December 3, 2010

Gambrell rebounds, looks ahead

The 2010 season didn't quite turn out the way Ohio State commit DerJuan Gambrell hoped it would.

The 6-foot-2, 180-pound defensive back had his eyes on the playoffs, but an injury while playing quarterback robbed him of three games and despite leading his team to five straight victories to close out the year, Toledo Rogers failed to qualify for the post-season with a 6-3 record.

"My season was not what I wanted with the knee injury, but I stayed focused and wanted to get back to helping my team so for about three weeks I had to act as a coach on the sideline," Gambrell said. "Then I got cleared and was able to play and finished the season off strong."

Gambrell suffered the injury in a week two game at Sylvania Southview. Rogers' starting quarterback suffered an injury in the preseason and Gambrell, being a team player, filled in under center.

On one scramble against Southview, Gambrell rolled right then cut across the field and was on his way up the left sideline when he was tackled from the side. He went down awkwardly on his right knee, tearing his meniscus.

When he returned to action three weeks later Rogers was 2-3 on the year and needed a lift. They got it out of Gambrell, who played running back and defensive back the rest of the way.

Gambrell led the Rams to four straight wins.

"I believe I had like 600 yards rushing and six touchdown and 100 or so passing with a touchdown. I had like 100 yards receiving, too," he said. "On defense I had 14 24 tackles and two interceptions but I had 14 tackles in my first game, so I wasn't really a factor on defense when I returned."

Now that his high school career is over, Gambrell is focused on starting fresh when he enrolls at Ohio State next summer.

He's even more excited about his future after visiting Columbus for the Buckeyes' 37-7 win over Michigan.

"I love going to the games," he said. "I love picturing myself playing on the field and all the fans cheering for us. I love everything about Ohio State so far."

On Tuesday, Jim and Doc Tressel made an in-home visit with Gambrell.

"They came down to meet my mom for the first time," Gambrell said. "That went good. My mom liked them and they seemed to be on the same page about everything. She is excited to go down there for a weekend."

Gambrell will make his official visit to Ohio State on Dec. 10.


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