When a football player enrolls at THE Ohio State University there is no way of knowing how his career is going to play out or where he is going to end up in the history of this storied program. Some guys come in with amazing high school accolades or they have the world’s most amazing measurables. You can imagine them ending up as one of your favorite Buckeyes ever but for whatever reason they never pan out. Then there are other guys who come in under the radar, embrace everything Buckeye, and through hard work and determination etch their names alongside the all time greats.
Coming out of Cardinal Mooney High School in Youngstown, OH John Simon was known for crushing skulls on the football field but was also a member of the National Honor Society. He was rated a five-star recruit by Scout and a three-star recruit by Rivals. The Buckeye recruiting class that year had seven players in the ESPN 150. John Simon was not one of them.
John Simon has played in 49 career games at The Ohio State University. He is 7th all time in OSU history with 21 career sacks and holds the school record for sacks in a game (4 vs Wisconsin on 11/17/12 and of course we were there screaming our heads off!). He has 153 career tackles with 46 of them going for a loss. His career culminated this season with him winning the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year award. He is only the 8th 2-time captain in Ohio State History and just to prove to you he is a freak of nature, he bench pressed 225 pounds 31 times…..at 16 years old!
There are too many reasons to count for why we love John Simon, but we will give you a few. First of all the dude is not only a fucking beast, but he is a good looking dude, in that rugged, I’ll tear you limb from limb kind of way. We love the fact that he is humble and does all his talking on the field. You hardly ever hear John Simon talk about himself. He will mention how his teammates are the reason he made certain plays in a game, and when awarded the Big10 defensive player of the year a few days ago, he couldn’t stop thanking his teammates for making him look good. John Simon is that unique special person who will do anything and everything that is humanly possible for his teammates, friends, and family. He plays hurt, never gives up on a play, leads by example, does all the little things, and make everyone around want to work that much harder to be that much better of a person. He loves Ohio State as much as we do, if not more.
Just hearing Simon talk gets us fired up enough to run through fucking walls. When asked why he decided to stay for his senior season (could have left due to the infractions) he said “I stayed because it’s a team sport. We (the seniors) would never consider leaving those other guys. When I committed to being a Buckeye I was a Buckeye through and through. I wanted to be here for four years.”, he went on to say “As a senior class, we want to win as many games as possible. We want to set the foundation for the new coaching staff and era of OSU football. I’m someone who is going to do whatever it takes for this team”
That seriously gives us wood.
Obviously we are not the only ones who love John Simon, we just love him the most (sorry mama Simon). Here are some others who share our man crush with John Simon:
“We hit it off right away. He’s here, he wakes up in the morning and comes over here, and he’s just here every second of the day. You really get to know a guy. He’s from Youngstown. We’re from near the same area. I know his high school. I know his high school coaches. I know everybody in that area real well. So it didn’t take me long to find out who he is. But I like to develop my own opinion. You meet his family. You meet him. You meet his girlfriend. My son had a baseball game over the summer, and he came and sat with his girlfriend, sat with me for a bunch of hours and watched baseball. So that just tells you what he’s all about. (Simon’s) the best. He’s the best. He’s the heart and soul of this program” – Urban Meyer
“All he’s done for us. All he’s done for this team. He’s so selfless. He puts the team first. Puts everybody in front of him. It make you look back at yourself and say are you doing everything you have for the team? Does it mean that much to you?” – Etienne Sabino.
“He’s the hardest worker. He’s the first one in the last one out. He’s up early in the morning doing things. I try to work out with him sometimes just because he’s a great leader. And whatever he says, people on the team will listen to because he is a great leader,” -Ryan Shazier.
“You can’t compare him to anybody. The humility, not just the player. It has nothing to do with the player he is. It’s the type of person he is. It’s the work ethic he shows. The example he shows. He’s just a special person,” – Fickell said
“He’s unbelievable” – Zach Boren
Our hearts broke for John Simon when we found out he would not be playing in his final home game, for a team that was trying for an undefeated season, going against their arch rival, that team up north. We literally almost cried. The way Simon handled that extremely difficult situation showed what a great leader he is. Instead of grandstanding on the sideline like some Whoopi Goldberg look-alike we know Simon stood in the background. He did not want the emphasis on himself. He wanted the emphasis on his brothers on the football field. Simon was there to root them on, give encouragement, give advice, and give all of the focus to them. Even after the game Simon didn’t talk to the media because he didn’t want to take away the spotlight from the guys on the team. Despite him not talking to the media his name came up frequently from his teammates who made it known that they went out to win the game for him. They also presented him with the game ball. “The heart and soul of who we are – who we are as the 2012 football team – it’s John Simon.” Urban Meyer said after the Michigan game. Truer words have never been spoken. From his work ethic off the field to his constant motor on it, to his amazing biceps, John Simon is exactly what it means to be a Buckeye and we will miss him dearly. We trust Urban will make sure that John Simon’s name is remembered with the all time greats like Griffin, George, and Hayes.
John Simon, we love you. Our words really can’t do it justice so we wanted to send you out the way we do all of our best relationships, that’s right with a little Boys II Men.
Boys II Men- “End of the Road”
Boys II Men- “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye to Yesterday”