Crowell, O'Connor leaving Ohio State

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- An injury that just couldn't be shaken off effectively ended one career at Ohio State. Another kept a coveted recruit from seeing the field with the Buckeyes last season, and his playing career won't continue at Ohio State, either.

The school confirmed on Wednesday the parting of ways with two reserves as the offseason program continues and national signing day draws closer, with sophomore linebacker Conner Crowell and redshirt freshman offensive lineman Joey O'Connor no longer members of the team.

Crowell went through two surgeries to correct a nagging lower-leg issue that dated to his high school career in Waldorf, Md., and the school's medical staff would not clear him to return to play for the Buckeyes again after appearing in just three games and recording one tackle in his only season of action last fall. He was a three-star prospect in the 2011 recruiting class.

O'Connor never had a chance to contribute for the Buckeyes after undergoing knee surgery in August 2012. There were concerns about his health before training camp even started, which made him a candidate for a redshirt season even before the medical procedure guaranteed he'd need one. O'Connor originally committed to Penn State but was the first player to back away from a pledge to the school in the wake of coach Joe Paterno's firing and the Jerry Sandusky scandal. In the ESPN rankings, he was Ohio State's fourth-best recruit in coach Urban Meyer's first recruiting class.