Ohio State's post-game plan: Success after football
June 20, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Each of Ohio State's four senior starters along the offensive line last year - Jack Mewhort, Corey Linsley, Marcus Hall and Andrew Norwell - have graduated (along with nine other seniors from 2013) with a degree from The Ohio State University. Each is competing to make an NFL team's roster, so their job hunting is on hold ... for now.
But more than 97 percent of college football players won't make it in the NFL, so the time and effort spent in college preparing for life after football is not only necessary and important, but at Ohio State it is a mandatory part of the process of being an Ohio State football player.
Friday night at the Huntington Club, located inside of Ohio Stadium, Ohio State's football players capped six months of preparation for life after football by attending the second football-sponsored job fair. Every football player was in attendance; most wearing a coat and tie; the upperclassmen sporting a resume encased in a professional black binder; and with instructions to introduce themselves and discuss career paths and the best next steps needed to become a candidate for employment.
"This is a very important event for our student-athletes," event organizer and football administrator Ryan Stamper said. "Our guys put significant time and effort into being ready to meet with representatives from these companies. The coaches do, too. And they take great pride in being able to offer support for their players in front of so many businesses and organizations."
Preparing for this day
Other speakers this year have addressed topics such as wealth management (lawyer Luke Fedlam), starting and building a successful business (Sam Covelli, Panera Bread CEO/owner) and the broadcast industry (former Buckeye/ESPN commentator Robert Smith).
CBS analyst and basketball legend Clark Kellogg has addressed family and responsibility, and then said this about Ohio State's "real life" program:
"Giving student-athletes as much 'real life' exposure and interaction is essential and invaluable for their development and growth. Ohio State's Real Life Wednesdays and job fair are home run programs that benefit and serve the student-athlete."
"Would you hire me?"
The goal behind the question is to get the Buckeye players thinking now about not just being a "pro" with their efforts on the playing fields, film room, etc., but also by taking care of business off the field and by being as fine a student and person as possible, and by getting a degree. Pro football careers don't last long and there has to be a "Plan B," the players are advised.
"Even if you do get there, the NFL stands for 'not for long,' so you've got to have a backup plan," third-year safety Tyvis Powell said recently to a reporter with the Columbus Dispatch.
And that's precisely why 20 Buckeyes spent the May academic session at Ohio State building relationships and gaining experience by interning at various businesses around the city and state. Among the Buckeye interns this summer:
Stats that matter
And the Buckeyes were doing their best to present their best and impress the best. All the while wondering or thinking or hoping: "would they hire me?"
Considering the preparation, planning, training and experiences the Buckeyes are going through each year: chances are: yes!