Ohio State Football: What Klein's Reinstatement Means for Buckeyes Defense
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To be the best in the Big Ten, a team has to be complete on both sides of the football. In Ohio State's case, the reinstatement of linebacker Storm Klein is a step in the right direction.
After getting arrested in early July, Klein was cut loose by Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes coaching staff.
Six weeks and one guilty plea (to reduced charges of a misdemeanor for disorderly conduct, according to ESPN's Austin Ward) later, Klein will rejoin his team on the practice field. The linebacker still faces a two-game suspension once the season begins, but he will return to action before the Buckeyes' schedule gets too rocky.
Klein's initial charge was for domestic battery, and his actions cost him his spot on the team. He has already missed valuable practice time, which would have helped him to learn his place in Coach Meyer's system.
Now that he's back, what will Klein's reinstatement do for the team?
The Buckeyes defense is already deep and talented. Despite being most thin at the linebacker position, the outlook heading into 2012 appears positive.
On top of that, Klein has never had a season for the Buckeyes where he recorded 50 tackles. The senior will bring leadership and experience to the table, but he will by no means be the featured athlete on defense.
Perhaps sophomore linebackers Ryan Shazier and Curtis Grant should garner more attention at the linebacker position. Surrounded by speed and athleticism on the line and in the secondary, the sophomore duo is poised to vault the Buckeyes to new heights with Coach Meyer.
Klein's reinstatement is interesting because of the freshness of Coach Meyer's hiring. At this point, every story flying around the Buckeyes will make news because he is leaving his first impression.
At this point, Coach Meyer appears willing to forgive and trust in his athletes. It reflects positively on the direction on the program, but Klein's arrest is a reminder of the poor decisions in years past. Still, the Buckeyes appear to be in good hands.
Luckily for Ohio State, Klein will be eligible after just two weeks of the 2012 season, and the team will be able to continue its turnaround efforts without further distraction.
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