Robert Landers is back to 100 percent — and 100 percent fine staying at defensive tackle for the third-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes.
“That’s too much running,” the Wayne High School graduate said Wednesday night when asked if he might like a chance to move out to end.
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Defensive end — more specifically edge pass rusher — has become one the glamour positions in football over the years, but Landers is happy with his role for a practical reason.
“If the ball flows away, I’ve gotta run too much,” he said. “I’m gonna stay right there in my little 5-yard box.”
Not that Landers is selfish, though. Far from it.
After missing Ohio State’s week four win over Tulane with an undisclosed injury, he has had a reduced role the last couple of weeks.
He made the most of his time on the bench by finding other ways to contribute.
“I knew at that moment in time my job was to become a coach,” Landers said. “As I go through the game, whether I’m playing or I’m having to sit on the sidelines and watch, I’m doing everything I can to help some of the guys who are in the game work on what they might be doing wrong or giving them tips to help them enhance their game so they’re more comfortable playing.”
The 6-foot-1, 283-pound junior said he is 100 percent healthy now, though, and the cutback in playing time was precautionary.
In the meantime, he was happy with the performance of Davon Hamilton in his place.
“Davon’s game is skyrocketing right now,” Landers said. I”m proud of the way he’s playing. He’s a lot more comfortable in the system. He’s one of those guys who as we go through the season you’re going to see his game get higher and higher and higher. We’re going to be a one-two knockout punch.”
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The question about a position switch came up after coach Urban Meyer confirmed end Jonathon Cooper and linebacker Malik Harrison were still in concussion protocol Wednesday night.
They are both questionable as Ohio State prepares for a noon game Saturday against Minnesota.