April 11, 2010

Hurdles won't slow down Sweat

It is not often that a four star recruit can be overlooked by fans in a recruiting class but when that class is the Brew Crew and includes players like Terrelle Pryor, sometimes a player can get passed by.

But Washington (Pa.) linebacker Andrew Sweat doesn't need the spotlight to shine and his short career at Ohio State has been nothing but successful and could have been more if an injury last season didn't cut his season short.

While still in high school Sweat wasn't even the highest rated linebacker on his team according to Rivals.com with Penn State signee Mike Yancich rated higher. Yancich should be in the mix for more playing time this upcoming season but Sweat has already been to the show and should be battling for even more playing time in 2010.

Sweat's versatility has been one of his strongest assets and the coaching staff has always put a high premium on players who can fill multiple roles and Sweat plays that to the T.

"The coaches have him playing everywhere and he can do it," fellow Buckeye linebacker Brian Rolle said. "He is versatile, he can play Mike or Will or Sam and when he gets back people are going to be asking if he wasn't in the middle or outside because he is a guy who can be moving anywhere and he is missed in the spring."

Sweat has played in 16 games either on defense or special teams throughout the last two seasons and had his biggest game last season against Illinois when he recorded five tackles against the Illini. He also had his only career interception against Toledo in 2009 as well.

Sweat's knee injury in mid October cost him the rest of the season and even with Storm Klein stepping into his role with the special teams there was still a void left by the absence of a player who was starting to see more and more playing time.

"Andrew is a great player for us," linebacker Ross Homan said. "He is tough player, solid player and very smart and instinctive. Hopefully we get him back pretty soon and he will be ready to go."

This spring linebacker coach Luke Fickell was asked about his two deep at linebacker and after naming the starting crew of Homan, Rolle and Etienne Sabino he did not hesitate in saying that Sweat was "right there" before ducking the question of naming players five and six. Sweat has still not been able to go with full contact this spring and it has been tough on both the team and Sweat by not having him out there.

"We miss him a lot but I think Andrew misses it more than we miss him," Fickell said. "As you can see he tried to jump in there and is trying to go full go and go live. He thinks he is ready to go and he might be but we miss him in just being able to move him around in different spots. He misses it more than anything."

While missed time in the spring may be a small hurdle for Sweat to overcome, if the past is any indication, his absence from the field will not be a long.







 

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