By MrWiley on 07:42:09 08/10/15
Good morning! I am a frequent reader and sometime commenter on the board here. With this being the first day of his final camp, I thought I would share with you guys that I am extremely proud of my nephew. Over the last 3 years, the content on the front page and this forum have kept me updated on OSU football more than I could have ever imagined. When he decided to come to OSU, I was surfing the net, looking for a good place to be able to monitor the team's progress. By chance, I just happened to find this site along with a few others. Of course, I am able to talk with him about what's going on but a site like this gives me a different insight. The staff and the commenters here are knowledgeable and it has been a great pleasure to visit here every day the past 3 years. With that said, let me share a few things about my nephew and his journey.
He has wanted to be a Buckeye ever since he was a kid. Seriously, he has baby pictures in Buckeye clothes! So when he announced he was coming here it was no surprise. His freshman season he showed flashes of what he could be. He was used to dominating everybody in football and basketball so there was a bit of an adjustment period for him. He gained valuable experience that he took into the following offseason and became a starter. As you all know he was injured the 2nd game of the season. He fought his way back and had a really good game against Wisconsin. Then, against Northwestern, he had an ankle injury, which was not really reported as much as his groin injury was. Joey Bosa stepped up big time and rightfully took his place in the starting lineup. He struggled with injuries most of the season. He got better towards the end and he told me Coach Vrabel said, "If you wanna play and help the team, you gotta play inside". It wasn't his ideal position in his mind but he wanted to do what was best for the team. It took some time but he took to the position enough to get some starts towards the end of the season. Last season by far was his best year. The selflessness that he showed by switching positions again (although it was not quite as big of a switch) speaks volumes about the kind of guy he is. It helped that he has the utmost respect for Coach Johnson, as he did for Coach Vrabel, and I believe that if that man asked him to run through a wall, he would do it. No questions asked. He has told me on numerous occasions how much he loves the man. The closeness that the players speak of is real. He has no reason to be pc with me so when I ask about the team he says the same things they all say to the media. For instance, I texted him after the Michigan game. I said "man that sucks that JT got hurt. How are y'all feeling?". Seconds later he said "not worried at all. Cardale is really good unc. Just watch." I was skeptical like mostly everybody else but look at what happened! The confidence that they have in each other and the bond they have is what you want to see from a team. They rallied behind Cardale without hesitation. He and Mike Bennett taking interviews together was real stuff. The guys on the team really care about each other.
It appears that he is headed for a really good season this year. I must say that those first three years went so fast that I cannot really believe this year is it. To be honest, it seems like just yesterday I was watching him play little league football. Our entire family is extremely proud of Lil Dee (if you see his dad, you will understand!). The growth as a man and a football player that he has had over these years is truly special. I often times felt like he was overlooked. It seemed to me that his contributions were not fairly mentioned. That seems to have changed lately. Seeing him be chosen as one of the representatives for the B1G Conference kickoff was really special. He's a quiet guy so it was a bit out of his comfort zone I'm sure but he handled it well. Hopefully he is selected as a captain this season and he continues to grow as a leader. I asked him about how he views his career and he said, "If I hadn't got injured, I would've been looked at differently. I might've been talked about more. But it was a blessing in disguise because I'm comfortable where I am now".
I have always been a Buckeye fan but being able to have a family member on the team has increased my interest. When he is done here, I will remain a fan. I want to thank you guys for all of the interesting topics on the forum and front page here. Go Bucks!!