Mask Off: Why Matthew Burrell Left

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shawn kemps kids's picture

An amazing piece. Thanks for this, it was truly a great read.

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Schizo's picture

Great piece. I'm curious how much time (if any) the staff spends to make sure transfers get looks and land the best opportunities. 

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BuckInChicago's picture

I was always cheering for Mr. Burrell.  While things didn't work out in Columbus like he (and we in the fandom) would have preferred he'll always be a Buckeye in my eyes.  I appreciate the insight into the beast that is D1 football at Ohio State, where maybe a handful of other programs compare to the reality that no matter who you are there will be others who are potentially just as or more talented coming in right behind you.  Goodluck to Matt and keep slobbin'!  

"Football is, after all, a wonderful way to get rid of your aggressions without going to jail for it." Woody Hayes

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Daniel's picture

How can anyone not like and respect Matt Burrell?  What a class act.  Go be a star somewhere.  You can do it. 

Va Buck

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neo's picture

I feel for Burrell.  Hope he dominates at the next stop.

"Let's beat the shit out of Michigan. Have a good night." - UFM

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Davep160's picture

I was always cheering for that kid, I still am actually.    

The lord of brevity.

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FortWorthBuckeye's picture

This article reaches beyond football.  It describes what it takes to be the best. I've shared it with my non-football friends.  

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0H-10's picture

Anxiety, Stress, Family issues...real stuff! I hope it works out for the young man! I wish him nothing but the best! 

o||||||o

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cousineaud's picture

Wow.. Great article.  It seems that the staff is VERY open with the players and what they need to do to meet their goals.  

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buckzilla1's picture

Man, this was a hard read. I like Matty. He is getting better everyday and I wish him the best. Thanks for everything big fella.

You never lose to those pricks. Ever. Ever. Urban Frank Meyer

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EightyDeuce's picture

I believe Mr. Burrell will have a bright future in whatever direction he goes. He seems like a smart, well spoken young man who understands the importance of gratitude where most will harbor angst. Rare quality now these days...

Nothing that comes easy is worth a dime.
'Merica!

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NHBuckeye's picture

Holy cow, what amazing insight.  Fantastic piece Harry!  

Fields of Dreams

 

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UrbanCulture's picture

Tough, but excellent and eye opening, read. Pulling for Matt.

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BELLEFONTAINEBUCKEYE's picture

Great read! He was one of my favorites. Good luck Matt!

IMADELOUSYPICKS

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Spirit's picture

Buckeye Nation loves you, little brother.......forever! I see your spirit!

Spirit

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BTBuckeye's picture

Best of luck Matt. "get better" - ain't that the truth. Those are words to live by. 

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58Buckeye's picture

Sounds like he has a good head on his shoulders. Good luck Matt.

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niblick's picture

great piece, hats off to Harry and MB

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Ludwig Yards's picture

Great, and different, piece. Well done.

And props to Matt Burrell for opening up like that. Best of luck to him wherever he lands and whatever he ends up doing. Once a Buckeye, always a Buckeye. 

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IH8UOFM's picture

I feel a deep sadness after reading this interview. Count me in as one of the guys that expected to see him starting this year, and heading off to the NFL.

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Buckeye Jack's picture

Strong piece, Mr. Wexner. More like this, please.

And, best of luck to Matt.

Zone6, with rotating WR's, will have 1000+ yards at all 3 WR positions this season

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BrewskiBuck81's picture

Great stuff Harry!  We don't always get to see the inside of someone's thoughts, motivations, struggles, successes and shortfalls, but this article really hits home.  I feel for Matt in many ways, and I am grateful that he was willing to share his thoughts and feelings with all of us in Buckeye Nation.  He's right that at a place like Ohio State there is a lot of pressure on kids to succeed, but that the success depends on consistent and constant achievement to meet the high standards for seeing the field.  You can't blame Coach Meyer for needing that on the field - one play of "not winning" can cost you a game.  We can all learn from Matt's words though, and apply it to our lives as well.....strive to win every time out there, always get better than the time before and you will gain your goals.  Worrying and stressing about the goals become a hindrance to performance.  Good luck Matt!  You will be a great leader wherever you go because of the things you have figured out through self-evaluation.  Thanks for your time here!  We all love you for what you have given!

