Football team spokesperson Shelly Poe confirmed to BuckeyeSports.com this morning that sophomore cornerback James Scott is not one of the 105 players who are taking part in the football team’s preseason fall camp.
Scott was not on the field during Ohio State’s first practice of the fall yesterday afternoon at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.
When asked a timetable for Scott’s return, Poe said that Scott might rejoin the team once camp breaks. No official reason was given for the absence of Scott, a scholarship player.
Scott (5-10, 170) spent the latter part of the spring as a cornerback on the third team along with Donald Washington, a 2007 starter who was being punished for a team rules violation. Ahead of Scott on the depth chart at the spring jersey scrimmage were Malcolm Jenkins and Chimdi Chekwa, who practiced with the first team, as well as second-teamers Andre Amos and Shaun Lane.
Last season as a true freshman, Scott made six tackles in 10 games and forced a fumble at Washington while playing mostly on special teams. He earned a special teams dog tag for his play at Washington, as his fumble helped accelerate Ohio State’s second-half performance that led to a 33-14 win in Seattle.
Coming out of Seabreeze High School in Daytona Beach, Fla., Scott was ranked the No. 12 cornerback in the nation by Scout. He finished his senior year with 59 tackles, two interceptions, four tackles for loss, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. As a junior, he had 62 tackles and four interceptions, as well as four special teams touchdowns.
He committed to Ohio State in mid-December after entertaining offers from Alabama, Florida and LSU, among others.
Ohio State’s defensive backfield has been in a state of flux over the past months. In December, reports indicated that Washington would miss the national title game because of a violation, but he played while safety Eugene Clifford was held out of the game. In the spring, Washington, Clifford and senior Jamario O’Neal were seen running sprints instead of practicing on one occasion, and the latter two did not participate in the spring jersey scrimmage.
Clifford left the program in July after another off-field incident, while a decision on whether Washington will miss any time during the 2008 season is yet to be made, head coach Jim Tressel confirmed yesterday.