Ohio State’s Tracy Sprinkle calls his return a blessing


COLUMBUS – Ohio State defensive tackle Tracy Sprinkle was excited to be a starter last season, but after what happened in the first few minutes of the 2016 opener against Bowling Green, he might be even more excited to be a starter this season.

Sprinkle waited three years to become a starter then saw his first year as a regular end in the first quarter against BG when he suffered a torn patellar tendon.

The 6-foot, 3-inch, 293-pound fifth-year senior went on Twitter that night to insist he would be back, saying, “I have faith that I will attack rehab like no one else would and return to the game I love with a vengeance.”

Twelve months later he has returned. But he’s feeling excitement more than any other emotion.

“I’m very excited just to start the season off and get out there with my brothers and go compete against somebody else instead of competing against each other in practice,” Sprinkle said on Monday.

“It’s a blessing, everything I’ve been through, getting back from this injury and stuff like that. I’m just very excited to get out there and play again. I’ve been through a lot my whole life so this was just another test for me to pass. It’s a long process. It was tough at first,” he said.

HOW FAST IS FAST: Ohio State has talked about playing faster on offense this season with a new offensive coordinator, Kevin Wilson, and a new quarterbacks coach, Ryan Day.

So how fast might the Buckeyes play? “Our operation now is not frantic but it’s fast,” quarterback J.T. Barrett said. “But there are also sometimes when you want to run some clock.”

AIM HIGH: Defensive end Sam Hubbard told the media on Monday that he wanted more than the No. 2 ranking OSU got in most preseason polls.

“I think we should be No. 1. Like Coach Meyer says, if they are keeping score you want to be No. 1,” he said.

WILSON’S RETURN: Ohio State’s trip to Indiana will take its new offensive coordinator back to the stadium where he was the Hoosiers’ head coach for six years before resigning last December because of what he described as “philosophical differences” with IU’s athletic director.

Center Billy Price thinks Wilson will be all business in Bloomington on Thursday night.

“It is a unique experience for him. But it’s business. He’s wearing the Block O. He’s not wearing IU,” Price said.

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By Jim Naveau

jnaveau@limanews.com

Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414 or on Twitter at @Lima_Naveau.