COLUMBUS: What's brewing with the 2010 Ohio State Buckeyes ...
BUCKEYES BUZZ: During his Thursday comments, coach Jim Tressel was asked about a Sports Illustrated story in which an agent said WR Santonio Holmes told him he was taking money from an agent while he was playing for Ohio State.
To briefly recap, former NFL player agent Josh Luchs said he approached Holmes in November of 2005, right after Holmes' junior season at Ohio State.
"We met him outside the football building," Luchs said. "And he said, 'Listen, I want to save you the time. We don't need to meet. I've been taking money from (an agent) the last couple years, and he's been taking care of my family too.'"
Tressel said any such report is troubling but that he had been reassured by Holmes' recent denials.
"Oh, you're always concerned when anything is brought up," he said. "I personally haven't talked to Tone. (Ohio State assistant coach) Darrell (Hazell) has, because we wanted to get a hold of him right away. ... Even his statements to Darrell obviously put your mind at ease. But you never like to be mentioned in any other way other than glowing."
Tressel said he did bring up the Sports Illustrated article to his players this week because the Buckeyes have enough to deal with preparing for the big showdown at No. 18 Wisconsin on Saturday night.
But that doesn't mean it doesn't bother Tressel.
"I guess it just reminds you that stuff is out there," he said. "We've told our guys many times that there are 1,200 registered agents and only 300 have clients, so that means 900 desperate folks. And desperate people do desperate things, whether it's to try to get clients or to try to clear their name or whatever. So, it's part of life."
QUOTE OF THE DAY: Tressel, on whether Dan "Boom" Herron is now the featured back in the Ohio State offense: "Boom is a good warrior kind of back, he's a good pounder. But that doesn't mean that you're sitting here saying for sure he's going to have 22 carries. ... I don't know what a feature back means; the guy who's in the game is our feature back."
DEPLANE, BOSS, DEPLANE! Ohio State's team plane is expected to arrive in Madison, Wis., around 6 p.m. local time. The Buckeyes will then go directly to Camp Randall Stadium for a walkthrough.
ON THE AIR: Entities broadcasting the Ohio State game from Wisconsin include ESPN, ESPN GameDay, ESPN 3D, ESPN GameDay radio, ESPN U Road Trip and Sports USA radio.
KNOCKOUT PUNCHES: The last time Ohio State played at Wisconsin, Badgers SS Jay Valai laid out two Buckeyes. His vicious hits knocked out Herron and WR Dane Sanzenbacher. He wasn't penalized on either, but at the time the Buckeyes believed both hits were borderline.
Ohio State hasn't forgotten the hits, and it also hasn't forgotten that Valai — who is battling an undisclosed injury — may be back for more against the Buckeyes.
"He definitely puts a hat on you," WR DeVier Posey said. "But I play against our defense and we have some hard-hitting guys too. So I won't shy away from contact. ... He definitely hits hard, but I have to play the game. If I get knocked out, I get knocked out. But chances are that isn't going to happen."
Herron said he has only fuzzy memories of that night.
"It's football. I really didn't have my head on a swivel, I guess," he said. "A guy (Valai) got a pretty good shot on me."
Tressel said immediately after the game that he thought both hits were dirty and should have been penalized. He changed his tune a bit this week.
"It's a physical game. That was a little bit unusual," he said. "You might have X number of tackles and not have anyone get their bell rung. We just happened to, that night, have two."
Tressel referred to Valai as "the great eraser."
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