January 3, 2011

Gambrell shines in all-star game

The 2010 Offense-Defense All-American Bowl Game had an Ohio State flavor to it as seven future Buckeyes participated in the game on Friday, Dec. 31.

The East team featured Jeremy Cash while the West was loaded with Chase Farris, DerJuan Gambrell, Kenny Hayes, Nick Vannett, Ron Tanner and Tommy Brown.

Farris earned the game's Defensive MVP award while Gambrell also had a big hand in the West's 35-21 victory when he returned a first quarter fumble 26 yards for a touchdown.

"It went good," Gambrell said of the game. "I had a lot of fun."

Gambrell, a 6-foot-2, 180-pound safety from Toledo, Ohio, played cornerback in the game. Despite his inexperience at the position, he made several big plays in the game.

"It was OK, but I could do better," he said. "It was my first time playing cornerback since seventh grade. I've always played free safety in high school."

Gambrell said the West coaches made the transition to cornerback easier by keeping the defensive calls simple.

"We played man and Cover-3 defense," he said. "It was a little rough just getting back into that football mood but I got there in a couple days (of practice)."

During the days leading up to the game on Friday, Gambrell and the rest of the future Buckeyes spent a lot of time together bonding and preparing for their futures together in Columbus.

"It was a lot of fun," he said. "We did everything together."

Gambrell said he really felt comfortable with Hayes and Farris, two of his defensive teammates.

In the game, Vannett caught two passes for 46 yards.

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