Ohio by birth, BUCKEYE by the grace of God!

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Maka's picture

Nice to hear such great words from a guy that never got his chance. I think it truly shows the character of the men this program builds. 

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Piperdown's picture

Sounds like he gave 95% for a program that requires 100% to succeed.  Not a knock on him, just reality at this level.

Luck favors the prepared--Edna Mode

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bbb's picture

Honestly it's not that he only gave 95%. It's more a sort of determinism, a fateism about college football, rather. 

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EvanstonBuckeye's picture

I got emotional reading this piece. Hits on a lot of different levels.

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SilverState's picture

Don’t get me wrong, I’m pissed. I’m very pissed and very upset. There’s a lot that I could say that I don’t agree with. Everyone knows it’s always a number crunch for Ohio State.

 Interesting line.

Will continue pulling for Matt at his next stop. 

"Year for what?"

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LoufromOSU's picture

I agree.   I guess its how you get down to 85, and I don't believe its always the athlete's decision in this new age of OSU football. 

"Great moments are born from great opportunities."  - Herb Brooks

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Chic'sGhost's picture

Of course!  He got run off.  I was blasted in another thread for daring to mention that Meyer runs kids off.  

That's exactly what happened here.  

Barney Fife lives, and he lives among us.  

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TShell's picture

Run off is a harsh way of putting it. It's more likely a conversation one-on-one about the player's standing on the team. And an encouragement to seek a better situation for their sake, with a side effect of helping with numbers. If Matt wasn't going to start this year, it's not doing him any good to watch from the sidelines while his chance to catch the eye of NFL scouts just passes right by. The players at OSU are the best of the best, as Matt himself said. That includes him too, so if he can go elsewhere and actually show it, he has an opportunity there that just wasn't going to come at OSU. The way the NFL has been gobbling up OSU starters, it would make sense that if he has been >this< close to being a starter, he could be one of those guys too. He just want going to have the chance to show it. Meyer has given every indication that he truly does care about what is best for each and every one of the guys on the team.

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BrutusB's picture

You can dress it up anyway you want to, but he was still pushed out. That’s just big time CFB in 2018, no reason to keep dancing around it. 

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ARMYBUCK's picture

I hate to admit it but your'e right.

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andretolstoy's picture

If you listen to one of Meyer's first speeches in practice (the one that's spun on YouTube all the time) he says something to the effect, "If you're not going to give 100% you're gone. I don't want you on the team. Keep walking." He doesn't mince words. He's trying to win.

I've struggled with this topic many years. It's a very social darwinistic system at this level. It's one that Tress and those before didn't completely use. Meyer uses it, but he also has the team a step ahead of his predecessors. 

On the other hand, being pushed out doesn't mean you're banished from the fraternity that is TheOhioState Football. You are still part of that system in a sense as long as you keep your nose clean and will enjoy the benefits afterwards. I guarantee any of Ohio's Sports Stations or Radio Shows will hire him on the spot because he's larger than life and seems very mature. 

This is one of the reasons why I think the teams need chaplains that are less self-help, less emotional based, but more creed based, liturgical, and teaches kids about delayed gratification through ascetical practice.

In any case, I liked Burrell. He was unique. He had dreds and wore farmer's hats. He'll be fine. 

If you die before you die, then you won't die when you die. 

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BGSUBucksFan's picture

Helping with numbers was the primary goal here, not a side effect. No need to sugarcoat it. We are sending underperformers packing, and that's okay. This is big boy football.

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Nutinpa's picture

Maybe.  But this site and others excoriated Nick Saban for doing the same thing.  So....in our quest to achieve Bama's success have we become just like them?  In some ways, yes....in others, no.  But there is no point in condemning those programs we have chosen to emulate. 

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BGSUBucksFan's picture

Nut, you're definitely right about that. Many on here were blasting Bama when Saban was doing this years before, but I was not one of those people. I imagine they came around to the idea when the trophies were raised.

