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A.J. Hawk delivers message to Ohio State players heading into the playoff

Enjoy the ride.

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Notre Dame v Ohio State Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

“Have fun. It goes fast.”

- A.J. Hawk, The Players Tribune

Former Ohio State linebacker A.J. Hawk wrote a great piece for The Players Tribune that talked about the significance of football in Ohio. He didn’t leave it at strictly Ohio State football, but rather went into how it’s a huge deal at the high school level, despite it not getting the hype that surrounds Texas high school football. At the same time, Hawk mentions that playing for Ohio State seemed impossible, like becoming the President of the United States. There’s numbers you grow up recognizing because of their historical significance, or because they were a player you grew up admiring.

Hawk then talks about suddenly being thrown into that mix, after seeing Jerry Rudzinski, who grew up in Hawk’s hometown, play for Ohio State. That pushed Hawk, who ultimately was able to go to Ohio State and win a national championship. He expands on things that he experienced as a player, like the way that he and his teammates were with each other, including other small details that he noticed while at Ohio State. His message in the end to the 2016 Buckeyes, is to “Have fun. It goes fast.” That sounds like some good advice for young college athletes on top of the world right now.

“Meyer pointed at his own desk. He wasn’t saying [J.T.] Barrett is simply going to be a college head coach someday; he’s saying Barrett will be the head coach at Ohio State someday.”

- Pat Forde, Yahoo Sports

Urban Meyer thinks his quarterback, J.T. Barrett will hold the throne that is the Ohio State head coaching position. “I really believe this,” Meyer told Forde. “I think he’s going to sit right here one day. Right here.” Meyer clearly thinks very highly of Barrett, who is having one of the most prolific careers not just in Ohio State history, but in Big Ten history. He’s involved in a lot of plays, 57.7 percent of them, according to Forde.

Barrett and Meyer have set out to do what everyone does, and that’s win a national championship, and compete for multiple ones. “I know why he came here, he was very clear about it,” Meyer said. “It was to play for a national championship. … He said he couldn’t stand to go to another place and watch Ohio State play for a national championship.” Barrett added, “[A national title] was one of the things I wrote down as my goals as a freshman. The goal was reached, but playing in it is totally different. That’s something I definitely want to be a part of.” The got one in 2014, maybe they’ll have some even-year magic.

“[Curtis] Samuel arrived at Ohio State thinking he was just going to be a running back.”

- Marla Ridenour, Akron Beacon Journal

The story of Curtis Samuel is an interesting one. He’s not from a place (Brooklyn) where a lot of football players come from. He wasn’t recruited to Ohio State to be an H-back, and yet here he is, tearing it up in Urban Meyer’s offense and drawing comparisons to Percy Harvin. When he was in high school, he played running back, but never really felt like one. “In high school, every little combine or camp event I went to I played receiver, I never played running back,” Samuel told Ridenour. “I was kind of comfortable in high school, but the plays we ran were sweeps and bubble screens. I didn’t know about running routes and 15-yard curls.”

Samuel came to Ohio State, who had Ezekiel Elliott, a guy who turned out to be pretty dang good. That’s when Meyer started to work with converting Samuel, who needed a good amount of time to adjust. “It definitely took a lot of time. My first practice was horrible. You could tell I had potential there, but the routes were horrible. [Receivers] Coach [Zach] Smith helped me, coach Meyer, the unit room we had was great, they pushed me, they helped me become the receiver I am today.” He’s undoubtedly turned into a great receiver, and while he may not get the national recognition we feel he deserves, we know what number 4 in the scarlet and gray uniform is capable of. Ask folks in Ann Arbor.

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