Believe it or not, The Ohio State University is home to not one, but two competitive football programs, one of which you undoubtedly know about. The seven time National Champion Ohio State Buckeyes with former players such as Archie Griffin, Eddie George and Troy Smith are the Buckeyes we have all come to know and love. However, the second team you might not be familiar with. The Ohio State Club Football team also calls Columbus, Ohio home as they enter their fifth year of competitive play. Founded by Joe Budgake, Jordan Fleischman, Nick Herrin, and Marshal Carpenter in 2009, the club football program at Ohio State provides young student athletes the opportunity to play full contact collegiate football while still earning a Big Ten degree.
The Club Football program at Ohio State does not receive any financial benefits from the school and athletes must purchase all equipment and pay for travel expenses out of their own pocket. They must work around class and work schedules to make it to practice which is usually held in the evenings, sometimes even as late as midnight. They also do not have the luxury of playing in the Horseshoe. The Club Football Buckeyes hold practices and games on the Marching Band field behind Ohio Stadium when it is not being used by TBDBITL. In an effort to increase a fan base and bring awareness to the team, Michael Mullen a starter on the team is working on a documentary that will follow the 2013 Club Football Buckeyes journey towards a NCFA National Championship. Mullen has started a Kickstart page for his film entitled “The Other Eleven” that can be viewed here. Along with the Kickstart page, the Club Football Buckeyes have Facebook and Twitter accounts as well as a homepage in an effort to increase their fan base. The 2013 season preview for the Ohio State Club Football Buckeyes can be found below.
Coming off of a disappointing 2012 campaign, the club football Buckeyes are trying to return to their winning ways from 2011, a season in which they went undefeated. The Buckeyes are led on the field by club president and Captain George Shapiro and from the sideline by head coach Brian Thompson.
Entering the 2013 season, the Buckeyes will have some new faces especially on the offensive side of the ball. Replacing two-year starter Jeff Porter at quarterback is Buckeye Empire staff writer James Grega, who last played competitively at Brunswick Senior High School during the 2010-2011 season. Receiver was another position in which the Buckeyes reloaded, adding a talented Elisha Glass and an athletic flanker in Matt Baker. Joining Glass and Baker at the receiver position is veteran Brian Purvis who is entering his third season with the team and brings experience and leadership to the offense. In the slot receiver spot, the Buckeyes have added two new faces as Nick Blaine and Ryan Barbari impressed during spring workouts. Anchoring the offensive line for the Buckeyes is three year starting center and leader Andrew Francis. The offensive line returns four out of five players from last year including Francis. Running behind the big guys up front will be RB Matt Taylor, who is back from last season after suffering a shoulder injury. Despite the minor setback, Taylor should be ready to go for the season opener.
On the defensive side of the ball, the club football Buckeyes will rely on experience and leadership. Captain George Shapiro leads the way at safety for the Buckeyes while DT Chris Kuzak and LB/DL Michael “D-Line” Mullen bring tenacity and toughness to the front seven. Newcomer Zach Preisman will also add depth to the secondary as he can play safety as well as receiver. The 2013 defense will pride itself on aggressive play and speed which means offenses in the NCFA better be ready for a tenacious Buckeye attack.
Despite playing what appears to be the toughest schedule yet in the history of the club, the 2013 Buckeyes are confident that they can make a run at the 2013 NCFA Championship.