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KeithByarsRightFoot's picture

Hey, it worked out nicely for Jeremy Cash and Noah Spence--two guys who transferred out and got drafted into the NFL. It's still all out there for Matt. He just has to decide what he wants to do.

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cdub4's picture

Aren't scholarships guaranteed for 4 years?

If Burrell said "I ain't leaving"...what could OSU do about it? Change his grades and make him ineligible? Set him up to get arrested? Doesn't the B1G require teams to show how they plan to get to 85?

Serious questions? Anybody have any answers?

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stxbuck's picture

Plenty of players stay on the team for 4 years and get their degree w/out playing much, if at all. It just depends on what they want. To answer your question,no, there isn't much tOSU could do if a player is making the requisite progress towards their degree and doing everything the staff expects of them.

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cdub4's picture

So how was Burrell forced out? If he is a 2015 kid, his scholarship is guaranteed through 2018. 

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stxbuck's picture

You are correct, he wasn't forced out of the program. Playing time and being part of the program are two very separate things.

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Hovenaut's picture

Complete respect to Matthew Burrell for opening up and sharing his experience during this rough time in his life.

He's facing these obstacles, obstacles we all deal with in one way or another, and I commend his courage and poise in addressing both personally and publicly of his own free will.

That's strength beyond the field, strength beyond your years.

I look forward to one day reading about the successes Matthew Burrell will have in life.

And again - great feature, HW.

Hindsight is, and in, 2020

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buckeyeinWI's picture

Best of luck Matthew! Once a BUCKEYE, always a BUCKEYE!

Semper Fi!

GO BUCKEYES!

15-1 is SWEET!

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falloutboy89's picture

Great piece, Harry. Best of luck to Matthew. He was a favorite of mine before he even committed. Loved everything about him. Hope he crushes it at his next stop.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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yankeescum's picture

That was a great read, and a ballsy, badass idea to highlight one of the "failures" at the program that we all love. Good luck to the guy, and I hope he finds his success, whatever that looks like at his next stop.

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iowabuckeyes's picture

Tough questions, honest answers from a subject for whom the topic had to be hard to discuss but special kudos to Burrell’s level of self awareness to both acknowledge and climb out of his anxiety/depression hole and talk about it so openly, great follow up questions to dig out more information. Quality journalism. Nice job all the way around. Best wishes to Matt...he was a guy I was always rooting for and still will.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke

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cdub4's picture

One of the best reads ever on this site, and that is saying a lot.

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CTownBucknut's picture

That was such an enjoyable read.  It's amazing to think that somebody as talented as he is, who can start for virtually any team in the Country, who clearly put in the work, still couldn't crack the lineup. It just shows what these kids are really up against, and I truly feel for them.  I hope he has nothing but success at his next stop, and who knows, maybe gets a look in the NFL afterwards!

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Cooper's picture

I would be pretty pissed too if I got rid of distractions, thought I gave it my all, competed every day, and was told by the coaching staff that it still wasn’t good enough for Ohio State. Kind of sounds, I don’t know, like a business...? Which is fine, if you want to concede amateurism. 

The good thing is Matt understands the reality, even if he was reluctant to face it because of the love for his teammates. I’m glad to hear the brotherhood isn’t just some sort of gimmick.

This is definitely where I parked my car.

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bucknutz18's picture

That's the reality of big boy football, and these kids know that when they sign on to attend a school like Ohio State.  Imagine if someone like Matt gets whipped by Rashaan Gary during the Michigan game and Urban takes the podium after a loss saying Matt isn't talented enough to start at OSU but played because he tried hard in workouts and at practice.  You better bust your ass AND produce on the field, or like Matt said, someone else will take your spot in a heartbeat.  What is important is for kids like Matt to not view their time at Ohio State as a failure because they didn't live up to expectations.  He received a great education, lifelong memories and friendships, and one helluva line item on a resume, all of which are experiences worth all the effort itself.    

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Cooper's picture

It’s not about the competition I was referring to, but rather the number crunch comment. If you are offered a four year scholarship by a university and compete every day with no transgressions, but are still pushed out a little bit by the coaching staff, you’ll have a hard time trying to convince me that isn’t a business. No one is saying the players need to be babied, but I do think the coaches owe players and recruits more transparency and/or stop pretending that this is an innocent stage of amateurism. 

