Ron Tanner enjoys contact, hitting or being hit

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COLUMBUS, OHIO (AP) - Ron Tanner enjoys contact, whether he is being hit or doing the hitting.

The senior plays both quarterback and defensive back at Columbus’ Eastmoor Academy. He’ll take his talents to Ohio State _ No. 2 in the Top 25 preseason poll.

“I have mixed feelings,” said Tanner, who is on The Associated Press East Region 25 list of top recruits. “If it was up to me I’d rather hit. I love to hit. That’s the exciting part of playing defense. As a quarterback, having the ball in your hands every play is also great as well. I like both.”

Tanner (6-foot-1, 190 pounds) earned a reputation as a fierce hitter last season with more than 80 tackles and three interceptions for the Warriors (8-3), but that’s not his off-field image.

“He’s an outstanding young man and a role model for our students,” Eastmoor athletic director Anthony Brown said. Tanner will be the second player from Columbus’ City League to commit to the Buckeyes in as many years. Incoming OSU freshman Verlon Reed attended Marion Franklin.

“Ohio State gets a lot of guys from Ohio and Central Ohio but not necessarily the City League,” Tanner said. “It will be good for us to make a stand and show that the City League can step up and make some plays at Ohio State as well.”

There’s also tradition that Tanner is trying to honor: Eastmoor produced Ohio State’s two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin.

“Mr. Griffin, his name speaks for itself,” Tanner said. “He’s a great man that gives back to the community. He’s a great all-around man, not just a great football player.”

Tanner chose Ohio State over Arizona State, Michigan State, Northwestern and Stanford. During his commitment announcement he jokingly put on a Michigan cap before revealing his choice.

“It’s the hometown school I’ve always loved,” he said. “It’s an excellent program as far as football and academics. It’s kind of hard to beat.”

Tanner said the OSU coaches see him as a safety.

“I know I’ll be battling for playing time,” he said.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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