The Ohio State football team is full of traditions. One of them has to do with the outcome of the annual spring game. Every year, players and coaches on the losing team have to put down mulch throughout Buckeye Grove, an area just south of Ohio Stadium in which each OSU All-American football player has a tree dedicated to him.
The Gray lost to the Scarlet in the latest edition of the scrimmage, which means those on the Gray squad were tasked with the landscaping duties on Thursday. Some who were seen doing mulch work were quarterbacks J.T. Barrett and Dwayne Haskins, offensive lineman and early enrollee Josh Myers, center Billy Price, offensive lineman Isaiah Prince, defensive coordinator Greg Schiano and wide receivers coach Zach Smith.
As for kicker Sean Nuernberger, it doesn’t make a difference who wins, he has to help out regardless.
“This is my fourth time now doing this. I’ve played in four spring games,” Nuernberger said. “The specialists, we always work with both teams, so specialists lose no matter what. We’re out here every year. We’re out here working.”
While he may not be a specialist, Parris Campbell has been on the losing end of the spring game all three years he’s played in it. Campbell, who has moved from wide receiver to H-back, noted that this Buckeye Grove tradition represents the competitive nature of the team.
“No matter what we’re doing we always want to compete,” he said. “Whether it’s spring game, practice reps, I just feel like everybody here in the program just always has that mindset to compete – no matter what it is.”
Receiver Terry McLaurin, who was on the losing Gray team this year, has been a little more fortunate than Campbell when it comes to the outcome of the spring game.
“We won last year so I forgot what this feels like,” McLaurin explained. “My freshman year we lost, last year I was a part of the winning team. It’s not fun out here doing this, but we’re doing it for a good cause. These are All-Americans and guys who have earned the right to have their history here forever.”
Nuernberger echoed McLaurin’s sentiments.
“The guys that are out here, it’s all of the All-American trees,” Nuernberger said. “They’ve earned to be there. It’d almost feel wrong to have anyone else come out here and take care of it and redo the place. It’s honoring those guys. They’ve earned the respect and you’ve got to give them that respect. Do your part in taking care of the place.”
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