COLUMBUS - Sophomore tailback Maurice Clarett is missing from Ohio State's preseason practices, and juniors Lydell Ross and Maurice Hall are hurting.
But Ross and Hall aren't the only banged-up Buckeyes who play in the backfield.
Redshirt junior fullback Branden Joe is out indefinitely while recovering from a torn pectoral muscle, and the other scholarship fullback, redshirt sophomore Brandon Schnittker, is being held out of contact drills because of an injury.
Redshirt junior tailback Michael DeMaria, a walk-on from Cardinal Stritch High School who was filling in for Ross and Hall, was injured two-thirds of the way through Monday's practice and had ice on his left foot yesterday.
Now you can add quarterback Craig Krenzel to the list of the walking wounded. When Krenzel met with reporters yesterday, he was wearing a protective boot on his left foot.
“It's nothing. I don't even want to talk about it,” he said. “I haven't missed any practice time and I'm not going to miss any practices.”
When pressed, Krenzel said: “I rolled my ankle a little and they just got me in this thing when we're not practicing as a precaution. It's really not a big deal.”
Coaches are no longer allowed to speak about injuries without the permission of the player.
“We've got a few guys banged up now and we're trying to work through some of that,” Krenzel said.
- RON MUSSELMAN