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Established October 31, 1996
Front Page Columns and Features
Last updated: 09/06/2011 3:03 PM

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Buckeyes Reinstate Three Suspended Players
By Brandon Castel

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State will still be shorthanded when they face Toledo this Saturday in Ohio Stadium, but reinforcements are on the way.

Starting running back Jordan Hall, starting cornerback Travis Howard and backup defensive back Corey Brown will be back on the sidelines for the Buckeyes in week two after serving a one-game suspension.

Jordan Hall
Photo by Jim Davidson
Jordan Hall

“Those three guys will be available for us this week,” Fickell said Tuesday during his second press luncheon.

All three players missed the season-opener against Akron after Ohio State discovered they had accepted gifts worth less than $300 for appearing at a charity event earlier in the year.

The Buckeyes will continue to be without seniors Boom Herron, DeVier Posey, Mike Adams and Solomon Thomas until week six, but they will have linebacker Jordan Whiting back after a one-game suspension for his involvement in the tattoo scandal.

Hall and Howard were expected to start for the Buckeyes before the suspensions were handed down late last week, but they aren’t going to automatically have their spots handed back to them when the team hits the practice field this afternoon. 

“It’s only Tuesday, so we don’t know. We’ve still got practices ahead of us and we’ve got to make sure those guys compete,” Fickell said.

Travis Howard
Photo by Jim Davidson
Travis Howard

“The guys who stepped in ahead of them did a great job so they’ve got to come in and beat those guys out. I think we all understand the situation.”

Hall, in particular, was already stepping in because of Herron’s suspension, which meant the Buckeyes were without their top two backs against Akron. The team’s No. 3 back Jaamal Berry missed the game with a hamstring injury and even walk-on Spencer DeLande was unavailable because of an ankle injury.

“Without Jordan Hall being there, the difficult thing was that we only had two guys that were available to us,” Fickell said.

“We didn’t even have a third guy that had been scout team tailback who could take a snap. We had two tailbacks and three fullbacks and that’s all we had going into the football game.”

Cory Brown
Photo by Jim Davidson
Corey Brown

Filling in, Hyde and Smith combined for 167 yards and a touchdown on 37 carries. Hyde also had an 11-yard catch on a screen play, but the Buckeyes are hoping to have Berry back this week along with Hall.

“I’m hoping,” Fickell said.

“I’m hoping we get Jaamal back and he’ll be another addition for us.”

The Buckeyes also had to go with two first-time starters at the cornerback position because of Howard’s absence in the secondary.

“We had two corners, one was a redshirt freshman who started and Dominic Clarke started on the other side because we Travis wasn’t there,” Fickell said.

“Both of them were going to be new, but I thought both of them played well. They were poised and both of them made plays when they came to them. There wasn’t a lapse there.”

The interesting thing will be to see how the Buckeyes decide to use Clarke after his performance in the opener. He had lost the starting job to Bradley Roby during camp, but played well enough that Howard might have to work hard to get back onto the field this week.

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