COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio State football coach Ryan Day and members of the team spoke for the first time Wednesday at Big Ten media days about the addition of USC and UCLA.
Day said he and UCLA coach Chip Kelly were playing golf together when they found out about the news and shared a laugh.
Their relationship goes way back. Day played quarterback at New Hampshire when Kelly was the offensive coordinator and reconnected in the NFL with Day serving as Kelly’s quarterbacks coach in Philadelphia and San Francisco. Now, they’ll be competing against each other more than 2,000 miles away in the same conference.
“I thought it was a great move. I think getting the LA market is excellent you know now the Big Ten is a national conference from coast to coast and it gives us a lot of power moving forward,” Day said.
It’s especially a lot of power when it comes to recruiting.
“I definitely think it’s a good opportunity not only just for the Big Ten but also for recruits,” OSU quarterback C.J. Stroud said. “I know even me being a California kid it was hard for me to leave home, but I wanted to play in the Big Ten and play against other competition, so this gives them that opportunity.”
At media day, Ohio State was represented by Stroud who’s from California, Jaxon Smith-Njigba who’s from Texas and Ronnie Hickman who’s from New Jersey.
“I was an Ohio State fan. Once I got the chance to go here I was all for it,” Hickman said.
Despite being from New Jersey, Hickman grew up dreaming of playing for the Buckeyes. Recruiting Hickman and players along the east coast became easier for the Buckeyes when Rutgers was added to the Big Ten in 2014.
“At Ohio State it felt like home to me,” he said. “I love the fact that I knew that if I came here they were going to bring the best out of me. I knew that I was forced to compete with the best day in and day out and that was only going to help me for the better.”