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Marla Ridenour on Sports

Heyward sees a different Tressel

By Marla Published: August 30, 2010

Ohio State star defensive end Cameron Heyward said he's getting to see another side of coach Jim Tressel after being named one of six co-captains for the 2010 season.

''He's gotten funnier,'' Heyward said Monday. ''I think he's gotten funnier, just with the seniors. When you become a senior it becomes more personal. Coming in as a freshman, you don't get to talk to the head coach as much. As you become older, you start to see what kind of guy he is and how he cares about this program.''

Pressed for an example, Heyward gave one that perhaps topped former defensive end Kenny Peterson's revelation that Tressel listens to OSU marching band CDs in his car.

''Last year we were all in the meeting room,  meetings were about to start, and he put on this rap song and started dancing,'' Heyward said. ''I've never seen those dance moves from him again. I didn't expect that, but coach has got it in him.''

On Thursday at home against Marshall, Tressel, 57, opens his 25th season as a head coach and his 10th at Ohio State. His winning percentage at OSU is 94-21, including 59-13 in the Big Ten and 8-1 against Michigan.

Asked to reflect on his 25 years and how coaching has changed, Tressel said, "Does it seem like it's been 25 years? I was told long ago when I first got a head coaching job, that a head coaching year is like a dog's year, it's worth seven. So does it feel like it's however many years, that is, a hundred and whatever -- 175 years or whatever? No, it doesn't feel quite that long, and honestly, it goes fast.

"It's kind of hard to believe that this will be my 36th year of college coaching. I don't even feel as if I'm 36, but football's changed in some ways, but in other ways it hasn't. I think the kids are very similar to what I've known of them throughout time and that's they want to know what you expect of them. Maybe today they want to know a little bit more why because they think they're a little bit more educated, and they are. They've had football on TV. There's a lot more magazines and special sections in newspapers that talk about this and that, so they are more educated, they know more about the game.

"So they want to know why we're running this coverage or why we're running this pass protection or whatever. But really they want to know what do you expect of me and they want an evaluation, and they want to know how they're doing. Outside of that, the world's changed, probably not as much as your world has changed, but it has changed.''

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