Gentry's situation a 'day-by-day process'

Updated: April 17, 2006, 8:48 PM ET
Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State walk-on Tyson Gentry, who seriously injured his neck during practice last week, underwent a second surgery Monday.

"If he doesn't know by now, everybody out there -- all 100-plus guys -- are behind him."
Buckeyes QB Troy Smith

Coach Jim Tressel declined to discuss the severity of the injury or prognosis, saying Gentry's situation was a "day-by-day process."

"He came through that well," Tressel said of the latest surgery. "He and the family certainly appreciate everyone's thoughts and prayers."

Gentry, a sophomore, is a 6-foot-2, 165-pounder who walked on as a punter the past two years and this spring was also seeing action as a wide receiver. During Friday's practice at Ohio Stadium, he was running across the middle when he was hit by freshman defensive back Kurt Coleman. The hit seemed routine, according to several players, but Gentry landed awkwardly.

His family rushed from their home in Sandusky to see him at the Ohio State University Medical Center, where he underwent surgery Friday. The family requested that no details of his condition be released.

"Ty is alert and in good spirits," his father, Bob Gentry, who played for Ohio State in the mid-1970s, said in a statement.

Tressel ended practice after the injury and gave the players the rest of the weekend off. They reported back to campus and were updated by the coaching staff on Gentry's situation early Monday morning.

"If he doesn't know by now, everybody out there -- all 100-plus guys -- are behind him," starting quarterback Troy Smith said. "We just want him to recover as well and as soon and as fast as possible."

Linebacker Marcus Freeman said he was told that at first Gentry did not feel anything from his head down but that some feeling returned by the time the ambulance arrived at the stadium.

"It's tough just seeing what happened," backup quarterback Todd Boeckman said. "You don't want to see a player go down like that. We're definitely feeling for him -- our whole team is."

Gentry is a psychology major who attended Perkins High School.

"Tyson has been a player, ever since he's gotten here, who been pretty much friends with everybody," Smith said.

Smith said the coaches told the team that doctors were concerned about infections after surgery.

Tressel urged Ohio State fans to send letters and cards to the hospital to Gentry's attention.

"I'm sure he would appreciate that and his family certainly would," Tressel said.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press