Meet your 2015-2016 Team Captains.

On August 28th, Urban Meyer and Ohio State announced their six captains for their upcoming season. They include Jacoby Boren, J.T. Barrett, Taylor Decker, Joshua Perry, Braxton Miller, and Tyvis Powell. These players were chosen to be captains by the team’s vote. The coaches had no direct influence on it, so these players are very well respected both on and off the field by the rest of the team.

“This is the most players I’ve ever seen receive votes for captains,” said Urban Meyer. “We had 14 players receive votes, but these six separated themselves.” Cornerback and Special Teams Coach, Kerry Coombs even added that “This is the best group of leaders I’ve ever seen.” Leaders are one of the most important things for a group of people to succeed, so when you have a high quantity of high quality players, the team should be in good position.

Jacoby Boren – Although he’s not the most popular “slob” on the team, Senior Jacoby Boren has to take command during games since he does the snapping. Jacoby has faced some adversity through his days at Ohio State, but if you know anything about his family, the Boren’s, then you are likely familiar with his toughness.

Heading into the last season (2014-2015 year), one of the main concerns with the team was the offensive line. The team had lost 4 offensive linemen, 3 of which started their rookie year in the NFL, including previous center Corey Linsley. Many people had overlooked Jacoby, especially since Chad Lindsay, a center from Alabama, transferred to Ohio State in hope to get the starting nod. What’s obvious though, is that the “many people” didn’t know Jacoby. “Did I ever think when I shook his hand when I first got here in 2012 and he was already committed to us, and he walked through the door and, was like, ‘uh oh, what’s this now?’ I actually started thinking, maybe he could be a blocking fullback. And he’s turned out to have a heck of a year. He’s tough, a very good player. Great leader, great team guy. I love Jacoby.” Urban Meyer said after the National Championship Game.

J.T. Barrett – J.T. is a redshirt sophomore QB from Wichita Falls, TX. You’ve all heard of him because he is currently in the spotlight of one of the most highlighted sports events/battles of the year. He also came from a season, which many people forget, that was arguably the best season in B1G history. He threw for over 2,800 yards and 34 TDs along with 938 yards rushing and 11 TDs until getting injured in the regular season finale.

Even though J.T. is the youngest among this group of captains, he is arguably the best leader. In 2013, Urban Meyer had some of the players go through leadership training to obviously enhance the leadership in the team. J.T. was the only freshman at the time that joined the older group of leaders. One of J.T.’s first instance of leadership for this team came before he was really even apart of the team. Former Ohio State offensive coordinator, Tom Herman, recalled the experience of when J.T. persuaded Dontre Wilson and James Clark to become Buckeyes. “He goes on for five or 10 minutes on why he chose this place over others and he’s going on about winning multiple championships and what an Ohio State degree can do for you and playing in this system and for this coach and at this school.” “I had something to say something, and it just flowed.” J.T. said about it.

When the news was first announced that he was a captain, many were convinced that this was practically the announcement that J.T. would be the starting QB. According to Urban Meyer, however, that is not the case. “That means he’s a captain, not necessarily going to take the first snap. The actual quarterback, it’s a factor, but it’s not the factor. The guy that’s going to give us the best chance to move down the field is going to be the guy taking the snap.”

 

Taylor Decker – Taylor Decker is one of, if not the most popular “slob”. He started at right tackle during the 2013 season on one of the best offensive lines in the country. In 2014, he was the lone returning starter, and he was moved to left tackle. Taylor Decker, and a few others helped patch up a rough start to the season for that unit, and turn it around to one of the most dominant in the nation. Ohio State is a power run team led by the offensive line, and that certainly showed during the memorable postseason run. Whenever this “run” is mentioned, Ezekiel normally mentions the “slobs” as the main reason, and when Urban was asked about it, he said even he could’ve run through some of the holes Taylor Decker and the offensive line created.

Taylor Decker was one of the top offensive linemen in the country last year, and some even speculated that he would depart early for the NFL draft. “I have personal goals, and I don’t want to draw any attention to them because that’s kind of selfish,” Taylor said shortly after the season. “But I do have personal goals that I think, if I achieve them, will help this team. If I achieve those the NFL will be there after my senior year.” Taylor is a team player, and he didn’t want to leave his teammates behind, partly because of the bond they created, but he also knew he had a responsibility. He knew he had to take care of the younger players the way Jack Mewhort, Andrew Norwell, Corey Linsley, and Marcus Hall took care of him. “Those were the guys who showed me the way,” Decker said. “They are guys I had a lot of respect for … guys I looked up to. I did things the way they showed, and the honor of being a captain is important. I’m excited my teammates have chosen me and the five others guys to represent this team as a whole.”

