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Tuesday, July 22, 2014
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Published: Sunday, 4/24/2005

Buckeyes' Ginn poised for run at the Heisman

COLUMBUS - Touchdown Ted already has his own T-shirt.

A couple of vendors were hawking them at $15 a pop a few football fields away from Ohio Stadium yesterday, before the Scarlet and Gray spring/winter game.

The shirts weren't moving as fast as Ted Ginn Jr., but it was understandable, given the dreary weather conditions.

Each piece of unauthorized clothing carried the words "Teddy Ginn in '05" and "Ginn for Heisman."

On the front, there is a picture of Ginn in his Ohio State uniform.

He is down on one knee, a football tucked under his right arm.

To the right of Ginn is a photo of the famous Heisman Trophy.

The electrifying sophomore receiver/return specialist is one of the early front-runners for the coveted award.

Ginn, though, realizes he has some work to do this fall before

he can even start thinking about turning that familiar Heisman pose into a permanent one.

"Last year is over," he said. "This is a new year for me, a new start. I have to come out and show people what I can do all over again."

It has been 30 years since Ohio State tailback Archie Griffin lugged home the coveted bronze statue for the second time. He remains the only two-time Heisman winner.

Griffin was a great college player, a three-time All-American.

He ran for 100 or more yards in 31 consecutive regular-season games and helped lead the Buckeyes to a 40-5-1 record and four Big Ten titles from 1972 to 1975.

Ginn may not have the Heisman hardware in hand yet, but he is on his way to greatness.

He is electrifying.

He has outrageous speed, clocking a 4.4 in the 40.

During the second half of last season, Ginn was the best football player in the country. He helped Ohio State go 5-1 down the stretch to finish 8-4.

Ginn was a scoring machine, managing a touchdown every 7.3 times he touched the football.

He found the end zone three ways (rushing, receiving, punt return) against Michigan State in an unforgettable performance in early November.

Ginn tied the NCAA career

record with four punt returns for touchdowns, and he was named a third-team All-American.

He added another duty to his repertoire at the Alamo Bowl when the Buckeyes used him at quarterback on a few plays.

Ginn ended up being named the game's offensive MVP.

"Obviously, he's a great talent," coach Jim Tressel said.

Ginn's explosiveness and play-making skills have generated plenty of buzz among his teammates.

His playing time was very limited in the spring game yesterday, which Ginn's Scarlet team lost 19-6.

Ginn had one carry for 13 yards on a reverse. He had one catch for five yards, one punt return for six. And he squeezed in a half dozen plays at cornerback, the position he played the first half of last season.

Come fall, Ginn figures to be the centerpiece of Ohio State's offense.

There is no guarantee he will win the Heisman.

Truth be told, this may be his set-up year, his dry run.

USC quarterback Matt Leinart, the reigning Heisman winner, returns this fall, as does teammate Reggie Bush, a running back who many consider to be the West Coast's version of Ginn.

Other early contenders include Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson, Texas quarterback Vince Young and Florida quarterback Chris Leak.

"Right now, I think it's a little too early to be thinking about the Heisman," Ginn said. "I have to make sure the team and everything else is together first. The Heisman will take care of itself."

Ginn and the Heisman.

It has a nice ring to it.

Get used to it.

You'll hear it A-Ginn, A-Ginn and A-Ginn.



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