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Buckeyes look to stand out during Pro Day, under shadow of Tressel scandal

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Eight Buckeyes will have one of the most important days of their football lives Friday when their talents are showcased for NFL scouts and executives at Ohio State’s Pro Day.

Running back Brandon Saine, wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher, guard Justin Boren, linebackers Ross Homan and Brian Rolle and defensive backs Chimdi Chekwa, Devon Torrence and Jermale Hines will be going through drills and interviews at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center similar to what they experienced at the NFL Scouting Combine two weeks ago.

The players will be working out amid coach Jim Tressel’s recent suspension by the school for allegedly failing to report e-mails from attorney and former Buckeye football player Christopher Cicero, indicating players gave football memorabilia to Eddie Rife, the owner of Fine Line Ink Tattoos.

The failure to report the e-mails is in violation of both his contract with OSU and NCAA Bylaw 10.1. The university conducted a self-report on the infractions, and is awaiting the results of a report from the NCAA. OSU notified the NCAA of Tressel’s violation Feb. 3 after becoming aware of the Jan. 13 violation.

Defensive lineman Cameron Heyward, once regarded as a first-round pick, will not participate because he’s rehabbing an elbow injury he suffered in the Sugar Bowl win against Arkansas. He received Tommy John surgery in mid-January.

Heyward has been working out at the Woody Hayes center with the Buckeyes, supporting his former teammates while undergoing treatment.

“I can’t remember a time we haven’t had representation from all 32 (NFL) teams,” said Eric Lichter, OSU’s director of football performance, at Monday morning’s practice. “We’ve got a pretty good group. … We had a lot of combine invites this year, so I’d imagine we’ll have a pretty good showing.”

Chekwa is coming off a strong combine, in which he ran a 40-yard dash in an impressive 4.4 seconds. Homan’s bench press highlighted his workouts in Indianapolis. He put up 225 pounds 32 times — tops for any linebacker.

Pro Day workouts begin at 10 a.m.

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