 

 

Joshua Perry – Joshua Perry is a senior from Olentangy HS, and he is currently the oldest starter in the LB unit. He’s a leader for the entire defense, not just LB, and he is the player spokesman for the football program. He is always well-dressed and well-mannered, while staying a beast on the football field.

 

Joshua played his true freshman season, while only racking up 5 total tackles. In his sophomore season, Joshua was named a starting outside linebacker on the opposite side of Ryan Shazier. As a young starter, Perry racked up 64 total seasons. This previous season Joshua made a huge leap as one of the more experienced players on the field. Although he was often overshadowed by the “electricity” of Darron Lee, or the complete dominance of Joey Bosa on the defensive line, Joshua led the team with 124 total tackles.

“We have a lot of special guys in this locker room and a lot of guys who buy into the program,” Josh said. “We have guys who care so much more about their teammates and this great school and this program than just themselves. And I think it’s huge to have this amount of selfless guys … older guys … leaders and people who we count on viewed that way. It’s huge.” Joshua is a guy who has certainly bought into the program (as seen in the picture above) and he loves the team. He knows that he is counted on to be a leader to the younger players on the team, and he is certainly up for the challenge.

Braxton Miller – This is Braxton’s second go around at being a team captain. As the starting QB in 2013, and a heavy heisman candidate, Braxton was picked to be a captain then, too. A lot of things have obviously happened since that point. He tore his labrum twice and missed the full 2014 championship season, then after consistent rumors of transfers or position change, Braxton finally shut them down. Soon after that, though, Braxton did announce he was switching position to become an H-Back; often referred to as the “Percy Harvin Position.”

“How much he has invested in us and how much we’ve invested in him, it’s a brotherhood,” Ezekiel Elliott said after Braxton announced he was returning to Ohio State. “Why would he leave this for something else?” “This guy had an Ohio State tattoo tattooed on him in high school before he let everyone know he was coming here, for him, I just couldn’t see him leaving and going anywhere else.” former fellow QB, Cardale Jones added. Although most players and coaches within the program act like he never considered leaving, I think there was some there. He admitted to the fact that several schools reached out “hard”, and with his initial goal to play QB, that was certainly going to be difficult. “But you know, at the end of the day, all these guys work just as hard as I do,” Braxton said. “And they want to see the same thing that I want to see. … They work hard throughout their career, they got to that point, and I was happy for them.” That statement alone certainly shows leader characteristics, and selflessness.

“I have a ton of respect for him being able to humble himself and make a position change for the betterment of the team,” Taylor Decker said at B1G Media Days. “I think it will be a cool moment. The fans and the stadium are going to go crazy just seeing No. 5 out there.” Braxton has since changed to #1, but Decker said it correctly. It was a very team-oriented move, and I know I will certainly be excited to see Braxton, the best athlete in the country, back on the field.

Tyvis Powell – Tyvis Powell, team comedian, starting safety, Cardale’s Father; all of those are acceptable for him. Tyvis Powell is one of the most popular players on the team for passionate fans, and common fans alike. For one, he saved The Game:

And in my opinion he is the funniest player on the team. Listening to any Tyvis Powell interview will make you laugh. He is always smiling, and joking and trying to make other people have a better day. Tyvis has said that on some days when he isn’t joking all the time, people will ask him what’s wrong. Tyvis is an all around great guy that everybody wants on the team. He is a player that can help lighten the mood and make things more fun for everybody.

Not only is Tyvis a great and funny guy, he is also an extremely hard worker, and a very talented football player. Although there were some struggles during last season, he and Vonn Bell made a great duo. In terms of tackles and interceptions, they were near the top of Ohio State football history. They are the back of the defense, and they take pride in making big plays, and not giving up many long plays. “They’re really the generals of the defense,” safety coach and co-defensive coordinator Chris Ash said. “They make all the calls, they make all the adjustments, they cover up a lot of stuff. (Like) if a D-lineman is out of a gap or a linebacker has mis-fit something, if you have really good safeties who tackle well, they take care of it. They get things done.”

Tyvis has earned the trust of all the players and coaches. He is a great example of Ohio State’s culture. Even though he was just a “3-star” coming out of High School, he realized that didn’t really matter. He knew if he bought into what the coaches taught he would succeed. One of the best stories of Tyvis when he was trying to earn that Ohio State offer is this story by Ryan Ginn, which I recommend you read if you haven’t.

Football captains

So, this team is fortunate to have such a great group of leaders. I say fortunate because many teams don’t have anything near it, but leadership is obviously very challenging. These guys worked hard to be in the position that they are in, and will continue to work hard to help the team.

 

 

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