Ohio State's Chip Trayanum is a human chill pill
This was a summer of big changes for Chip Trayanum.
An Akron Hoban graduate, Trayanum left Ohio in 2020 to play running back for Arizona State, where he compiled 692 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns over the course of two seasons.
Then came this offseason. Traynum transferred to Ohio State, and in order to facilitate the move, agreed to a new position. He now plays linebacker.
However, given his history, Buckeyes coach Ryan Day figured he could also use Trayanum as a kick returner.
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His teammates like the decision.
“He’s one of the fastest guys on the team being 230 pounds,” receiver Emeka Egbuka said. “He can do backflips like it’s nothing. He’s one of the strongest guys in the weight room. Me personally, I would not want to tackle him.”
Although he didn't get a chance to return a kick against Arkansas State and was dinged up against Toledo, Trayanum's athleticism is something OSU will continue to try to tap into.
Get to know Ohio State linebacker Chip Trayanum
What do you have going on outside of football? Like, what do you think Ohio State fans might not see?
I know my teammates know this, for sure. And classmates and teachers of mine know that I'm a laid-back, chill guy. Just super respectful and just always about having a good time. And being respectful in the moment, knowing when it's time to work and knowing when it's time to relax and have fun and just enjoy your downtime.
What do you do to enjoy your downtime?
Most of the time, I just be relaxing my mind. Back at home right now, I have my dog, Lola. So whenever I'm at home and not in class, I'm just playing with her, playing with my dog. And other than that, just chill, laying down, listening to music, have some candles lit, just enjoying some peace of mind.
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You sound very zen, and I want to talk about that, but first tell me about this dog.
She's 16 weeks now. I just got her a month ago. So her name's Lola. She's like a beige bully pit. Love her. She pees like six, seven times before I leave to come to practice, but I still love her. She be keeping me company, and she be making sure I'm straight.
What is the key to being as chill as you seem? Because I'd like to get there someday, and so far I am just so far away.
I feel it's like being in the moment. Like a lot of times when you're out here at football, it's about seizing the moment, making a play, but when you get your downtime and your space and your chill time, that's when you can actually train your mind. Because when you're doing something like this, or playing any sport, it's just body, body, body. But when you've got that downtime, I'm a firm believer in training your mind and also showing gratitude. ... I feel like that just makes you notice the little things more and more.
Do you meditate?
What kind of meditation do you do?
Self-reflection meditation. Every now and then I use the Calm app on my phone. But most of the time, it's just taking some time in the morning, whether it's 10 or 15 minutes, as soon as I wake up, just rolling out, getting out of my bed, saying a prayer and then meditating and starting my day.
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You talked about music earlier. What kind of music do you listen to get to this mind space?
Anything chill. Anything basically kind of low vibrations. Anything that's chill, that's soothing, that's not upbeat.
So not listening to EDM?
Nah. (laughs) No. Nah. Not EDM at home.
Who's your favorite musician?
That's tough. I don't have one.
What's your ringtone?
I'm sorry, what?
An artist called Rod Wave.
If you can't tell, I'm not familiar. But do I seem like someone who should be jamming to Rod Wave?
(laughs) I can see you after this interview, going into your car, playing some Rod Wave, and being like, "OK. I like this."
This is exactly what I'm going to be doing. But first I have a tough question for you: pro or con pumpkin spice?
Actually pro. I literally just broke into the pro – like I literally had to break my shell and literally stepped out this year and been trying it more and more, and I love it.
Is it because you're back in Ohio and can't avoid it?
I don't know. I don't know. But growing up, I was always like, "Ew, pumpkin. Ew." And last week I was at Marshall's. I almost bought a pumpkin candle, but I talked myself out of it.
You went out of state for a while and then came back. What's the thing that, when you came back, you hadn't realized you missed?
Honestly, probably the snow. I missed the snow. Coming out of high school, I was trying to get away from it. I hated it. But when you're in a place like Arizona, or you're just out west where you very rarely see it, it's almost kind of like a little kid feeling again, your first time seeing it. Seeing it. Being in it. Not driving it. But we all know that being from Ohio.
Yeah. So not the four seasons or the lightning bugs ...
Oh, my gosh. The lightning bugs! When I first saw the lightning bugs again in June of this year, I was like, "Bro, that's a lightning bug." I was like a little kid again. I felt like I hadn't seen one of those in five or six years. I was just so happy. Just noticing the little things in life, man.
When you want to nurture your inner kid, what do you do?
That's a great question. When I want to nurture my inner kid, I feel like I go spend money. I just buy what I want. Most of the time I try to be on a budget, but my little kid in me, I was a little bit spoiled growing up. ... Just learning how to spoil myself every now and then, just giving it back to myself because I deserve it because I work so hard. And just always knowing that it's OK to get rewarded.
So your parents spoiled you?
Until I was 7, I was an only child, so you know how an only child gets treated with parents and grandparents? Yeah, I love that life. But I love my little sister, also. So that's worth it.
What's her name?
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If you wrote a book, what would the title be?
You are hitting me with some great questions, Lori. If I wrote a book? I don't know.
What would it be about?
Probably noticing the little things.
Is that something your parents taught you, or did you learn it elsewhere?
It's kind of something I picked up literally earlier this year.
Is there something that happened, or was it a gradual getting there?
I just realized that throughout the day, we just overlook so many thing. ... Like taking a deep breath of fresh air as soon as you step outside. Everybody can normally breathe, but you take that deep breath, you get that moment of ease. And I feel like everybody be moving fast-paced, and a lot of times it's just taking a deep breath and taking a step back and surveying everything.
What's a cause you are passionate about?
I would say a cause that I'm passionate about really is treat people how you want to be treated. I'm very passionate about that. As a believer in Christ, I feel like that's what we're all here to do. Definitely treat people as you want to be treated, because at the end of the day, you never know what somebody's going through and just a simple "How is your day?" can change somebody's day. So I'm a firm believer in that.
Is it hard being a football player who's on a pedestal and be someone whose faith calls them to be a humble servant? Because, like, I'm sure when you're in class and your name is called, people turn and think, "I know him!"
Oh, no. Actually, during class, the teachers call me DeaMonte, so I doubt anyone knows me as DeaMonte. So being in class is pretty cool, and all my classmates are good people.
DeaMonte, your given name?
Yeah. DeaMonte means diamond in Spanish.
Is that why you're named DeaMonte?
Actually, my dad named me DeaMonte after a car. So it was a car in like, 2001. I think it was a Mercury or something.
It better have been a fast car.
I doubt it. In 2001, I doubt it.