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LGHL Former Ohio State star Ted Ginn Jr.'s NFL comeback has special meaning

Ian Cuevas

Former Ohio State star Ted Ginn Jr.'s NFL comeback has special meaning
Ian Cuevas
via our friends at Land-Grant Holy Land
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"I'm happy for him being happy. "In his career, things haven't always fallen into place, for whatever reason. It has been a long nine years for him, and now, all of the pieces have come together. I still think, even at age 30, he has potential that's untapped."

- Ted Ginn Sr. via Greg Bishop, Sports Illustrated

Ted Ginn Jr.'s NFL career to this point has been filled with ups and downs. With stints in Miami, San Fransisco, Arizona, and now in Carolina for the second time, Ginn Jr.'s path to a Super Bowl appearance didn't come easily. A star at Ohio State both as a wide receiver and an electrifying returner, Ginn Jr. has still had moments and flashes in the NFL where he looks like he did with the Buckeyes. And now, with the Carolina Panthers, he has a chance to win a Super Bowl. All during Ginn Jr's struggles on the field took place before this season, his father, Ted Ginn Sr., battled through pancreatic cancer. The two have fought together and persevered, and now Jr.'s father will get to see him play in a Super Bowl on an incredibly talented team.

Even though it's been nine years since he was first drafted, Ginn Jr.'s speed has remained. His consistency on the field is what he struggled the most with, but this season with the Panthers it's seemed as if he's found a level of comfort that has made him so dangerous once again. In fact, Ginn was clocked at 22.44 miles-per-hour on a 74-yard touchdown sprint against the Falcons in Week 14. That was the fastest speed any NFL player reached this season, according to the NFL Network. He's made plenty of plays for the Panthers this season and will get a chance to shine in a championship game once again. The last time he touched the ball in a championship game? He housed the opening kickoff in the BCS national championship against Florida as Ohio State took an early lead.

"I mean, it's what we do when you recruit like that. I've been in scenarios where you don't have a lot of conversations about the NFL because you don't have that caliber of players. I'm a fan of great players, and a bunch of those guys are going to play for a while. You have to look at it that way, and the door is open now and we recruited very well. It's their time to shine and time to go."

- Urban Meyer via Austin Ward, ESPN

The 2013 recruiting class was highly touted when National Signing Day rolled around. And it got even better when Urban Meyer and Ohio State got a call from Vonn Bell, telling Meyer that he was committing to the Buckeyes right before Bell went on national television and announced his collegiate destination. Now, only three years later, Meyer's first recruiting class (with a full cycle) is mostly headed for the NFL. A class that included running back Ezekiel Elliott, projected first-overall pick Joey Bosa, a future Heisman contender in quarterback J.T. Barrett, wide receiver Jalin Marshall, star linebacker Darron Lee, and offensive guard Billy Price.

Not to mention players like Eli Apple, Dontre Wilson, Tyquan Lewis, Gareon Conley, and Michael Hill. Meyer's recruiting touch hasn't been lost, however, as the Buckeyes are bringing in yet another top five recruiting class on Wednesday when the class of 2016 signs their national letters of intent. It's always fascinating to look back on all of the talent in recruiting classes and Meyer can certainly be pleased with what the '13 class as they lived up to and perhaps exceeded expectations with a national championship.

"We always talked about it, man, but we knew it was a long shot. We always talked about playing in the NFL, but for it to happen this early in our careers is ridiculous."

- Corey Brown via Marc Sessler, NFL.com

There are a handful of former Ohio State players playing in Super Bowl 50 on Sunday. Two intriguing members (and former roommates), however, will be fulfilling a college dream of going against each other on the biggest stage in the NFL. Corey "Philly" Brown and Bradley Roby will square off for the first time, and the wide receiver and cornerback have waited for a chance to go against each other since their days at Ohio State. Brown as a receiver for the Carolina Panthers has 31 receptions for 447 yards and four touchdowns this season, while Roby, the defensive back, has had 34 tackles and an interception this season with the Denver Broncos.

The two were roommates at Ohio State and learned a lot from each other. Though both claim they weren't the messy ones, they both agreed that their room was certainly a messy one. Still, the competitiveness between the two made for an instant connection and now here they are with a chance to win a Super Bowl. Both know each other well, and it should make for a tough matchup and exciting story line as the game is played out.

"He's very motivated. He certainly has goals that he wants to accomplish this year, and he wants to be in the mix and compete for a job. That's really where his mindset is."

- John Bosa via Ari Wasserman, Northeast Ohio Media Group

Ohio State may be losing a top NFL prospect in Joey Bosa at defensive end, but the Buckeyes already have another Bosa waiting in the wings. The younger brother of Joey, Nick Bosa, is a member of the 2016 recruiting class that is set to send in national letters of intent on Wednesday as a part of National Signing Day. Bosa is still recovering from a torn ACL injury, but after a successful surgery and excellent physical therapy, he's well on his way to making it back on the football field. While it's still not certain if he'll be ready come fall when the Buckeyes take the practice field in August, there's definitely a possiblity that he will take part in the action.

There's no question Bosa's motivation is there, as after Joey Bosa was ejected from his final game as a Buckeye in the Fiesta Bowl win over Notre Dame, Nick sent a tweet that got plenty of Ohio State fans excited for the future. The younger Bosa is hoping to make an impact from day one, and to do that, he'll have to be healthy. There is a lot of potential, and the coaching staff at Ohio State is well aware of it. Right now he's on the right track to being able to play and if things go well, he could compete for one of the opening spots on the defensive line next season.


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