COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Outside of their friends and family, almost no one notices the often anonymous players running headlong downfield or muscling aside opponents on special teams.
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer sure does.
”We kind of have a rule around here that you can’t play unless you’re involved in special teams,” Meyer said.
So before you can be a starter, let alone a star, for the Buckeyes, you have to put on a hard hat, pack your lunch pail and join those sweating it out on the teams that take the field when the offense and defense don’t.
Almost every well-known Buckeye has played his way onto the first team based on what he did on those grunt squads – and several have cost themselves a starting job by not committing to them.
Have an awful game? Get into trouble off the field? Skip a class or two? The first step in redeeming yourself in the eyes of the coaching staff is to contribute when you’re not in the spotlight, when you’re blocking for or defending against kicks and punts.
”Nothing is given to these guys,” running backs coach Stan Drayton said. ”It starts with special teams. We have a philosophy that if you want to play your respective position, you have to provide some value to this team on special teams.”
Continue Reading: To start for Buckeyes, you begin on special teams