Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel met briefly with the media on Monday to update the condition of walk-on punter/receiver Tyson Gentry who suffered a serious neck injury on Friday during a live scrimmage.
“He did have a second surgery (Monday) and he came through that well,” Tressel said. “He and his family appreciate everyone’s thoughts and prayers. It’s a day-by-day process and he’s in the best hands he could possibly be at the Ohio State Medical Center.”
Tressel says the situation is weighing heavily on the players and coaching staff.
“I got a chance to see Tyson and his family last night at the last visiting hour session,” Tressel said. “And we met early this morning as players and coaches to watch film and we gave them as much up-to-date information as we could. I’m sure it’s heavy on their minds, and our minds as coaches. Like anytime you have difficulties, you work hard and when it’s time to line up and draw an X or O, or run an X or O, you do it, but certainly it’s heavy on their minds and hearts.”
Tressel was asked if he could shed any light on the severity of Gentry’s injury.
“Not really, no,” he said. “That would be totally inappropriate.
“We feel very good about where he is and how he’s being cared for and his attitude. His parents are special people. Obviously the severity of it is different than someone that (sprained) an ankle. Everyone knows that.”
Tressel was asked if he’s ever been faced with a similar situation during his coaching career.
“Not like that,” he said. “First game I ever coached, one of our players died. It was excruciating. It was a very difficult moment. This is a little different than that. It’s a tough thing and hopefully he’ll progress.”
Gentry was reportedly injured on a crossing pattern when he was hit by defensive back Kurt Coleman. But observers felt it was an average football play and Gentry might have been hurt due to the way his head hit the ground.
Even Tressel said there was nothing unusual about the play.
“Not at all,” he said.
* Letters to Gentry can be mailed to the following address (in care of Tyson Gentry):
Ohio State Medical Center
410 West 10th Avenue
Columbus, OH, 43210