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Column: The steak emojis, explained?

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Ohio State staff members and 2021 commits tweeted out cryptic steak tweets on Thursday afternoon.

Mark Pantoni via Twitter (@markpantoni)

In case ya missed it, five-star running back TreVeyon Henderson, four-star defensive end Tunmise Adeleye, and other top-ranked commits to Ohio State’s 2021 class, along with Ohio State director of player personnel Mark Pantoni and other recruiting staff members all began to tweet out the steak emoji around 4:30-5:30 p.m. on Thursday with zero explanation.

Even uncommitted four-star tight end Hudson Wolfe joined in, which certainly raises more question marks.

Like Matt said in last night’s Buckeye Bits, “I am simply old and do not understand the new fangled, Generation Z slang that I see popping up on various social media platforms like The Twitter Dot Com.”

Now, I’m not as old as Matt (sorry Matt), however I haven’t the slightest idea what these cryptic steaks mean either. It is worth noting that I am never in on the latest trending jokes/slang/emoijs/TikTok dances and, oftentimes, if not always, need someone to explain the meaning behind the joke/slang/emoji/TikTok dance to me. Like, for example, a lot of the 2021 commits are commenting “YKTV” on everyone’s respective steaks, and I had to google it.

It means “you know the vibes.” Congratulations, you are now 1-percent more hip.

On the bright side, Matt and I aren’t alone in wondering what the heck is going on. In fact, even current Ohio State players are confused.

So, just in case someone out there knew something, anything that would help further our investigation, we asked our Twitter followers for help.

And, based on your answers, it was brought to my attention that none of you know what’s going on either. So, maybe this isn’t Gen Z slang and is in fact supposed to be cryptic? Either that, or we just have zero followers under the age of 21.

Here are some of the best answers we received:

I love a good word play. However, this unfortunately doesn’t differentiate Ohio State from Penn State, Michigan State, etc.

If this is true, then why be vague? Why not just tweet out “there’s a lot at stake this season,” ya know?

This was my first thought, as well. If you remember a season or two ago, the mantra amongst the team was “how she gone eat?” which started as an inside joke between the team when they asked defensive end Tyquan Lewis to join them at Mongolian Barbeque, but Lewis had his girlfriend’s car and needed to pick her up from basketball practice, thus asking “well, how she gone eat?”

It then became a clothing line and a trending hashtag and gained a new meaning—something along the lines of “let’s succeed so we can support the women in our life.”

So, going back to the steak emoji, maybe they’re telling us that—and stick with me here—not only is she going to eat, but the 2021 recruiting class is going to be so good, that they’ll only be feeding her the finest of meals.

I don’t know, man.

Should I try to decipher this in my next column?

Then we have assistant quarterbacks coach Keenan Bailey’s steak-tweet, which makes me wonder if they’re saying “things are heating up” or “something’s cooking” or the Texas Roadhouse symbol in the corner implies we’re getting a Texas-based commit? Eh? Maybe? No? Okay.

Perhaps one of the best explanations, however, comes from Gene’s State Secrets article this morning:

“Some speculated that it alludes to a potential incoming offensive lineman commit. AKA, Ohio State could be adding some “beef” up front in the near future.

Gene notes that, if that is the case, then the two guys they are probably referring to is either four-star OG Jager Burton or five-star OT JC Latham. Neither prospects have tweeted or favorited a steak tweet, but this does sound like the most probable explanation.

Here are my guesses, that, as you will be able to tell, I put a lot of thought into:

  • They’re implying that, if you choose to play at Ohio State, they will feed you well.
  • They just all happened to be eating steak for dinner at the exact same time.
  • There is a prospect no one knows about yet named “Steak.”
  • They are asking for their followers’ best steak recipes or steakhouse recommendations, in which case this guy came through:
  • They were all bored as heck, and in their group message, that I’m certain exists, decided to pull a Tom Brady— tweet out something that looks like it could mean something, when in fact, it means absolutely nothing, but they know the Ohio State fanbase will absolutely lose their minds and speculate for days on what it could mean. Exhibit A: Me. Exhibit B: You, because you’re actually reading this nonsense.