WR Southward Leaving Ohio State
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State University confirmed on Friday that wide receiver Ricquan Southward is no longer with the football team.
Photo by Jim Davidson
The freshman out of Lakeland, Fla. was in his rookie season with the Buckeyes, but a University spokesperson confirmed to The-Ozone that Southward has left the team voluntarily, for personal reasons.
Southward was the last player to commit to the Buckeyes before Urban Meyer was announced as the new head coach last November.
He was a three-star prospect who had originally committed to play for the Miami Hurricanes, but Southward actually grew up rooting for the Florida Gators and was a fan of Meyer while he was coaching in Gainesville. He stuck with his commitment and signed with the Buckeyes in February, but we were told he became increasingly unhappy in Columbus over the last two or three months.
After battling injuries during much of camp, Southward has not played in a game for the Buckeyes this fall and was expected to redshirt. His departure comes only days after Meyer announced that third-year wideout Tyrone Williams had been dismissed from the team for ‘a violation of team rules.’
Neither player was a part of Ohio State’s offensive game plan this season, but it does leave the Buckeyes with two less scholarship players in the receivers room. The departure of Southward leaves them with only seven receivers on scholarship, but it could open the door for an extra skill guy in the class of 2013.
The-Ozone’s recruiting analyst Michael Chung reports that Orlando wideout Tony Stevens could be the guy to fill that spot. The Buckeyes are also looking at James Quick and Shelton Gibson, but sources indicated to Chung that Stevens has the Buckeyes No. 1 on his list after de-committing from Florida State this week.
Wood Headed for Another Surgery
Ohio State also announced Friday that defensive back Jamie Wood would miss the remainder of the 2012 season following an MRI and eventually surgery on his injured shoulder.
The University spokesperson could not confirm whether Wood will seek a medical hardship waiver, but this is the second surgery on that same shoulder for Wood in the last 10 months. He recently posted on Facebook that he is likely done playing football in order to avoid the potential for permanent damage in his shoulder.
Wood is a fourth-year junior out of Pickerington Central who has battled injuries since he got to Ohio State back 2009. He has 17 career tackles, with 13 of them coming during his redshirt freshman season in 2010.
When healthy, Wood was an effective special teams player for the Buckeyes, but injuries have kept him from living up to his potential as a highly-ranked 4-star prospect in the class of 2009.
Celebrate Good Times
Ohio State has announced it will also honor retiring Nebraska athletic director, and legendary football coach, Tom Osborne with a video board recognition before the game Saturday.
Osborne led the Cornhuskers to 13 Big 12 championships and three national titles during his 24 seasons as the head football coach in Lincoln. He was 255-49-3 at Nebraska and was later elected to the U.S. House of Representatives before returning to Lincoln as the AD.
The Buckeyes will also celebrate the 2011-12 men’s basketball team, which will receive its Final Four rings during a moment of recognition on Saturday.
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