This is definitely where I parked my car.

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irishfury's picture

Well said.  I agree 100%.  

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BornAndBredABuck's picture

I don't agree with your takeaway here at all. The staff could not have been any more transparent at all. They gave Matt an honest assessment of his odds to crack the starting lineup, but it's pretty clear that his decision to transfer was his alone. There is no possible way to read into anything he said to infer that he was pushed out in any way.

It's up to each player to choose how he's going to respond to the challenges he faces in the pursuit of his dream. Good luck to Matt as he continues chasing his.

"Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect." -- Woody Hayes

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BbBnD's picture

Agreed, it’s hard for me to believe the staff would sacrifice depth on the line to later give a walk-on the scholarship, which will inevitably happen. It sounds like they told him his chance to start has passed because of the talent in front of and behind him. 

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andretolstoy's picture

Let's stop calling this "big boy" football. Every program out there that is D-1 puts forth a genuine and strong effort to be the best they can be. Not all of them have been blessed with the demographics and logistics that a Florida, Alabama, Ohio State, etc have. Some of them also believe that extra push that makes us "big boys" is in reality, not that honorable. 

I'd rather have honor than be a "big boy." 

If you die before you die, then you won't die when you die. 

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toad1204's picture

Well done to everybody involved here.  Thats a great article.  Go get it done Matt, get your spot.  

The offseason is the longest season.

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Keze's picture

I wouldn't call it a failure at the program or for Matt.

It just works out for some and doesn't for others. It's called bigtime college football.

Matt stay strong and thanks for being part of the football team.

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SuperFanBuck's picture

I always felt they dropped too much weight off of Matt, but that’s just me. 

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osu992's picture

Thanks, Harry!

New Day for OSU. Same noon for TTUN.

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MtWashBuckeye's picture

Many players are backups. At every school, not just Ohio State. The fact that Matt Burrell is unwilling to be that is a sign of his character.

Terrific interview, Harry Wexner. Really.

MtWashBuckeye

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Jumar's picture

Great read.

If you continue to think what you always thought, you will continue to get what you always got. #AlumforStaff

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avail31678's picture

This was a great read - thanks for running it.  And thanks to Matt for his honesty and willingness to share.

Once a Buckeye, always a Buckeye!  Best of luck to you Mr. Burrell!!

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BayCountyBuck's picture

Best of luck to Matt, wish it had worked out better for him in Columbus but will be rooting for him wherever he lands. 

When I was 6 I was thinking about this rivalry. This one is seared on your soul, It's ingrained through every part of your body. -Urban Meyer

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analyticalguy's picture

It sounds as if the young man has a handle on hhis situation, even if not happy about. Although he hasn't yet settled on his next move, it sounds to me as if he's going to make his way through and be successful in life. Good luck to him.

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Seattle Linga's picture

My day got a lot better after reading this piece. 

The off season bites !!

It's not a rivalry .............. it's a wreckoning.

Seattle Sounders 2019 MLS Champions

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Nutinpa's picture

Mine didn't.   I read that a kid had his college football dream shattered and now is moving on.  What we don't know is the degree to which he was 'pushed'.....and most of us have rejected that notion because it feels a bit dirty.  Like I posted earlier, we are referring to it as "welcome to big boy football"....which sounds great and cut and dried.  But the outcome for one young man sucked. That is what I took out of it.

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IBLEEDSCARLETANDGRAY's picture

He sounds bitter and I would be too if I felt I had given the program everything and I didn't get a chance. But he had his chance last year to grab the RG spot when Bowen went down and he didn't take advantage of it. He then got buried on the depth chart this spring. I want the kid to get his degree and he deserves to get his degree. Just wont be at OSU, sadly.

"I find your lack of kalua disturbing" - Darth Lebowski

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BUCKAROOTIMESTWO's picture

I wouldn’t say Burrell is bitter, maybe jaded and a whole lot wiser.

While folks swear who plays is based on seniority, there’s a reality that if you can and are contributing, your transgressions can and are overlooked or handled differently.

