Ohio State President Kristina Johnson motivates the Buckeyes before their big game

Local News

As the Buckeyes prepare for the College Football Playoff National Championship game, Ohio State President Kristina Johnson said she always believed this football season would be completed.

“I never had a doubt,” Johnson said. “I knew we’d get here.”

On Monday, the Buckeyes will play the Alabama Crimson Tide for the national title.

Earlier this week, Johnson visited the team at practice.

“First, I congratulated them, and I told them how proud we were,” she exclaimed.

Johnson said she then joked around with the team and shared words of inspiration.

“I think they’re on a mission,” she said. “I think they’re definitely on a mission from what I’ve heard after last year’s game and I did watch last year’s game, although at that time I had no idea what this year would bring in so many ways. None of us did really, but I think they’re on a mission. They wanted to see it through. They want to see it as a team and after I was done speaking, I didn’t take much time because they needed to get at it, you know Jonathan Cooper came up to me and it was great. He just said ‘thank you’ and ‘we’re ready.'”

Johnson added, in addition to the team’s success on the field, she is also proud of what they have accomplished off it.

According to the university, 40 football players received Academic All-Big Ten honors. Johnson said more than a dozen players have already received their undergraduate or graduate degrees.

“The average GPA for the semester is 3.1 for the team so these are really dedicated, just really scholar athletes so — very proud of them,” she said.

Johnson is encouraging all of Buckeye Nation to watch the national championship game in a safe and responsible manner, while following all of the COVID-19 safety guidelines.

“We need to take care of each other, so we need to be smart the way we watch the game, and the way we celebrate,” she explained.

The College Football Playoff National Championship game begins at 8 p.m., on Monday.

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