Ohio State announces hiring of Barnett as player development director

Joey Kaufman
Buckeye Xtra
Ohio State Buckeyes safety C.J. Barnett (4) greets family during Senior Day celebration before the college football game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Indiana Hoosiers at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Saturday afternoon, November 23, 2013. The Ohio State Buckeyes defeated the Indiana Hoosiers 42 - 14. (The Columbus Dispatch / Eamon Queeney)

Ohio State has made official the hiring of former player C.J. Barnett as its new director of player development.

Barnett was listed in its employee directory last week, but OSU did not announce the hire until Mond. He replaces Ryan Stamper, who had held the administrative role for nine years before joining former coach Urban Meyer’s staff in the NFL with the Jacksonville Jaguars last month.

Barnett was a safety for the Buckeyes from 2009-13. He worked as a Columbus police officer in recent years, mirroring the career path of Stamper, who was a police officer in Titusville, Florida, before joining the Buckeyes in 2012.

“I am really pleased to be coming back to work for a program that has given so much to me,” Barnett said in a statement. “I look forward to using my experiences to become a trusted advocate and resource for our players in all areas of their lives. I look forward to getting to work for Coach (Ryan) Day and this staff, and on behalf of the players, and to help grow the already strong culture that exists in this program.”

Day termed Barnett "the perfect fit" for the job. Barnett officially will start on Wednesday

 “We’ll miss Ryan Stamper, as he helped our program become the standard when it comes to helping players prepare for life and success off the field," Day said. "C.J. is going to come in and build onto that standard and enhance it, too. His experiences as a player and as a member of the Columbus Police Department make him exactly the kind of person our players can learn and grow from. We’re thrilled that he’s back with our program.”

Stamper, who was a linebacker for Meyer’s teams at Florida, helped players with their academics and preparation for post-football careers. Most notably, he organized the “Real Life Wednesdays” series that invited guest speakers from various businesses to speak with the team.

During his time as a Buckeye player, Barnett was often one of the team’s leading tacklers. He totaled 224 tackles in five seasons and was named to the All-Big Ten second-team by the league’s coaches in 2011 when he finished with a team-high 75 tackles during the season.

As a senior, he was selected as one of six team captains.

A Dayton native, Barnett earned his degree from Ohio State in 2013 in sociology and criminology. 

Dispatch reporter Bill Rabinowitz contributed to this story.