Buckeyes' Bowen out after third leg surgery

Bill Rabinowitz
brabinow@dispatch.com
Ohio State guard Branden Bowen is carted off the field in Ohio Stadium during the first half of a game against Maryland on Oct. 7, 2017. [Jonathan Quilter]

Ohio State offensive lineman Branden Bowen had surgery on Thursday on the fibula bone in his left leg that was broken last October against Maryland.

Bowen broke both his fibula and tibia last year. Thursday’s surgery was the third surgery on his leg.

“This past year has been by far the most challenging year of my life,” Bowen wrote in an Instagram post. “I found out a couple weeks ago that my fibula hadn’t fully healed, and was not connected (known as a non-union), and it would most likely never fully heal on its own. I tried to play through this for a while, but the pain became too much as it was affecting how I was playing, from running, to simply taking my steps as an offensive lineman.”

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Bowen was the surprise winner of a training-camp competition at right guard in 2017 and played well before his injury. Demetrius Knox took over for Bowen and has solidified his hold on the right-guard job.

Ohio State confirmed the surgery but added no details.

“As frustrating as this injury has been, I know it’s going to make me stronger after it’s all said and done,” Bowen wrote. “I know God has a plan for me. I’ll be back and better than ever.”

Old friends match wits

Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano will be drawing X’s and O’s against a friend Saturday against Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights’ new offensive coordinator is John McNulty, who served in that role for Schiano from 2004 to ’08 when he was Rutgers’ coach.

McNulty spent the last nine years working in the NFL.

“There is respect for sure,” Schiano said Thursday on the Urban Meyer radio show. “John is an excellent football coach. But when it comes to competition, that’s what we do. On Saturday, that friendship is on the back burner.”

Hall of Fame inductees

Linebacker James Laurinaitis will be among 10 former athletes inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame on Friday.

Laurinaitis, who played from 2005 to ’08, is one of only eight Buckeyes to earn consensus All-America honors three times. He is one of only three players to be named the Big Ten’s defensive player of the year twice.

Laurinaitis played eight seasons in the NFL, the first seven with the St. Louis Rams.

The other inductees are Richard Bruggeman (men’s track), Cassie Dickerson (women’s soccer), Greg Drown (rifle), Linda Haussener (field hockey), Ray Hupp (men’s track), Bryan Koniecko (men’s tennis), Mike Pucillo (wrestling), Jerry Welsh (men’s hockey player and coach) and Brandon Wynn (men’s gymnastics).

The Hall of Fame banquet will be in the Archie M. Griffin Grand Ballroom at the Ohio Union, with dinner and induction ceremonies starting at 7 p.m. The inductees will be recognized during Saturday’s football game.

brabinowitz@dispatch.com

@brdispatch