"On the field, he's incredibly successful. He's a leader. He's a guy that does everything right. He's a smart guy, too, with all this talent. Off the field, he cares about the community, he cares about himself spiritually and all those things. He's a guy who has it all. He has it together. He's in a small group of people where he's an elite athlete and an elite person, as well."
Not only has Ohio State linebacker Joshua Perry been making a name for himself with his performance on the football field, but he has been doing just as much off the field. Perry took control of the Buckeye linebacking corps with his 124 tackle performance last season, but he has also became a voice for student-athletes off the field. Perry's seven-minute speech during Big Ten Media Days has earned him high praise, as he urged his fellow student-athletes to use the voice and power that they have for good.
The speech is just the tip of the iceberg on what Perry has done off the field to earn such high praise not only from his peers, but from his coach as well. A few years ago Perry befriended a young boy from Perrysburg, Ohio to give him support during his battle with lymphoblastic leukemia. The friendship turned into Perry getting his fellow Buckeye teammates to send well-wishes to help boost the kid's spirits after a setback put him back in the hospital. It wasn't the first time Perry had given his support to someone dealing with health issues. Perry wore a green wristband while playing, to help raise awareness for brain injuries, which his childhood friend Tyler Batten was suffering from.
In just a few days Ohio State will take the field against Virginia Tech with Perry as one of the team's captains, something that Urban Meyer predicted months ago. The head coach said Perry is one of his favorite guys, which is pretty high praise with the expectations Meyer has for his players. No matter what the future holds for Perry after he graduates from Ohio State, it's almost a certainly he is going to be a success in whatever he does.
"The only individual award that I want and came back for, outside of playing for my teammates this season, is a degree. I think my degree is more important than having a career in the NFL."
Last year at this time, the only reason a lot of people knew about Cardale Jones was because of the infamous "We didn't come to play school" tweet. Fast forward a year and Jones helped to lead Ohio State to a national title after both Braxton Miller and J.T. Barrett went down due to injuries. In a year, Cardale has become a favorite of Buckeye fans not only because of what he did on the field, but because of what he has done on the offseason on Twitter. From scaring Ohio State fans with "May Fools Day" to trying to get a date with Ronda Rousey. But there is so much more to the quarterback from Northeast Ohio, which Adam Kramer of Bleacher Report dives into.
After never knowing his father, and being the youngest of six children, life growing up for Jones wasn't the easiest. Things started to change when he went to stay with Michelle Nash, who would become his guardian, in 2008. That was the first step in the Cardale shaping who he is today, and the next step was heading to Fork Union Military Academy. While Jones didn't totally adhere to the academy routine, his time there did help to make him a better person. From there Jones moved on to Ohio State, where some tough love from Urban Meyer, then-offensive coordinator Tom Herman, and Herman's wife, helped to turn Jones into not only the player, but also the person, he is today.
"Maybe top to bottom we're not the SEC, but we're getting there. The resurgence is obvious. All you have to do is look at recruiting. There is excellent recruiting going on right now."
How big can one win really be? Well when it comes to Ohio State's win over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl on New Year's, it is looking pretty big right now. Sure the Buckeyes got a little extra confidence when they saw Wisconsin beat Auburn in the Outback Bowl earlier in the day, but for a school that had struggled against the SEC in the past, the win over the Crimson Tide was as big as can be. Ohio State went out and won the title against Oregon less than two weeks later, but the win over Alabama might be what everybody remembers from the season just because of how Ohio State exercised the SEC demons of the past.
But the win isn't just benefitting Ohio State, it is helping to improve the perception of the Big Ten conference as a whole. Add in what Michigan State has done the last few years, as well as high expectations for Michigan in the near future with the hiring of Jim Harbaugh, and the Big Ten is making a comeback into national prominence. In the latest Scout.com recruiting ranks, four teams from the Big Ten East were in the top 10. With the Big Ten finishing the 2014 bowl season above .500 for the first time since 2009, the momentum is certainly shifting their way, and with the strong work done out on the recruiting trail it doesn't seem like it is going to stop anytime soon.
"I would say the biggest thing for me throughout my career has been my consistency. I have definitely shown flashes of making plays and being a really effective player. But sometimes I let down and don't play the way I want to. I'm finally at the point where I can go play every game at the same level."
When Tommy Schutt switched his college commitment from Penn State to Ohio State in 2011, he joined other defensive linemen Noah Spence, Se'Veon Pittman, and Adolphus Washington in the 2012 recruiting class. Now only Schutt and Washington remain as members of the Buckeyes, and Schutt is hoping for a breakout season much like Washington had last year for Ohio State. While injuries have made it hard for Schutt to gain any traction in making a name for himself on the defensive line, now he is in tremendous shape and is hoping to show that he deserved some of then loft recruiting rankings he earned coming out of high school.
After spending three years with the Buckeyes and only accumulating 17 tackles, Schutt will finally get the chance to start when Ohio State travels to Blacksburg to take on Virginia Tech on Monday night. With Joey Bosa being suspended for the game, Ohio State will need seniors Schutt and Adolphus Washington to be even stronger in the interior of the line to help make things easier for the defensive ends. The good news for Buckeye fans is Schutt's partner of the interior of the defensive line says Schutt is not only in great shape, but is understanding the game better than he ever has before. Hopefully with all the strides he has made during the offseason, this is the year that Schutt is finally able to live up to the hype he earned coming out of high school.
"Led by returning NCAA champion Nathan Tomasello and All-American Bo Jordan, the defending national champion Ohio State wrestling team is ranked No. 2 in the WIN Magazine Preseason Power Index."
Powered by having six wrestlers ranked in the top eight of their respective weight classes, the outlook is bright for Ohio State heading into this year's wrestling season. The WIN Magazine rankings do not include true or redshirt freshman, and are based on weight classes that wrestlers are expected to compete in, but are subject to change. Ohio State earned 70.5 points in the poll, which was only second to the 82 points Oklahoma State. The Buckeyes topped the five Big Ten teams in the Top 10, with Iowa ranking third, Penn State ranking fourth, Michigan ranking seventh, and Illinois ranking 10th.
After compiling a 33-4 mark and winning a NCAA championship last year, Nathan Tomasello tops the 125 lbs. rankings. Following a 22-2 season last year, and finishing third at the NCAA Championships, Bo Jordan ranks second at 155 lbs., just behind defending NCAA champion Alex Dieringer from Oklahoma State. After just wrestling in 10 matches last year due to injury, Hunter Stieber checks in at fourth in the 149 lbs. rankings. Kenny Courts is ranked fifth at 184 lbs. after helping Ohio State secure the national title with his fifth-place showing at the NCAA Championships. Johnni DiJulius ranks eighth at 133 lbs. and Mark Martin also ranks eighth at 174 lbs. to round out the Buckeyes ranked in the top eight of the weight classes in the WIN Rankings.
STICK TO SPORTS:
- Somebody stole more than $7,000 in underwear from Victoria's Secret at Tuttle Crossing.
- Missing some mail? A Columbus postal worker might have it.
- Not like you needed any more reasons not to eat at Arby's.
- The supermoon is back later this month and better than ever.
- With BBQ scratch-offs in North Carolina even if you lose you're still a winner in a way.