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Former OSU, Piqua RB Saine signs with Packers

The Green Bay Packers started calling Brandon Saine’s camp in the middle of April’s NFL Draft, saying they hoped to acquire the former Ohio State and Piqua High School running back.

The draft passed without Saine being picked and the continuance of the NFL lockout prevented a deal soon after.

“They kept saying, 'Marco, we want him to be a Packer,’ ” said Marco Marciano, Saine’s agent with XL Sports Management.

It happened Tuesday. An undrafted free agent, Saine signed a three-year contract with the reigning Super Bowl champions and flew from Columbus to Green Bay, Wis., to immediately begin digesting the team’s playbook.

It’s a playbook that because of Saine’s speed (4.38 seconds in the 40-yard dash), size (6 feet, 220 pounds) and flexibility in rushing or catching passes should earn him some on-field time, Marciano said.

“(The Packers) said they’re designing plays for Brandon to isolate him against linebackers and take advantage of his size and speed,” Marciano said. “He can create some mismatches.”

A former Ohio Mr. Football who helped Piqua to a 2006 Division II state championship, Saine rushed for 1,408 yards and caught 55 passes for 616 yards during his Buckeyes career. He joins a running back corps that includes, among others, Ryan Grant, the starter since midway through 2007 who missed all but eight carries last season with an ankle injury, returning leading rusher Brandon Jackson and James Starks, who was a standout during the Packers’ playoff run.

“The Packers have said not only will (Saine) make the team, but he’ll play a significant amount,” Marciano said. “That’s how much they like him.”

Contact this reporter at (937) 225-7389 or knagel@DaytonDailyNews.com.