Aug. 30, 2006
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Four members of the Ohio State football squad have been given scholarships, head coach Jim Tressel has announced. The former walk-ons include sophomore center Tyler Whaley (Ironton, Ohio), senior fullback Ryan Franzinger (Westlake, Ohio), senior wide receiver Derek Harden (Logan, Ohio) and junior running back Trever Robinson (Richmond, Va.).
"These four young men are an important part of our program and have earned a scholarship," Tressel said. "They have contributed in the past and will continue to do so. They deserve to be rewarded for their hard work and commitment to the program."
Whaley is listed on the depth chart as one of the two back-ups to center Doug Datish. Robinson was a linebacker his first two seasons at Ohio State and was a member of the special teams along with Franzinger and Harden.
Player quotes, on being converted to scholarship...
Tyler Whaley, sophomore center
"Coach Tressel had a team meeting and announced that some hard working guys were going to get their scholarships and I was just sitting there praying one of them would be me. When he announced my name, a huge weight came off my shoulders."
Ryan Franzinger, senior fullback
"We contribute a lot. There are 20 or 30 guys who work their butts off who aren't on scholarship. The last couple years there have been some scholarships to give to some seniors and I expected some of those to be given out in camp, but camp came and went and it didn't happen. But coach called the meeting and I thought it would happen. He said he was going to reward a few guys who work hard, that's how he does it. I'm just as happy for the other three guys, though. Walk-ons stick together and we all came in about the same time and have been through a lot together."
Trever Robinson, junior running back
"I, like every walk-on, knew it would be tough and a challenge to play college football without a scholarship. When I was a redshirt freshman I had the opportunity to step on the field and contribute and I was honored for the chance and tried to make the most of it. Not many walk-ons get that opportunity."
Derek Harden, senior wide receiver
"Receiving a scholarship is definitely validation. I've worked for three years and a lot has happened. It's validation of what I offer the team. It was a great shock."