Meet an Ohio State Buckeye

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The National Championship for College Football is this coming Monday January 12th between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Oregon Ducks.

There are so many interesting and inspiring coaches and players on both teams. Regardless of who you might be routing for (or against) it is good to admire the virtues and accomplishments of those involved.

I was blessed to be able to speak with one of the Ohio State players last night, Bryce Haynes. He is #41 and is the Long Snapper on punts and kicks. We do not hear about the Long Snapper too often. Many times a hidden member of the team yet vital.

Bryce is a SportsLeader graduate if you will. He attended Pinecrest Academy in Cumming, GA and was a part of one of the first teams to integrate our virtue program into their school.

He is the first long snapper in recent memory to be signed to a scholarship by the Buckeyes right out of high school. A scholar-athlete and member of the National Honor Society in high school, he also has maintained a 3.5 GPA in biology/pre-med studies.

An outstanding role model. Please share!

Special thanks to Bryce's Dad, Dr Bill Haynes, for all the photos.

Virtue = Strength, Lou Judd 
Our Virtue By Email Program will give you the practical and structured tools to provide all your coaches with a proven methodology that is easy to use. Each email comes with a virtue, the definition, story, discussion questions, quotes, resolutions, a video clip and a high resolution image like this one__

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When did you start playing football?

I started playing football in 5th grade at Pinecrest Academy. I played throughout middle school and high school. In 8th grade one day at practice one of the coaches asked, “Who wants to long snap?" I raised my hand.

In high school when I was a Junior, my Dad found out about a national camp for long snappers and signed me up. I learned a ton about the proper technique. When I went home I practiced almost every day for a few years. I guess I got good at it.

I was blessed with a good number of options of where I could go to college. I visited Ohio State, Notre Dame, North Carolina and Harvard … Arkansas, Utah State and Michigan State offered me as well but I did not visit.

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Do you still remember the SportsLeader Father-Son Jersey Ceremony?

Oh yeah! I’ll never forget those. My junior year in high school was the first time our school ever did it. Our Dads gave us the jerseys … really made us feel like you wanted to go out and play your all.

My senior year my grandpa came and surprised me. My Dad invited him and did not tell me about it. He is from Macon, GA. I’m very, very close to my grandpa and I love him to death. He would take me to camps, college visits and even took me to the British Open one year …

So my Dad gets up a and says a few words and then in walks from Grandpa holding my jersey, for my Senior year … it just meant the world to me. I am very blessed.

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What drew you to OSU?

The people at OSU really drew me, we became great friends. I felt like the football team was going to be more than a team, more like a family. I loved that.

What virtues have helped you the most?

Perseverance. I came from a school with a graduating class of 43. Now I play in front of 108,000 … I redshirted my first year and that was a little disappointing. The workouts were extremely hard … now a huge blessing …

I thought about quitting, being far away from home was hard but now I look back and see all the blessings of how persevering through hardship and adversity is what makes you into a man.

Another virtue that comes to mind is Integrity - standing up for what you believe in. There are a lot of temptations in life and you need to be man who can live the right way no matter the circumstances.

The other aspect of my life that I know I can’t live without is prayer.

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How do you deal with the peer pressure that comes from being in college?

Surrounding yourself with the right people, pick the right friends, keep yourself out of those bad situations is the best way to keep yourself out of trouble … don’t play with fire.

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What is the special thing about this team that no one sees?

This is the closest team I’ve ever been a part of. We all come from such different backgrounds and yet we are the tightest knit team I’ve been a part of in college … Unreal the culture of the team. We are always striving to get better. No one is ever satisfied but in a good way. Improve, improve, improve.

We struggle together - you need your teammates to help you get through the experience together.

When we lost to Virginia Tech … everyone got really focused, everyone came together, there was a big change of attitude. Not that the attitude was bad before but afterwards there was a laser focus that we wanted to improve, that the little mistakes were not to be tolerated anymore.

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Tell me about your favorite football traditions?

Without a doubt taking the field, coming out onto the field and running to the opposite end zone where almost every one of us takes a knee and says a personal prayer. I just love that moment. It is so important to me.

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One of my all time favorites is during Michigan week. We have the band came in … we do script ohio with the band, everyone takes an instrument … its a zoo when we do it …. but then they do it and its awesome

We as a football team have unique having a relationship with the band. They’re awesome.

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Click on image to watch a video of the Ohio State marching band performing script Ohio.


What emotions did you feel after the Alabama game in the Sugar Bowl?

I was in awe. An incredible feeling to have won the Sugar Bowl. I cant describe it … and now getting to play for the National Championship. To say it is a dream come true does not quite explain it.

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