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Column: Ohio State should be recruiting ‘90s pop stars

Why settle for just four and five star recruits? Ryan Day should be adding these ‘90s stars to the OSU roster ASAP!

H-back Britney Spears demonstrating proper Bosa Shrug technique.
Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images | Edit by Gene Ross/LGHL Studios

Look, we haven’t had live sports to talk about in weeks, and it looks like it could be months before we do again, so my brain has been exploring a lot of bizarre, alternate realities lately.

One of the most bizarre manifested itself last week thanks to a news story that got my ‘90s-kid brain thinking a bit. As Ryan Day and the Ohio State football team have been using the current quarantine and extended NCAA dead period to build a BOOMing lead in the race for the top 2021 recruiting class, personally I think that they should be shooting even higher.

(We’re gonna take a sharp left turn here, so stick with me) Apparently the Princess of Pop, Britney Spears, is even more of an impressive athlete than her hypnotic dance moves would indicate, because last week, she posted a story on Instagram that seemed to indicate that she had run a 100-meter dash in 5.97 seconds, which is impressive, because the current competitive world record is held by Usain Bolt at 9.58 seconds.

As far as I know, Louisiana-native Spears (no known relation to former LSU star Marcus Spears) has never attended college, so she’s gotta have some eligibility left, right? So, if Day and his staff have any guts, they should work to sign this generational talent before Clemson or Alabama start beating down her dad’s door in order to get his permission to try and sign her.

But, the prospect of adding the obviously five-star Britney Spears to the OSU roster got me

thinking. If Britney has been hiding this type of athletic talent for the past two+ decades, what other ‘90s pop stars could make excellent additions to the Buckeyes’ roster?

So, I decided to put my big-J journalist hat on in order to figure out who else Mark Pantoni and company should be hitting hard during the current recruiting limbo.


Britney Spears | H-back

Yes, I know what an H-back is, and Britney is an ideal fit for the position. Obviously with her world-class speed, you are going to want to get the ball into her hands as much as humanly possible. But, standing at only 5-foot-4, she wouldn’t make the best candidate on the outside, so instead, allowing her to create space out of the backfield is going to be the best chance for her to make plays. Her rare collection of talents would be toxic to opposing defenses.

While she could occasionally motion into the slot, with her speed and size, you wouldn’t want her to be encumbered by DBs jamming her at the line. So, I would envision putting her in motion, and getting the ball to her on screens and fly sweeps. I think it is pretty obvious that her unique talents would drive defenses crazy, and fans would be screaming, “Baby, one more time,” after every touchdown. Buckeye fans would be lucky to have her on the team.

And look at the picture at the top of the article. She’s already got the Bosa shrug down. Britney was born to be a Buckeye, b*tch.

Nick Lachey | Running back

Whether you want to admit it or not, Ohio native Nick Lachey is immensely talented. His 2006, post-Jessica Simpson breakup album “What’s Left of Me” is an under-appreciated emotional masterpiece. However, Lachey has always been surrounded by lesser talent; no offense to his younger, “Dancing with the Stars” winning brother Drew Lachey or Larry, Curly, and Moe (or whatever the names of the other members of 98 Degrees are).

That is why Nick Lachey is continually working — including co-hosting the wildly popular “Love is Blind” on Netflix with his wife Vanessa — while you barely even know the names of his other bandmates.

That is the type of sticktoitiveness that you need from a running back. He’s not going to give up if his offensive line can’t create a hole. He’s not going to pack it in if his quarterback can’t connect with an open receiver (just like 98 Degrees hasn’t connected with the Billboard charts since 2001’s “My Everything” peaked at No. 34).

No, he’s going to find a way to pick up yards. They might not always be the flashiest, but they will be solid, productive yards that you can count on. That’s what you need from a back in Ryan Day’s dynamic offense. You need someone capable of doing enough damage to keep defenses honest.

Besides, with moves like the ones above, ain’t nobody gonna be able to bring him down.

Montell Jordan | Tight end

ABC’s “American Idol” - Season Two

In the mid-’90s, there was no R&B song that pasty white kids in suburban Columbus knew better than “This Is How We Do It” by Montell Jordan. But, what you might not realize is that Montell Jordan is 6-foot-8.

So, if you combine his dominant size, with the utter, unshakable smoothness that he’s shown throughout his music career, he would be a perfect threat for the Buckeyes over the middle.

And just imagine, once he’s finally rocking the Scarlet and Gray, maybe he will rewrite the lyrics to his iconic hit.

“This is how we do it.
It’s Saturday night, and the ‘Shoe is tight.
The party’s here on the east side (of the Olentangy).
So I catch it at the 40 and I turn it up (field).
With a caravan of blockers, I score six for the Bucks.”


Joey Fatone | Defensive End

Everyone loves Joey Fatone. How could you not love Joey Fatone? He’s talented, he’s funny, he’s self-deprecating. He even has embraced the nickname “Joey Fat One.” Now, in fairness to Joey, he’s in pretty good shape now, but he’s still got some decent size on him. Think about the body transformations that we’ve seen Buckeyes go through after working with Micky Marotti for an offseason.

Joey has the frame to really bulk up into a physically dominating presence on the end of the line. And, based on the video below, he still has the agility and fast-twitch bursts to be a Chase Young type presence coming around the edge. Think about what Larry Johnson can do with this type of athleticism.

Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes | Cornerback

While she did not play football, to the best of my knowledge, the late, great Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes of the iconic hip-hop group TLC, proved that she could shut down an NFL wide receiver more than a quarter century ago. So, as long as you are willing to overlook the fact that she died in a tragic car accident in 2002, I think she’d be a perfect addition to Kerry Coombs’ crew.

Too soon?

Christina Aguilera | Free safety

While you might think that her genie in a bottle escapability would make her a valuable offensive weapon, Xtina is lining up in the back of the defense as a free safety, because, frankly, she’s a fighter.

While the ever-evolving offenses in college football continually blur the lines between the responsibilities of the two safety positions, a traditional free safety needs to possess a multitude of skills to stand up as a unit’s last line of defense. In fact, they need to be that much stronger; need to hit a little bit harder; need to be that much wiser; that’s what makes them a fighter.

And since Aguilera has already led her team to a championship on “The Voice,” she has proven that she has what it takes to lead the Buckeyes to a College Football Playoff National title as well.

What ‘90s pop stars do you think would make great football players? Let us know in the comments below.