September 13, 2007

Small adds boost to OSU offense

Welcome back Ray Small, or at least we think. After missing much of fall practice and each of the first two games with a high ankle sprain, Small is expected to return to action this Saturday when Ohio State travels to Washington for a 3:30 p.m. showdown with the Huskies.

The news of Small's return can only be a good thing for an offense that struggled to find consistency in the first half against Akron this past Saturday.

"Ray's a pretty quick guy and any time you can put another quick guy on the field, that's a big plus for us," offensive coordinator Jim Bollman said.

Coach Jim Tressel had said a week ago that Small might go against the Zips, and although the coaching staff saw some opportunities towards the end of the game where they could have gotten him in they felt another few days of rest on his ankle would do more for him.

"He has looked sharp in practice this week and is playing fast right now," wide receivers coach Darrell Hazell said. "Will he come in and be a game-breaker right away for us? I don't know, but he definitely has that ability."

When a player has missed as much time as Small, however, there will be some adjusting and catching up to do once he crosses the white line again.

"It does take a little while to get the timing back," Hazell said. "He hasn't been exposed to game speed in a while and he's a guy who didn't play a whole lot for us last year, so there will be an adjustment."

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