"Everything happens for a reason and I think that role was good for me. I think it humbled me too, so that was a good thing. There are some guys who are five-star recruits who think they're going to play right away, and in reality it's not like that. That can be tough to handle. If you put your head down and keep going, you'll get through it."
Ohio State's football program is filled with talent from the top of the roster to the bottom. With so much talent, there are going to be plenty of opportunities for players to break out from the rest of the pack even if they didn't do so in their first year or two on campus. One of the players, Parris Campbell, believes you should be keeping an eye on him over the course of this season and beyond.
The 6'1, 184-pound wide receiver was a member of the Buckeyes' 2014 recruiting class and after redshirting during Ohio State's national championship season this past year, Campbell believes he'll turn heads on the field this year. A scout-team player in 2014, Campbell still earned some mentions whenever coach Meyer was asked about players that were impressing him and he often gave some of the starting defense troubles with his playmaking ability.
"Personally, I feel like it's scary for my opponents because I feel like I get better in every game. When we practice, I learn something that I didn't know going into that practice or game. It's scary because I feel it. I get better every game."
D'Angelo Russell came into the season as the freshman with the most promise and potential, but not many could have predicted the season he's been having to this point. Since Jan. 10, Russell has averaged 23.4 points, 9 rebounds, and 6.6 assists per game during this seven-game stretch.
With his play, Russell has entered the realm of discussion for national player of the year and has certainly punched his ticket to a potential top 10 draft pick. Some scouts have even said Russell could go first overall in the upcoming NBA draft. Whether or not that's true doesn't matter much to Russell himself, at least, not right now. As the guard said himself, he's all in on Ohio State and the push for the NCAA tournament.
"I am excited for a number of reasons. I am looking forward to working for Coach Meyer, someone I've known for a long time. I know his family. And I know his coaches. I've worked directly with three of them, and I've recruited against all of them."
When Tony Alford was introduced as Ohio State's next running backs coach, it also signified a sort of reunion with some of the Buckeyes' assistant coaches already on the staff. Offensive coordinator Ed Warinner and tight ends coach Tim Hinton were at Notre Dame with Alford in 2011 before Meyer hired them to join him in his first season at Ohio State in 2012. In addition, co-defensive coordinator Chris Ash has connections with Alford from their time spent at Iowa State.
It makes sense for the Buckeyes to make a hire like this. The more camaraderie among the staff members, the better. Once you have those connections, it can make life a lot easier for each other as they try and shape the young men for winning championships and for their futures beyond Ohio State and beyond football. I'm looking forward to what Alford will bring to the table as far as recruiting and knowledge of the running back position goes.
"You really lifted almost the entire state. In life, it's amazing how successful you can be if you're a member of a team."
Urban Meyer and members of the 2014 national championship team made their way to the Statehouse on Wednesday, and were welcomed by Ohio Governor John Kasich, who congratulated the Buckeyes on their season and praised them for lifting the spirit of the state. After talking and making a few laughs, Kasich added:
"Playing for Ohio State marks you forever. Don't screw it up, because the spotlight is always on you."
That's a true statement, but also pretty cool in the sense that these players will forever be remembered as Buckeyes.