Oltorik Back with Buckeyes

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Last updated: 03/09/2012 2:56 PM

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Football
Oltorik Back with Buckeyes
By Brandon Castel

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Former Ohio State walk-on Ross Oltorik is back with the Buckeyes this off-season, an OSU spokesperson confirmed Friday.

It may or may not be to play quarterback.

Oltorik, 22, played quarterback at Archbishop Moeller High School, but he could be returning to Ohio State as a H-back in Urban Meyer’s new offense.

A native of Cincinnati, Oltorik always wanted to play at Ohio State. He was also a highly-rated pitcher in high school, and accepted a scholarship offer to play baseball at OSU under former head coach Bob Todd.

The right-hander worked out a deal with Coach Todd that allowed him to also walk-on to the Ohio State football team in 2008. He immediately became the Buckeyes’ No. 4 quarterback behind Todd Boeckman, Terrelle Pryor and Joe Bauserman.

He made six starts in the spring of 2009 for Ohio State’s baseball team, with a 1-1 record as pitcher, but took a redshirt that fall with the football team after Kenny Guiton was added to the roster as a freshman.

Oltorik was throwing in the 90’s by the spring of 2010, but he was sidelined that baseball season with shoulder problems. He decided to transfer to the University of Arizona that fall, where he joined ex-OSU defensive lineman Willie Mobley.

“Once I got hurt, he gave me a call and said, ‘You’ve got to come out here and play, this offense is perfect for you,’” Oltorik told The Tucson Citizen in July, 2010.

He walked on to the football team at Arizona as a quarterback, but was converted to H-back last spring and was the backup to starter Taimi Tutogi.

Oltorik is now listed at 6-2, 225 pounds and he could help the Buckeyes at quarterback this fall. New OSU offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Tom Herman only has three scholarship quarterbacks to work with, including true freshman Cardale Jones, but he does already have a walk-on in fourth-year junior Justin Siems.

“I'm real excited to be back doing what I originally planned to do,” Oltorik told The-Ozone.

“And also be able to focus just on (football) and not have to worry about balancing out baseball.”

It is also possible Oltorik could provide depth for the Buckeyes at the H-back position, where they currently have a pair of seniors in Zach Boren and Adam Homan. Fullback David Durham would have been the No. 3 guy on the depth chart, but he has decided to transfer to the University of Pittsburgh, where they plan to run a more traditional pro-style attack under first-year coach Paul Chryst.

There is also a chance Oltorik could be used as a power running quarterback, much like Trey Burton at Florida, in order to compliment Braxton Miller’s shifty running ability.

“It's still early but the plan is to get on the field in anyway possible,” he said.

It might be a bit of a stretch for a walk-on, but Oltorik is going through off-season conditioning with the Buckeyes and new strength coach Mickey Marotti this winter. He will partake in spring practice at Ohio State and has one year of a eligibility remaining for the fall.

He also played some infield for OSU baseball coach Greg Beals back in the fall now that pitching is no longer an option for his arm, but Oltorik is not playing baseball for the Buckeyes this season. 

Ohio State opens spring football practice on March 28. The annual Scarlet and Gray Spring Game will be held April 21 at 1:30 p.m. ET in Ohio Stadium.

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