Oltorik Headlines New Group of Walk-Ons
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ross Oltorik has been down this road before, but a whole new group will join him in his return to Ohio State.
Originally a walk-on quarterback under Jim Tressel back in 2008, Oltorik rejoined the Buckeyes football team as a walk-on this January under new head coach Urban Meyer.
The Cincinnati Moeller product is listed as a quarterback on Ohio State’s official roster, and he will have one year of eligibility remaining for the 2012 season after spending the last to years at the University of Arizona.
Oltorik is joined on Ohio State’s 2012 spring roster by at least five other walk-ons who made the team in January. That group includes Massillon Perry products Derek Burkholder and Andy Reed, along with defensive lineman Claudius Mbemba, out of Olentangy.
There were two out-of-state players who made the team during the January tryout day. They are wide receiver Peter Gwilym, of Freeport, Maine, and defensive lineman Logan Beougher, of Alexandria, Va.
Ohio State expects three more players (for a total of nine mid-year walk-ons) will be added to the roster before the start of spring practice on March 28. Those three did not make the tea outright in January, but were asked to continue working out with the team.
A brief look at the new walk-ons:
QB Ross Oltorik (6-1, 223, rSr.)
Oltorik was a high school baseball star at Cincinnati Moeller who signed with Ohio State in 2008 to play for then-head coach Bob Todd. The hard-throwing right-hander was also invited to walk on to the football team under Tressel, and served as OSU’s No. 4 quarterback in 2008.
He struggled through shoulder problems with the baseball team and eventually transferred to Arizona in 2010 as a football player. Oltorik played both quarterback and H-back for the Wildcats before returning to Ohio State in 2011. He played fall ball with the OSU baseball team (as an infielder, not a pitcher), but decided to concentrate solely on football in 2012.
TE Derek Burkholder (6-6, 230, rSo.)
Burkholder is in his third year of college, but walked on to the football team in January for the first time. He actually did not even play football at Massillon Perry in high school, but he was an excellent basketball player, who helped his team to a Federal League championship in 2008.
LB Andy Reed (6-2, 231, rJr.)
A high school teammate of Burkholder’s at Massillon Perry, Reed also walked on to the football team in January. He was a three-year letterman and a team captain for Perry on the team that won the Federal League championship in 2008.
DL Claudius Mbemba (6-2, 235, rFr.)
Mbemba was a teammate of OSU freshman linebacker Joshua Perry at Olentangy High School under coach Ed Terwilliger. He was a two-year letterman in football, and also a three-year letterman in track and field.
Mbemba is the school record-holder and Ohio Capital Conference champion in the discus. He walked on to the Ohio State football team in January.
DL Logan Beougher (6-3, 263, rFr.)
Beougher walked on to the OSU football team in January as a defensive lineman. He was a three-year football letterman for Mount Vernon High School in Alexandria, Va., where he was coached by Barry Wells. He also lettered in baseball and basketball, and was the captain of both his football and baseball teams.
WR Peter Gwilym (6-1, 192, rFr.)
Gwilym walked on to the football team in January and is the only player on the active roster from the state of Maine. He attended Cheverus High School, a Catholic prep school located in Portland, Maine, where he played both quarterback and safety for coach John Wolfgram.
He also played basketball and baseball, helping Cheverus win the Maine Class A state championships in both basketball and football in 2010. He is listed as a wide receiver on Ohio State’s official roster.
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