canton), many are now wanting to know what the status is of Aliquippa (PA) Hopewell star runner, Rushel Shell.

Shell, who may be the top back in the nation for 2012, told The Buckeye Times back in July that OSU "is my No. 1 school as of right now."

Shell informed The Buckeye Times on Monday that nothing has changed since then.

He stated that OSU is still one of his top schools and that he hasn't set a time table for his commitment.