Over a month since his dismissal from the football program, linebacker Storm Klein has been reinstated by Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer. After accepting a plea deal with the Columbus city prosecutor's office, Klein's domestic violence charge was reduced to misdemeanor disorderly conduct.
Klein was kicked off the team in early July after he was charged with “violently and purposely” grabbing the mother of his child by the forearms and throwing her into a door.
“As I had indicated previously, if there are changes in the charges against Storm, I would re-evaluate his status," Meyer said in a press release. "The charges that would have violated our core values have been totally dismissed. I have spoken extensively to members of both families and that has prompted me to reassess his situation and allow him back."
The senior linebacker was reinstated Thursday night, but will not be able to play in a game until at least the third week of the season and could face other sanctions by the school. According to the Columbus Dispatch, Klein's attorney said the alleged victim recanted the accusation and said that Klein did not strike or harm her. Meyer had kept the door open for Klein to possibly return to the team if the charges were altered or dropped.
After spending his freshman and sophmore years as a back-up, Klein started 10 games last season and was expected to compete for the starting middle linebacker job as a senior. Last year as a junior, he tallied 45 tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss, 1.0 sack, one forced fumble and one interception. He will likely come off the bench in 2012 once he returns to action, but will reportedly be allowed to fight to regain his starting spot over time.
A throwback, smash-mouth linebacker, Klein is currently rated as an undrafted free agent for the 2013 NFL Draft, but accepting the plea is a positive step forward if he hopes to have a NFL future.