Sweat Travels, Could be Game-Time Decision
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Andrew Sweat made the trip to Ann Arbor with his teammates, but it is still uncertain whether he will play Saturday against Michigan in his final regular-season game.
is lead from the field after sustaining a concussion against Purdue.
Photo by Jim Davidson
The senior linebacker from Washington, Pa. has been anxious to get back on the field after missing his Senior Day in Columbus last week. The Buckeyes have not yet ruled him 100 percent OUT for Saturday’s game at Michigan Stadium, but they also won’t take any chances with his health.
“It's all about him. It’s what's best for him. And you're never ever going to put a kid in jeopardy,” OSU Defensive Coordinator Jim Heacock said.
“I'm never going to. And that's the last thing in the world we'd want to do is hurt him in any way. So the doctors are very good here. And they'll check it out very carefully. And Andrew's a smart kid. He's not going to do something stupid.”
Sweat missed last week’s loss to Penn State—and most of the loss at Purdue—after suffering a head injury in the first quarter of Ohio State’s game in West Lafayette. It was an ugly scene for those who saw Sweat stumbling around as the trainers walked him to the locker room.
Fortunately, Sweat doesn’t have a history of head injuries.
“To my knowledge, I haven't heard of any other ones,” Heacock said.
“I think it's his first one. But we're very cautious.”
With that in mind, it seems unlikely Sweat would suit up and play for the Buckeyes Saturday in “The Game” against Michigan, but it appears they are going to wait until game day to make a final decision concerning their leading-tackler.
“Everybody is very cautious of that,” Heacock added.
“But I don't know of him having a history of concussions at all.”
If Sweat cannot play against Michigan, freshman Ryan Shazier would make the second start of his young career against the Wolverines. The rookie out of Plantation, Fla. was the Freshman of the Week in the Big Ten after recorded a game-high 15 tackles against Purdue.
“He's a talented football player. Great explosion. Gets from point A to point B as quick as—I doubt if there's any linebackers that we have that get there a whole lot quicker,” Heacock said.
“He has instincts that are phenomenal. He makes plays. He's active. He's going to be an unbelievable linebacker at Ohio State. There's no question about that.”
Even before the injury to Sweat, Ohio State’s coaches were looking for a way to get Shazier on the field. That included the idea of playing he and Sweat together at linebacker.
“We talked about going that route before Andrew got hurt,” Heacock said.
“That would be a good route to go to put Andrew at the ‘Mike’ and Shazier at the ‘Will,’ but it didn’t work out that way.”
Even if Sweat is able to suit up for the game Saturday, it’s doubtful the Buckeyes would want to take Shazier off the field, despite the fact he may not always know exactly what he is doing out there.
“He made some mistakes and he's going to make some mistakes and he's a freshman and you kind of expect those things. But at least he was going 100 miles an hour and he wasn't really worrying about the mistakes and that's what you want,” Heacock said.
“You want him to go out and play fast, fearless; if you make a mistake you, make it, but go hard. He's a very good football player. He's really talented, talented linebacker.”
He is also a really fast linebacker, and might be Ohio State’s best chance to stop Denard Robinson.
“You know, he's got the ability to get to him,” Heacock said when asked about the idea of having Shazier spy Robinson Saturday.
“And he's got the ability to make a play in space against him, which some players don't. There's just some guys just don't move well enough that they can get that done. So I don't think there's any question it's nice to have a guy of his caliber and his speed and acceleration and explosiveness in the game that he can get to the ball and gives you a chance.
“And if you know Denard's going to run and you feel like he's got a chance to at least get in his face and slow him down.”
Donate by Check :
1380 King Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43212
Help us bring you more Buckeye coverage. Donate to the-Ozone.
Click here to email this the-Ozone feature to a friend...or even a foe.
(c) 2010 The O-Zone, O-Zone Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, rebroadcast,rewritten, or redistributed.