September 9, 2010

Notebook: Tressel's Thursday updates

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The No. 2 Ohio State football team is just two days away from its biggest non-conference game of the year against the No. 12 Miami Hurricanes.

On Thursday morning, Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel met with the media one final time before the game.

Of course, injury status updates are usually one of the first questions out of the reporters' mouths on Thursdays and Tressel provided those.

The Buckeyes only had one major injury concern heading into the week and that was in regards to the status of starting defensive end Nathan Williams. Tressel said Williams should be good to go Saturday against the 'Canes.

"Nathan looked real positive yesterday," Tressel. "The thing that you need to find out after a guy practices and he hasn't practiced is if there is any residual soreness and do you take a half-step back? But, I was really pleased with the way Nathan looked yesterday."

There is one more injury that is holding one of the Buckeyes back and it is to offensive lineman Corey Linsley, who seemed to have injured his ankle in the Marshall game. Tressel said he wasn't sure if Linsley would be able to make it for the game against Miami.

"Corey is still the guy that if the game were today probably wouldn't make it," Tressel said. "Nathan would (make it). Nobody other than Corey (is injured)."

Allen officially with team

The Buckeyes will lose both starting cornerbacks after this season when Chimdi Chekwa and Devon Torrence use up their final year of eligibility.

Ohio State, though, already has some help at the position for next year. Tressel did mention "that wasn't the biggest thought process" when bringing Allen in, but he will certainly help.

Tressel confirmed that cornerback Dionte Allen has officially transferred into the program from Florida State. Allen graduated from Lake (Mich.) St. Mary's High School, the same high school teammates Aaron Gant and Taurian Washington graduated from.

"We tried to recruit him out of high school and we had a relationship and he has two teammates here," Tressel said. "He would pop up here occasionally. When he decided that he wanted to get back closer to home, that was the No. 1 factor. Can he come in and help us? Ask me that after I've seen him for 10 or 11 weeks on the scout team."

Tressel wouldn't make any guarantees when it came to what Allen's role would look like next season with the Buckeyes, but Ohio State's head coach had nothing but nice things to say about him.

"His attitude is great and he's a fine young guy and he wants to get his degree," Tressel said of Allen. "He did a good job academically at Florida State so he transfers right in and he'll be on target and maybe even get beyond his bachelor's (degree) so it was a positive thing."

Tressel doesn't mind LeBron's presence

One of the hot-button topics out of Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor's brief press conference on Wednesday night was Pryor's relationship with basketball mega-superstar LeBron James.

James, who recently decided on national television that he would leave his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers and join the Miami Heat, could be in attendance for Ohio State's matchup with the Hurricanes on Saturday.

Tressel, who has never hid his admiration for James, said he doesn't mind if he is at the game.

"I think LeBron committed to me back when he was a junior," Tressel joked. "So we're in good shape."

Tressel was then asked about how it was a "sore subject" for a lot of Ohio State fans, particularly in the Cleveland area. While Tressel understands many fans' feelings toward James after his decision to leave the Cavaliers, he isn't concerned with how it pertains to his football team.

"Sore subjects need to pass because things are as they are and we all make decisions," Tressel said. "We have to respect one another's decisions and move on. Am I surprised that it is discussed? No, because the guy is special."

Ohio State's head coach didn't specifically discuss whether or not LeBron wouldn't be invited to join the Buckeyes on their sideline, but Tressel certainly wasn't worried about James being a distraction to his team.

"There are going to be a lot of distractions," Tressel said. "If we can't handle distractions, one more is not going to make a difference."

Pryor referred to James as a "mentor" on Wednesday night and urged fans not to boo James if he were at the Horseshoe on Saturday. Tressel was aware of Pryor's relationship with James and hasn't noted anything negative about the two's relationship.

"I am not sure how much they spend communication," Tressel said. "I know they have and they do. I have never seen anything but positive. I have never seen Terrelle come in and say, "hey, LeBron thinks we should do this.' So I think any communication they have had has been positive."

Ari Wasserman is a staff writer for He can be reached at


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