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Nashville's picture

Who swears it’s based on seniority ? I’d never base it on that if I was a coach. I think it’s incumbent on upperclassmen to elevate themselves so they are picked over younger players based on achievement. If it’s close and I’m the Coach the younger player would get the nod because they have more time to develop and get even better. 

"You can never pay back, but you can always pay forward."

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BUCKAROOTIMESTWO's picture

Nashville, I did NOT say you said it was based on seniority.  I said “folks” because there are those who truly believe that.

Maybe I should’ve used italics, because I was directing that comment at those who go on and on about seniority (which is primarily when a guy they think should be playing is not).

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Floyd Stahl's picture

Outstanding article with great behind the scenes insight. Great job, Harry, and best of luck to Burell.

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Rocket Man's picture

I will be cheering for this guy, and I hope he does well.

 Success - it's what you do with what you've got.  - Woody Hayes

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GrandTheftHarley's picture

Hate to see that happen to Matt. Hate to see that happen to any young man striving to be the best he can be and then finding that he's still a bit lacking. The stakes are high at TOSU. The competition is now at a level that I think even Woody and Cooper and Tressel would have been amazed.

And it bothers me that Matt made all these wonderful connections with fellow Buckeyes but can't finish school in C-bus. Just doesn't seem right. But I think Mr. Burrell will land on his feet and will find a good fit somewhere. I personally would like to see him wind up at Virginia Tech. They also have a quality football program there, and the campus would be next to coming home.

Wishing the very best of luck to you, Matt Burrell.

Go Bucks.

I am not very smart, but I recognize that I'm not very smart. --- W.W. Hayes

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BuckeyeInDenver's picture

Maybe he'll end up at VT, but my guess is he'll end up somewhere like JMU or Richmond. Both are elite FCS programs that are even closer to home than Tech (Blacksburg is about four hours from the part of the DC suburbs he's from).

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M-villeBuck's picture

I'm reminded of what an OSU HoF basketball coach used to say that applies to this situation: "Sometimes you get the bear and sometimes the bear gets you! But always go to the hunt or go hungry."  Matthew Burrell will never starve!

"...Time and change will surely show...how firm thy friendship...O..HI..O...."

OH2NoVa2CVA

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Ole Buckeye's picture

Let's  all  revisit this in a year  or two and  see what NFL team drafted Matt Burrell.  I'm  hoping he  makes it. 

A nice guy  who  will probably be a success with or  without the NFL. 

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Kevin_Kurgis_Rocks's picture

He touches on the part about his ex girlfriend...They at times had a very public (twitter) on again/off again relationship.  He seemed to struggle with that quite a bit.  It's weird that I know that, but they were at times public with their fueds.  

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sharks's picture

Jesus, that was poignant. I wonder if all the articles and stats here and elsewhere sometime lead us to forget about these guys as people. Feel for him, hope he lands right and gets that degree.

As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster...

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nickel beer's picture

Really a nice article.  And a subject that needs coverage.  I hope one of  you 11W folks writes a book, bc I know that fans (myself included) need better information about the game today.  It's not old school, it's not my father's game anymore, but, there are similarities with the past that do provide continuity. 

Best, the very best of luck.  A very quality guy.

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741's picture

One of the better articles posted on 11W. The human being behind the jersey number. Great stuff. 

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CowCat's picture

Best of luck to Matthew. Great read.

The eye opener for me was Urban saying  you need 100 good reps for every 1 bad rep. Wow. That's beyond intense.

"We get paid to score touchdowns, not kick field goals"
-- Urban Meyer

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BuckeyePat's picture

Wow. WHat an amazing article 

47-3

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stpetebuck's picture

First , awesome piece and I wish the best for this kid. Hey, Sheffield had to leave Bama to come to tOSU. It worked fine. 

It just wasn’t his time to be a Buckeye. He’ll be better for it and probably do well  

Go Bucks

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Doug James's picture

Have a 7th grade son and told him to wait until high school to date.  When he gets to high school will tell him to wait till college.

