Ohio State opened its preseason football practice Friday with a pair of practices and some roster shuffling.
Late in the afternoon August 3, a university spokesman confirmed redshirt freshman defensive lineman Kenny Hayes asked for and was granted his release from the program.
The 6-5, 280-pound Hayes was expected to compete for playing time at defensive end but sat out the end of spring practice with what was described as recurring headaches. It was not immediately clear if that was related to his decision to leave the team.
The news regarding Hayes, a Toledo Whitmer product, was not the first of the day to involve the defensive line.
When Buckeye veterans gathered for a 6 a.m. practice to kick off preseason camp, Chase Farris wore a scarlet jersey and practiced with the offensive line. That followed rumblings during the summer that he would make the move from a position of great depth to one with a relative lack thereof.
The 6-4, 286-pound Farris, like Hayes, was a four-star recruit who committed early to the class of 2011.
Hayes was the first player to pledge to be a Buckeye that year, doing so Aug. 31, 2009. Scout.com rated him the No. 14 defensive end in the country.
The moves leave the cupboard plenty stocked on the defensive line, however. Defensive coordinator Luke Fickell and line coach Mike Vrabel, in his first season mentoring that unit, still have 14 scholarship defensive linemen. That includes highly regarded freshmen Noah Spence, Tommy Schutt, Adolphus Washington and Se’Von Pittman.
Head coach Urban Meyer already has verbal commitments from four more defensive front prospects for 2013: ends Joey Bosa and Tracy Sprinkle and tackles Billy Price and Michael Hill.