COLUMBUS, Ohio – ’Tis the season to graduate and Sunday afternoon at the Jerome Schottenstein Center 12 more Ohio State football players/former players received their degrees and can now proudly boast of being an Ohio State University graduate.
Three starters on Ohio State’s College Football Playoff semifinal team that will play Clemson Dec. 31 in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl are among the graduates, including two-time Big Ten Conference quarterback of the year J.T. Barrett, 2016 Big Ten defensive lineman of the year Tyquan Lewis and two-year starting cornerback Gareon Conley.
Earning four Varsity O letters as a walk-on isn’t easy. Neither is graduating with a degree in industrial and systems engineering or biology. Fifth-year linebackers Joe Burger and Craig Fada did just that, respectively, and are part of this team of graduates. Now on scholarship, Burger is a team captain who has played in 46 games while Fada, his roommate, has played in 50 games.
Two more graduates are Evan Lisle and Aaron Parry, a pair of offensive linemen who have each played in every game this season and have played in 25 and 23 games, respectively, the past two seasons. Both are two-year letterwinners.
Other members of the team who graduated today are injured quarterback Stephen Collier and wide receiver Devlin McDaniel. Students no longer playing because of injury and who also graduated today are Devan Bogard and Blake Thomas
A total of 48 student-athletes graduated Sunday as part of the 2016 Autumn Commencement. Music professor Tim Gerber, the 2013 School of Music Distinguished Teacher and also a Distinguished Scholar in the School of Music, gave the commencement address to more than 3,000 in this graduation class.
Another Degree Completion Program Graduate
Ohio State’s Department of Athletics and Student-Athlete Support Services Department initiated its Degree Completion Program in 1994 to help former student-athletes return to school and complete requirements for a degree. Today the program realized its 177th graduate as Shane Olivea, a three-year starter along the offensive line (2001-03) and a member of the 2002 national championship team, graduated with his degree in sport and leisure studies. He is the 75th football player to graduate through the program.
Ohio State’s Current Graduates
- J.T. Barrett: Autumn 2016 – communications
- Jarrod Barnes: Summer 2016 – Master’s in kinesiology
- Joe Burger: Autumn 2016 – industrial & systems engineering
- Stephen Collier: Autumn 2016 – communications
- Gareon Conley: Autumn 2016 – sport industry
- Pat Elflein: Spring 2016 – communications
- Craig Fada: Autumn 2016 – biology
- *Chase Hounshell: Spring 2015 – management & consulting
- Cameron Johnston: Summer 2016 – communications
- Tyquan Lewis: Autumn 2016 – sociology
- Evan Lisle: Autumn 2016 – family resource management
- Devlin McDaniel: Autumn 2016 – family resource management
- Aaron Parry: Autumn 2016 – biology
- Corey Smith: Spring 2016 – African American & African studies
*Graduate transfer from Notre Dame