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Buckeye Football Notebook: 'He's the most explosive back that we have'
By Tony Gerdeman

COLUMBUS — When Ohio State middle linebacker Raekwon McMillan was in high school he was coveted by every football program in the nation, even by the ones who didn't know who he was.

While at Big Ten Media Days, McMillan told one of his most memorable stories about recruiting, and it's a forgettable one for a certain SEC team.

"Back when Coach Spurrier was the coach at South Carolina, I was visiting South Carolina for the first time," he said. "I just did a tour. I went to Ohio State, Clemson, then down to South Carolina. I had just gotten an offer from Alabama. All that type of stuff. Number one linebacker in the nation.

"So I go to South Carolina. I walk up to Coach Spurrier and I say, ‘What’s up Coach? How you doing?’ He’s said, ‘What’s your name again?’ I was like, ‘Whoa, he doesn’t even know my name.’ He said, ‘Are you that kid from Texas?’ I was like, ‘Nah.’ So he just walks away. He didn’t even ask me my name or anything like that. After he walked away, I went to another coach, same thing happened. They didn’t even know I was on campus. So I just left."

Spurrier has never been accused of being the most diligent recruiter in the nation, but how is a mistake like that even possible in this day and age?

"I don’t know," he said. "They didn’t know I was coming to campus or something like that. Only one coach knew and that was the running backs coach."

So what did McMillan do after being mistaken for some random Texan?

"I just left," he said. "I was supposed to stay the night with Jadeveon Clowney, but I ended up not staying at all and just left right after practice."

Redshirt freshman Mike Weber is pegged to be the starting running back this season for the Buckeyes, and he will bring with him an array of skills. One of which, technically, isn't actually a skill.

"I think the main thing is he’s low to the ground," quarterback J.T. Barrett said. "He’s a very hard runner, but it’s hard to get at his legs because he’s so low. I’m not saying he’s the shortest, but his center of gravity is low. So I think that makes him difficult to tackle. And then he has a motor."

His location to the ground isn't his only asset, however. He is a very talented tailback overall, which is why the leaders on the team are doing what they can to make sure they get everything out of Weber that he has to give.

"He’s the most explosive back that we have," Barrett said. "He cares a lot about his teammates. We just keep on pushing him. I try to push him every day, I work out with him quite a bit and try to make sure that he understands that his work habits in the off season are when you win the game. You don’t win the game September 17th at Oklahoma or at Wisconsin. It’s really the off-season moments that define you."

There has been some confusion as to whether freshman punter Drue Chrisman would be on the roster this season of if he would end up being a grayshirt and not become part of the team until January.

Urban Meyer clarified things for the most part this week, saying that Chrisman is in fact the Buckeyes' backup punter this season and would be on the roster. He may not be on scholarship yet, that will be determined by whether or not they have room for him in their 85 scholarship slots. They do hope to redshirt him this year, however.

Having Chrisman on the roster this season is great for him because he is in line to be the Buckeyes' starter next year as a redshirt freshman. And in order to make Chrisman and senior Cam Johnston as well-rounded as possible, the Buckeyes went with an interesting tactic over the summer.

"Here’s what’s happening, you’re teaching your Americans to punt like an Australian, and you’re teaching your Australian to punt like an American," Meyer explained. "In the summer Cam was not allowed to punt rugby style, just pro style. And I got Drue Chrisman in there, he’s working on it the other way. That’s a weapon man."

While there is no question about the Buckeyes and their punting situation, there are still plenty of concerns about kicker Sean Nuernberger. According to Meyer, however, everything is going as planned there as well.

"Good," he said. "Just academically, body weight. All of the things that we’ve asked, he’s done it. He looks great."

Player profiles relevant to story:
25 - Weber, Mike | Drue Chrisman | Cameron Johnston | Sean Nuernberger
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