Crowell, O'Connor, leave football team

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Last updated: 01/25/2013 2:47 AM

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Football
Ohio State Confirms Crowell, O’Connor No Longer with Team
By Brandon Castel

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Urban Meyer will have two more spots available in his 2013 class, if he wants to use them.

Conner Crowell
Photo by Jim Davidson
Connor Crowell

The Ohio State University announced Wednesday afternoon that linebacker Conner Crowell and offensive lineman Joey O'Connor are no longer with the football team.

According to an OSU spokesperson, Crowell will not be medically cleared to play by team doctors, while O’Connor intends to transfer somewhere closer to his home state of Colorado.

This confirms an earlier Ozone report about an out-of-state lineman who intended to transfer. O’Connor was heading into his second year at Ohio State after missing his entire rookie season with a knee injury.

The 6-3, 305-pound lineman out of Windsor, Colo. was a guy Urban Meyer worked hard to land when he de-committed from Penn State following the Jerry Sandusky scandal in State College.

He was rated a 4-star prospect by Rivals.com and Scout.com had him as a 3-star player. He played both guard and center in practice for the Buckeyes, but the knee injury was worse than originally expected. He reportedly underwent microfracture surgery during the fall, and it has been an excruciating battle just to get back on the field.

Ultimately he felt like he could do that more effectively if he was closer to home.

Crowell was actually Ohio State’s No. 2 middle linebacker during portions of the 2012 season. He finished with only one tackle, but he was a monster in high school for coach Ken Lane's North Point Eagles.

The 6-1, 235-pound linebacker out of Waldorf, Md. suffered a devastating ankle injury at the end of his high school career. The surgery following that injury actually delayed his arrival to Ohio State. He missed the entire 2011 season because of the injury, and while he played some special teams in 2012, the ankle never fully recovered.

He was forced to have  a second surgery this offseason, which put him in a walking boot and ultimately led to the decision by Ohio State’s medical staff that Crowell would not be cleared to return to football for the Buckeyes.

Crowell will likely receive a medical hardship waiver which will allow him to stay on scholarship at Ohio State for academic purposes, but he will no longer count against the team’s NCAA imposed limit of 82 scholarships.

With the departures of Crowell and O’Connor, the Buckeyes currently 81 scholarships that are spoken for next season. That includes five early enrollees from the 2013 class and 17 kids who are currently committed to sign with the Buckeyes.

It also includes safety Jamie Wood, who is believed to be done with his playing career because of multiple shoulder surgeries.

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