Coach Urban Meyer didn’t mind revealing a secret to the media Monday before he announced it to his sixth Ohio State football team, that he expected Tracy Sprinkle to be named a captain later in the day.

Sprinkle, a senior defensive tackle, has battled back from a season-ending knee injury in the opener last year to be considered one of the defensive stalwarts headed toward the opener, Aug. 31 at Indiana.

“I didn’t know it, but I kind of felt it, the feeling around the locker room, just helping guys all the time, being a great leader,” Sprinkle said of the captaincy. “I hope it happens. If it does it would be a humbling experience.”

He said a title won’t change his approach.

“I was already trying to take a leadership role; I’m just that type of guy,” Sprinkle said. “I like to help other people.”

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He did throughout last season even after suffering a torn right patellar tendon, and he doesn’t mind taking some credit for his personal rally.

“I’d say I’m proud of myself because my whole journey has been, like, against the odds,” Sprinkle said. “That injury, there was a 60 percent chance I wouldn’t come back from it, so I was against the odds again.

“So to be from there to where I am now, I am very blessed and humbled.”


Defensive line coach Larry Johnson said Sprinkle’s story is special and that his humility and leadership have been constants.

“You knew that people gravitated to him. When he speaks everybody listens; everybody listens,” Johnson said. “That’s really just the power of Tracy.”


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