Buckeye stars sign at Sandusky Mall

PERKINS TWP. Former Ohio State football players Chris "Beanie" Wells and Brian Hartline vi
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

PERKINS TWP.

Former Ohio State football players Chris "Beanie" Wells and Brian Hartline visited the Sandusky Mall Sunday for a two-hour autograph session.

Wells and Hartline sat at a table set up in the center court as fans waited in queue down a side corridor. The line spanned from Gamestop to Elder Beerman and back. Before the players arrived at 1 p.m., the line stretched down the main corridor as far as

Fans snapped photographs with a variety of cameras -- either disposable, cell phone or digital -- of the two-year starters. Some even posed for pictures with Wells and Hartline.

The event was free to the public, while autographs and memorabilia, including photographs and Ohio State miniature and full-size helmets, were available for purchase.

A signature from Hartline cost $10 per item, while Wells, who was a preseason Heisman candidate and is a likely first-round selection in the April NFL Draft, ranged between $25-$35 per item.

Both players decided to forgo their final year of eligibility with the Buckeyes, who finished 10-3 with a 24-21 loss to Texas in the Fiesta Bowl.

Wells ran for 1,197 yards and eight TDs in 2008 despite missing three full games with a foot injury he sustained in the season opener.

Coming off a stellar sophomore season where he ran for more than 1,600 yards with 15 TDs, including a school-record 222-yard performance against rival Michigan, Wells was considered the top back in the country entering the 2008 season. The 6-foot-1, 235-pound All-Big Ten pick is a rare blend of size and speed.

Considered by some draft experts as a top-10 pick, Wells' stock may have slipped at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. Wells clocked 4.59 seconds in the 40-yard dash. That, plus his struggle with nagging injuries, might keep him out of the top-10.

Hartline caught 90 career passes for 12 touchdowns in his three seasons.

The 6-foot-2 Hartline saw his productivity drop from 52 catches in 2007 to 21 in 2008 -- mostly because the Buckeyes switched starting quarterbacks from Todd Boeckman to freshman Terrelle Pryor.