Drew Thurman (9:02 pm)
It's game week! Of course that means we finally start getting some of our questions answered.
Jim Tressel had his first press conference of the season earlier this afternoon, and it gave us a lot to chew on.
1) The big news that Tressel revealed was that Nathan Williams will be out for the Marshall game, with Solomon Thomas starting in his place. While there is no reason for panic (and this was expected), the depth on the defensive line is a big question mark heading into the season.
The latest depth chart revealed that Adam Bellamy will be backing up Cameron Heyward at the other DE spot. I like Bellamy and his potential at DT, but we all know the guy will never be a defensive end. You also have a true freshman in Johnathan Hankins in the two-deep at defensive tackle.
Now with the news about Williams, you have to wonder if the defensive line really has the depth to duplicate last season.
2) We also got some answers about the secondary today. Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring) is questionable for the Marshall game, further adding to the list of injuries on defense. At the other corner spot, Devon Torrence (hamstring) should be good to go this Thursday night.
Also, Tressel made it clear that C.J. Barnett didn't just jump Orhian Johnson on the depth chart at safety because of Johnson's injury. He says Barnett has been very impressive this fall and there will be good competition there in the future.
3) There are tons of fans out there wondering how Jordan Hall and Jaamal Berry are going to get involved this fall. Brandon Saine and Dan Herron are going to get the bulk of the carries, at least initially, and the youngsters have too much talent not to see the field.
Well, Tressel revealed that both Hall and Berry will be handling kickoff returns Thursday night. We all know the return woes in recent years, so this is very pleasant news.
4) We also learned that Tressel will continue to be "The Senator." He refused to speak much on the UM-OSU game being moved and wanted to talk solely about the game against Marshall. He did say that it has not been a distraction to the team thus far, but it's obvious he is doing his best to keep it that way. Some would like to see Tressel make more of a stand though.
For full notes from Tressel's press conference, click here.