Campbell says pregame talks 'from the heart'

Bill Rabinowitz
From left, receivers Parris Campbell, Johnnie Dixon, Binjimen Victor and Austin Mack sing "Carmen Ohio" after the Buckeyes' 40-28 victory against the TCU on Sept. 15. Campbell gives pep talks to the team before each game. "TCU was one I was really into,” he said. [Joshua A. Bickel]

Parris Campbell has a responsibility on Saturdays that goes beyond making big plays for the Ohio State offense.

The senior receiver also has been designated as the player who gives teammates a pregame pep talk in the locker room.

It is a task, and honor, that he takes seriously. J.T. Barrett gave the player pregame speech last year.

“It’s kind of a night-before thing,” Campbell said. “That’s kind of my Friday night routine. I talk about things that were mentioned by coaches that week. It’s been from the heart, honestly. TCU was one I was really into.”

Given the stakes for Ohio State on Saturday heading into the White Out crowd at Beaver Stadium against Penn State, Campbell will likely put extra thought into his next one.

“I’m just speaking from the heart and what’s real,” he said. “I don’t really sugarcoat anything. If I see something that’s being said in the media about our team, I’m going to say it to our team because I think it needs to be said.”

Fellow receiver and captain Terry McLaurin said Campbell tends to keep his speeches “short and sweet,” though they peppers his talk with “bruhs.”

“Honestly, when I’m saying ‘bruh,’ it’s not something I’m noticing,” Campbell said. “I’m just speak to my brothers, my teammates, the dudes I love in that locker room. I’m just trying to get them hyper-ready for that game. I want them to leave my speeches with chills and ready to play that game.”

Said McLaurin, “They do get you going. He has something different every week. It’s not rehearsed. It comes from the heart. I’m excited to see what he has for this week.”

Ready to emerge

With Nick Bosa out for a while, but Dre’Mont Jones isn’t fretting about the defensive line’s play in the preseason All-American’s absence. The tackle said that having the Tulane game as a tune-up for Penn State was helpful.

“Other guys are starting to step up more and they’re taking on the plays he had,” Jones said. “So it helps a lot. Honestly, our chemistry hasn’t changed. Losing a guy like that, someone’s got to step up, but mentally we’re fine.”

Jones has done his part. He returned an interception for a touchdown against TCU.

“Dre’Mont Jones is obviously playing at a high level,” coach Urban Meyer said on his radio show Thursday. “Davon Hamilton had his best game against Tulane.”

The Buckeyes also will get a boost from the return of tackle Robert Landers, who missed last week with an injury.

More McCall?

Demario McCall had four runs for 26 yards against Tulane, his first carries of the season. The 5-foot-9, 193-pound redshirt sophomore has rotated between hybrid and running back.

McCall’s career has been hampered by injuries, but he’s now healthy and has the speed and elusiveness to be a playmaker.

“He’s going to be involved in this game plan, I think,” Meyer said. “To play tailback, you have to get stronger than he is. And as a wideout, you have to be a little more fluid as a receiver. So he’s right in between. But he’s working his tail off and I love him. He can add value.”


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