Lori Schmidt

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Something to Talk About

Former Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett was famous for his fiery pregame speeches. 

So renowned was he for his ability to motivate teammates, Barrett was selected to be the offensive player who addressed the team, even before games in which he didn't play.

With Barrett gone, the Buckeyes are going to have to adjust to something a little different, perhaps even some stand-up comedy. 

"I want to bring my own swag to it, my own flavor to it," said wide receiver Parris Campbell, whose teammates told 105.7 The Zone had been voted Barrett's replacement. 

"I'm thinking about it. Maybe it's not always serious at a serious moment. Maybe it's just getting my guys up, getting them to smile a little before we actually go out there. I'm going to go about it my own way, for sure." 

Campbell's election is not a surprise. He gave pregame speeches in high school. Once his playing career is done, he wants to remain in sports. "Whether that's sports management, whether that's scouting, whatever," Campbell said. 

Just this past week, head coach Urban Meyer praised the senior. "He's [an] elite person, an elite worker, very, very talented. I expect him to be exceptional."

And exceptional is just what they need with a new starting quarterback in Dwayne Haskins. Meyer cited, not just Campbell, but some of his teammates as being crucial in helping the signal caller develop.

"You've got four legitimate leaders on our program at receiver," said Meyer. "Coach [Mickey] Marotti just is very positive about everything that's going on in that room, and how they're really helping Dwayne with the leadership standpoint." 

That group includes Johnnie Dixon, who will address the receivers before Campbell addresses the entire team. It also includes Terry McLaurin who will deliver a prayer.

"When I pray, I never pray for wins," said McLaurin. "I pray for health and strength for both teams--ours and our opponent. I pray that everyone is able to [play] to the best of their ability." 

He also said that he keeps in mind that not all Buckeyes share the same faith. Standing right next to him during the team prayer, for instance, might be Austin Mack, a professed Muslim.

Like McLaurin's homilies, what Campbell tells the team is going to be thought out in advance.  

"I cannot go in their unprepared. Friday night, I got to get my mind right," he said. "That's going to be a part of my routine now." 

His intention may be to be lighthearted, but Campbell knows, replacing Barrett is no joke. 

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