Buckeyes Shuffle Backup Quarterbacks
By John Porentas
Robby Schoenhoft has been listed as OSU's backup this entire season, but rumors have been rampant this week that Schoenhoft has moved to tight end and that Antonio Henton has moved into the backup role. Neither Schoenhoft nor Henton were made available to reporters yesterday, so media members had to rely on third parties for the story. The stories they got were a bit conflicting. OSU Head Coach Jim Tressel tried to play it down.
"He's helping us with some TE looks on scout team but, no, he hasn't changed his position," said Tressel of Schoenhoft.
Wide receiver Brian Hartline, who is Schoenhoft's roommate, painted a slightly different picture.
"It (the move to tight end) is going to be as permanent as he wants it to be," said Hartline.
"I've told people that he can be a great tight end. You heard it first from me right now. He can move. You should see him play basketball.
"He's got good hands that will probably turn into great hands. He hasn't caught a football for who knows how many years.
"He's going to do really well I think. It's really up to his mentality and how he embraces it," Hartline said.
"I just think it was the best move for him as to where he could possibly play or start, that he was maybe better off going of more of a skill position where he can catch the ball and run with it," Hartline said.
The move is unusual in that the Buckeyes are changing backups just before arguably the biggest game of the season. In most cases, experience would prevail and since Schoenhoft took many more practice snaps than Henton over the course of the season, he would usually be expected to be the backup. That's the conventional wisdom, but this case appears to be a little unconventional.
"It's a major move but I think it wouldn't really matter if Boeckman goes down anyway we might be in some trouble," admitted Hartline.
"Both guys are going to be good but they're not ready yet," Hartline said ominously.
Henton sat out much of the season due to a legal issue, but is apparently coming along well enough that the coaching staff is comfortable with him as the number two and Joe Bauserman as the number three. Schoenhoft's move should actually help Henton develop.
"Antonio's doing well. He's coming along well," said Hartline.
"The other thing that it does, quite honestly, because Robbie we needed help at TE, is that it does give Antonio a few more snaps."
Henton missed practice time this season when he was involved in an off-field incident that prevented his participation at practice for a period of time and has kept him out of games. The original charges involved prostitution, but were later reduced to charge not involving prostitution.
"I'm sure just showing up in the locker room was hard for him, being embarrassed or kind of shying away from the team," said Hartline of Henton's problems after the widely publicized incident.
"After something like that I wouldn't even want a teacher calling out my name because it's just embarrassing.
"He handled it and fought through it and is doing a great job on the field.
"He's getting a lot better. As far as what he adds, I think we're going to find out in the next year or so.
"At this point I think he's still trying to find out where he wants to be and how good he's going to be, so there's still a growing process he's going through."
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