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Sunday, November 4, 2012
Jimmy Byrne watching Buckeyes closely

By Brad Bournival

ESPN Watch List junior Jimmy Byrne (Cleveland/St. Ignatius) was able to travel to Notre Dame on Sept. 22 for an unofficial visit. He wants to get to Columbus for an unofficial to Ohio State.

The only problem -- and it’s a good problem to have for Byrne -- is his St. Ignatius Wildcats keep winning. That brings more Saturday games and keeps the Buckeyes from bringing the 6-foot-4, 275-pound Byrne to The Horseshoe.

But that doesn’t mean the offensive tackle isn't watching as he tapes just about every game to do some extra studying.

“Urban Meyer and that offense are putting up a ton of points,” Byrne said. “I think the defense can do a little better, but they’re doing really well. “I kind of expected this when they said Coach Meyer was going to come here. I’ve taped a few games. The big ones I’ve really watched so far are Michigan State and Nebraska.”

He’s skimmed through the other eight wins as Ohio State marches toward an undefeated season under Meyer in his first year at the helm. What he watches -- of course -- more than anything is how the Buckeyes’ offensive line adjusts with Braxton Miller behind center.

Not so much how they adjust, but how they go from pass protection to the run when Miller decides to tuck it and go.

“I always pay attention to the offensive line,” Byrne said. “I think they’re doing really well up front. “I think Coach [Ed] Warinner has done a great job. I see a lot of toughness and versatility. All their linemen have to be able to get it done in pass protection and run blocking.”

Byrne has said throughout the season it’s coming down to the Buckeyes and the Fighting Irish, but isn’t making a decision until after the season.