While the incoming freshmen on the Ohio State football team said today that they eagerly look forward to the start of their first college preseason camp this weekend under new coach Luke Fickell, it was evident by the wristbands many of them were wearing they haven't forgotten Jim Tressel.

While the incoming freshmen on the Ohio State football team said today that they eagerly look forward to the start of their first college preseason camp this weekend under new coach Luke Fickell, it was evident by the wristbands many of them were wearing they haven't forgotten Jim Tressel.
The black bands with the scarlet letters "JT" are in honor of the man who was head coach when they signed letters of intent with OSU. That was well before he was forced to resign May 30 in the wake of the NCAA investigation that also helped end the college days of quarterback Terrelle Pryor.
"I wear it because he (Tressel) was a good guy to me," defensive end Steve Miller said of the wrist band. "It meant a lot to me coming here, because he recruited me strong. That's why I wear it. I miss him."
He said it was given to him by a member of the staff, though he didn't say by whom. For all of the freshmen, the last several months have been a time to try to understand the upheaval while also coming to grips with the future.
"I am actually excited for coach Fickell, because I knew he always wanted to be a head coach at the great university of Ohio State, and he recruited me, and was one of the main reasons I came here," said linebacker Ryan Shazier, who enrolled early at OSU in January. "I love coach Tressel to death, but I am really excited for coach Fickell now and I am really excited for the season."
Defensive lineman Joel Hale didn't have one of the wrist bands yet, but he said he intended to gain one because "I think it's important." Also an early enrollee in January, he saw the change of coaches from the inside.
"The transition of coaches, it affected me, but it never changed my mind about being a Buckeye, not at all . . . because I knew coach Fick, he was here when I committed," Hale said. "I still talk to coach Tressel every now and then, just to see what's up."
He was asked what message Tressel has conveyed in their conversations.
"Just encouragement, stay positive, keep working hard, and things will fall into place," Hale said.
Still, the freshmen have found themselves having to answer questions from outsiders and the curious back home.
"I answer them that I am here to play football at Ohio State," defensive back DerJuan Gambrell said. "I understand Tressel and the whole situation. We're still Buckeyes, though. We're going to do what we're going to do."