Wayne grad thriving in first season on field for Ohio State Buckeyes.

Robert Landers thriving with Ohio State Buckeyes

Wayne grad leads team in tackles for a loss

In a season full of young players making names for themselves for the second-ranked team in the country, the Wayne High School graduate Landers has been one of the biggest surprises. A second-string defensive tackle and redshirt freshman, Landers leads Ohio State with five tackles for a loss and is tied for seventh in the Big Ten with 1.25 tackles for a loss per game.

“It’s been pretty fun,” Landers said. “I’m starting to get a little momentum. I’m starting mentally to be able to slow the game down. Right now I’m taking it one day at a time, one game at a time, one practice at a time. I’m taking advantage of every opportunity I get.”

Landers doesn’t get as many snaps as the starters, but he’s making the most of his playing time. He didn’t even know where he ranked in tackles for a loss.

“One thing about me is I don’t really care about stats,” Landers said. “I just try to contribute to the team as much as possible. We’re all family, and everybody plays a role. Everybody has their own game. I just try to play my game and try to make an impact in the game as best I can.”

The 6-foot-1 Landers is the shortest Ohio State defensive linemen on the depth chart by two inches. Everyone else is at least 6-3. He’s not the smallest, however. He weighs 285, which ranks third among the 11 players on the depth chart.

“I’m a little short for my size, but it plays to my advantage,” Landers said. “As coach (Larry) Johnson likes to say, I’m gravity challenged. A lot of offensive linemen are 6-3 or plus. It tends to be a little more difficult for them to bend down. One thing about me is I’m quick off the ball, and since I am a little shorter, I”m able to use my leverage to my advantage. I try to play my game.”

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