Ohio State football notebook: Pittman leaves program
Kicker Drew Basil and his Ohio State teammates warm up during the Buckeyes’ first spring practice at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.
Defensive end Se’von Pittman, one of the initial recruiting victories for Ohio State coach Urban Meyer in December 2011, is no longer with the team, an athletic department spokesman confirmed for The Dispatch last night.
Pittman, who redshirted as a freshman last season, asked for his release and it was granted, the spokesman said. The spokesman did not give a reason for the move. Sources told The Dispatch that it had to do with an off-the-field issue and that Pittman was looking for a fresh start. Although Pittman was not at the Buckeyes’ first practice of the spring yesterday and could not be reached for comment, sources said he was considering a transfer to Louisville.
Pittman, from Canton McKinley, made news when he chose to decommit from Michigan State when Meyer was on a whirlwind recruiting cycle to upgrade the 2012 class. But Pittman, who enrolled in time to take part in spring drills last year, suffered a knee injury in the spring and did not play last season.
Basil punter for now
With Ben Buchanan having graduated, and with former commitment Johnny Townsend having signed with Florida, the Buckeyes are in the market for a punter. After the first day of spring practice, Meyer said kicker Drew Basil is capable of punting, too.
“Drew did a good job,” Meyer said. “Fundamentally, I saw that last year. Drew could have punted last year. The only thing he’s lacking is consistency because of experience.
“But, fundamentally, I thought maybe he was our best punter. Obviously, Ben had so much experience and was such a great guy that you counted on to get the job done. But Drew, he’s got a strong leg. So I feel good with Drew. Obviously, we’re still keeping our eyes and ears open.”
One player to watch is receiver Frank Epitropoulos, who appeared to have the better showing during the punt session, banging several kicks into and sometimes through the girders high above the indoor practice field.
Grant steps in again
Curtis Grant was man in the middle at linebacker, just like he was at the start of the season last year. He lost that job quickly, however, when coaches said he had a difficult time assimilating the chaos in front of him.
“Do we still have hope (he can become a proficient linebacker)? Absolutely, yes,” Meyer said.
Linebacker Ryan Shazier, the only returning starter from the 2012 front seven, is out as he recovers from a sports hernia suffered four weeks ago, so Grant and linebacker David Perkins took the majority of the plays with the first-team defense, which was in the nickel formation for most of the full-team periods.