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Ohio State walk-on Joey Lane is living the dream

The junior walk-on is making the most of his time with the Buckeyes.

NCAA Basketball: Mercer at Ohio State Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

“It’s my dream to be playing here, at a program with tons of former NBA Players, amazing coaches and being able to travel around the country. It’s a once in a lifetime thing and I’m thankful I didn't turn it down.”

- Joey Lane via Andrew Zoldan, Buckeye Grove

Joey Lane isn’t the biggest name on Ohio State’s basketball team. In fact, until his sophomore year, Lane was playing without a scholarship, paying his own way through school and still helping in any way he could on and off the court. But his hard work has paid off as Lane received a scholarship for last season and has continued his excellent work ethic. Coming out of high school, Lane was faced with the option to play and be an integral part of a Division II or Division III school with a lot of playing time or to potentially walk on to a Division I program like Ohio State.

Lane chose the latter, obviously, and hasn’t regretted his decision. Lane was a fan of the Buckeyes growing up, so for him, it was always a dream to play in Columbus. Programs like Denison offered him plenty of playing time but when he was offered a walk-on position at Ohio State he couldn’t turn it away. One of the top players at his high school, there was certainly a transition period of adjusting to his new role on the team. Now, he’s a vocal leader on the team and is focused on bringing the team energy any chance that he gets.

“[Best quarterback situations in the Big Ten] Best of the best: Ohio State returns the most productive quarterback in program history to operate an offense that promises to let him unleash some deeper throws this year.”

- Dan Murphy, ESPN

The quarterback position in the Big Ten has always been key for any of the conference’s teams that want to make a run and compete for championships. And there’s usually a decent crop of talent to boot. This season is no exception, and Dan Murphy broke down which teams have the best quarterback situations in the Big Ten. Putting Ohio State as the best was likely an easy choice, returning senior quarterback J.T. Barrett. Barrett has accounted for 100 touchdowns in his three years with the Buckeyes and after a down year offensively in 2016, the hiring of offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson might be enough to kick the team into a new gear.

The other top teams mentioned were of course Penn State and Michigan. After a sensational run to the Big Ten championship win and a close loss in the Rose Bowl to USC, Nittany Lions quarterback Trace McSorely is probably looking forward to having another stellar season and his team should be among the favorites to win the conference. The Wolverines also return Wilton Speight after leading his team to a 10-win season, he’ll be looking to take the next step.

“I think it went all right. I’ve definitely had days where I was kicking better but I’ve also had days where I feel like I couldn’t kick a ball to save my life so I think I did a good job out there. They want me to come back for another one too so I definitely think I came in and made a statement.”

- Austin Brizee via Matt Barnes, NBC4i

If you’re not caught up with the story of Austin Brizee, he’s a member of the Ohio State marching band and he made some noise during the Buckeyes’ bowl game practice for nailing a 55-yard field goal. The video of him doing that landed him a shot at trying out for the team as a kicker and after meeting with the coaching staff and team, he’s had a tryout and they want him back for another. Now, he’s been training with former Ohio State kicker Kyle Clinton and has even been working out with a friend that is a personal trainer.

Brizee has even given up a summer internship in hopes to pursue his kicking career. While he hasn’t made the team just yet, there’s a real possibility it could happen. His next tryout, according to the article, comes in August and will be a week after he tries out for the marching band once again.