November 10, 2010

Homan thrilled to be healthy



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COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio State senior linebacker Ross Homan will never bee known for talking, but it was quite apparent to his teammates that it was killing him to sit out while recovering from a foot injury the last few weeks.



"You could tell just by the fact that when we were watching film he would come in and say, 'Freak man, I want to be out there,'" fellow senior linebacker Brian Rolle said. "Watching the Minnesota game he was like, 'Dang.' You could see him getting frustrated that he wasn't on the field for some of those games."



Homan, who was leading Ohio State in tackles through the team's first nine games, was injured in the second quarter of the loss to Wisconsin in Madison, describing his injury as more of a foot injury than an ankle injury like once reported.



The injury, he said, was to his right foot and was completely unrelated to the turf toe injury that held him out for much of the 2007 season.



"I got stepped on and my foot twisted. It was kind of a freak thing," he said. "I tried to roll but I couldn't. It was a little foot sprain in the bottom of my arch. I sprained some muscles down there. It is all healed up and I am excited to get back."



Because the Buckeyes had a bye week last week, Homan was fortunate enough to only miss two games as a result of the injury.



Though Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel couldn't guarantee that Homan would be 100 percent by Saturday, the senior said he isn't worried about testing his foot against the Nittany Lions on Saturday in the Horseshoe.



But Tressel said it will be important to see how Homan reacts this week after two consecutive days of practice. However, Homan says he has been around long enough to trust his body and know he is ready to go.



"I'm out there and I don't concentrate on it and I don't let it hold me back at all," said Homan, who is still second on the team in tackles despite missing nearly a quarter of his senior season. "The trainers told me I can't run on it and to rest it, rest it, rest it and as I've gotten older I've gotten smarter. You have to trust your body and listen to it."



Homan has only two more games remaining in his career in the Horseshoe and he mentioned it was tough to sit out and watch his team play. The senior, however, won't dwell on the missed time. Instead, he is excited to rejoin the Buckeyes this week.



"It was tough. No one wants to be injured, on the sideline and can't be out there," Homan said. "Everything happens for a reason. I really just focused on myself and what I could work on, technique-wise and foot movement. If I couldn't get better on the field, I wanted to get better in the film room."



The Buckeyes coaching staff may have seen some positives while Homan was out, mainly with the solid play of linebacker Andrew Sweat. Sweat moved from strongside linebacker in Homan's absence to weakside linebacker and excelled on the field.



Already this season, Sweat is currently fifth on the team with 29 tackles, including 2.5 for loss, and has a forced fumble and an interception.



"I was very excited for Andrew playing two positions, Sam and then Will," Homan said.
"He did a great job going out there for those two games."




Ari Wasserman is a staff writer for BuckeyeGrove.com. He can be reached at Ari@BuckeyeGrove.com.








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