More than 2,500 attend Student Appreciation Practice
April 5, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The third annual Student Appreciation Practice at Ohio State was held Saturday inside the Woody Hayes Athletic Center in front of a crowd of approximately 2,500 students, future Buckeyes, parents and media.
"Let's have some fun in front of these students," Ohio State coach Urban Meyer told his team before the start of the two hour practice. "And then afterward, I want you players to go thank the students for their support. This doesn't happen anywhere else and I want you to let them know how much you appreciate them."
All in with Coach Meyer
"Urban does a great job incorporating the students into his program and making us feel like we matter," junior speech pathology major Juliana Tremont, out of Elyria Catholic High School near Cleveland, said. "He wants the students to feel like part of the team and this is proof."
Many of the students were included in stretching and sprints to open the practice. A d-jay was spinning records and the thump, thump, thump of today's hits - I think - pounded through five giant speakers hanging next to an American flag, an Ohio State flag and the BCS championship game plaque that includes the years for Ohio State's three appearances in the title game. A large contingent of media was on hand to memorialize the day in photos and to watch practice for the third time this spring.
A couple individuals tried their leg at kicking field goals with the first unit, including one former student of Georgia Tech...Nicki Meyer.
Delta Sigma Pi vs. C'Mon Man!
"He's tackled right there"; and
"Touchdown! No. 15. Nice hands!"
The science behind the numbers
"I just want to see someone race," Jane Vinesky, a junior out of Magnificat High School in Cleveland, said. "I'm just imagining what it would be like if one of my friends raced a football player."
Fastest student competition
Not quite sure who won and/or advanced yet, but the contestants will be prepped for next week as they've already raced Buckeyes Johnny Dixon, Doran Grant, Raekwon McMillan, Marcus Baugh and Gareon Conley, who were part of the sprints. Coach Kerry Coombs even jumped into one heat and looked fast.
The day ended with a 20-minute session for autographs and photos that stretched into a 45-minute session with some players content to just enjoy the company of the students. At least a half a dozen players took part in a center field dance session with many doing "the Dougie."
Meanwhile...on the field
The team has three more practices next week - Monday, Wednesday and Friday - before the 2014 Life Sports Spring Game presented by Nationwide on Saturday.