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COLUMBUS - As the injury issues on the Ohio State defense linger, the Buckeyes coaches are reportedly planning to pull the redshirt off junior linebacker Etienne Sabino for this weekend's game at Minnesota.
The strategy all along had been for Sabino to sit out this season and retain two years of eligibility, but with senior Ross Homan sidelined with a foot injury and redshirt freshman Dorian Bell is still out after suffering a concussion against Indiana, multiple sources here confirmed yesterday that Sabino has been practicing with the starters this week with the expectation of playing against the Golden Gophers.
Sabino (6-3, 240) was a U.S. Army All-American in his senior year at Dr. Krop High School in North Miami Beach, and has played mostly on special teams for the Buckeyes. He was not expected to start this season, playing behind seniors Brian Rolle and Homan and junior Andrew Sweat, so Sabino and the OSU coaches settled on redshirting with the idea he would start the next two seasons.
After sitting out the first eight games for the 7-1 Buckeyes, Sabino would be available for the final four games of this season, and the bowl game.