COLUMBUS — As always, Robert Landers had a smile and a quip ready for his Ohio State press conference.
The season hadn’t been going exactly like the defensive tackle had planned thanks to nagging injuries, including one problem that would require attention after the year ended and keep him sidelined throughout spring camp.
So, what was bothering Landers?
“I’m aging, getting old,” Landers joked late last season. “Just trying to get my body right. Just little things, age stuff … but I’m back to having fun.
“I feel like being healthy makes a big difference in the way that we play. Like, we’re able to fly around a little bit more and be a little bit more efficient. The biggest thing is we’ve got to take care of our bodies.”
The Buckeyes certainly didn’t want to push anything in March or April with a guy who will be so critical for the retooled Silver Bullets at the end of August, so Landers was little more than an observer throughout the 15 workouts that wrapped up last weekend in the Horseshoe.
Ohio State wants him back at his full-speed, offensive line-wrecking best, which it didn’t get to see quite as much as it hoped for a year ago. Landers only officially missed one game and never complained about needing to fight through pain when the Buckeyes needed him as he battled his way to five tackles for loss and a sack among his 25 total tackles. And he certainly never allowed it to impact his personality, his hair color choices or a new persona as Ohio State’s resident cowboy.
But a healthy Robert Landers is a game-changer for the Buckeyes, and it’s clear to see why on film. Former Ohio State defensive tackle and HowSheGoneEat co-founder Tracy Sprinkle was in the lab at Lettermen Row breaking down what makes Landers so successful in his first episode of BuckIQ.
Roll the tape!