DJ

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BuckeyeinGA's picture

Sometimes guys need a different spark to light their fire.  Mine didn’t get going playing soccer in HS- made varsity as freshman and I guess I thought that was all I needed to do. Thought I was trying my best soph, junior year but never started, played little and I didn’t deserve to.  Those other guys were better than I was. The few opportunities I did get I didn’t capitalize on them. I just didn’t see the field the way coach wished I could- I had all of the physical attributes but mentally it just never clicked. Then I got to college, I was a little older, playing intramural with many guys who played at higher levels than I did in HS and some played in college- and something clicked. I finally just got it. Understood where to be, where to go with the ball, how to execute a lot of the things I just couldn’t understand in HS. There was less stress, it was more fun and there were no expectations. Some people learn differently and respond differently to certain situations- some are able to understand and elevate their game and for others it just doesn’t click- and sometimes it clicks too late. I know it’s not really the same level as Matt’s deal, but I understand how you feel like you’re giving it your all but it just doesn’t seem to be happening for you. In hindsight, I just don’t think I was in the right situation for me to fully develop in HS- here’s hoping Matt finds the right situation! 

Great article BTW- great read, one of the best ever looking at the human beings and what goes into the game we fans enjoy on Saturdays in the fall! 

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AzBuck50's picture

I am middle age now and attempted to play college football, at a level not close to a Ohio St or Alabama. After reading this it brought back some memories of the stress I used to feel around 1:30 in the afternoon, dreading Tuesday or Wed practices, worrying about what if I screw up a block during scout team. If it rained, I hope I wouldn't mess up a center exchange with the QB due to a wet ball. Because if you did screw up a play or the snap, there would always be that one coach who would say, "if you can't get it done, we will find someone who can." College football was fun, don't get me wrong, but this article sure hit home. Very well done and I hope the kid plays well at his new school.

Azbuckeye50

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Buckeyeneer's picture

Good luck, young man! I was and still am rooting for you.

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

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Buctor's picture

Good luck Mr Burrell.  Keep working hard.  Good things will come to you.

And remember, once a Buckeye!

Beat everyone, in every sport, all the time!!!

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buckguyfan1's picture

That's a fine SLOB, I wish him well.

Simplify...

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CanadianBuckeyeEh's picture

Thank you, Matthew.  And Good Luck. 
And Blessings in you do. 

"Be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else." - Judy Garland

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brutus360's picture

Life is hard. 

"Age wrinkles the body, quitting wrinkles the soul" Woody Hayes

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O-H-I-Owe-U's picture

Good luck, Matt. Life is a journey. More than anything I wish for you peace of mind and that you will always remain close to the friends you made here.

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brutus360's picture

I empathize/sympathize with Matt. Walk ons fight too and sometimes earn. Sometimes it takes a while to get a job. Sometimes you’re in the right place at the right time. And sometimes you have to grind through life. Most of the time if you keep grinding things work out. 

"Age wrinkles the body, quitting wrinkles the soul" Woody Hayes

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NewPhilaFan's picture

That was an intriguing look inside the head of a Buckeye football player.  I am impressed at how much he opened up regarding his feelings

Let's Go Bucks

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ShawneeBuck74's picture

Thank you Matt B.

I was excited when he committed. I enjoyed following him on social media. I believe he turned a corner last summer/fall and into the winter/spring.

Some guys are also just late bloomers. However, sometimes the timing doesn't align right and by the time it clicks for some, it's too late at a place like Ohio State. 

I will continue to cheer for and follow this young man. I hope he finds his spot and gets a shot at the NFL. If not, I hope OSU sets him up for life. 

You win with people. 

And so forth...

9 Units Strong!

 

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mathandler1's picture

Go chase your dreams.I will always root for you no matter what.take care.once a buckeye always a buckeye.

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AZ Buckeye13's picture

Seems like Matt didn't really buy into the work needed to excel in the program for 2 1/2 years. When the light came on, he had other recruits nipping at his heels and that made it difficult to stay ahead of the younger guys coming up in the ranks. If a young man doesn't come to Ohio State ready to put in the work and effort, it makes it difficult to succeed. I wish Matt well, wherever he goes. He has a solid base built and will do well at his next stop. I would like to see him join Coach Fickell at Cincy. 

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HOLYbucknut's picture

Don’t bash the guy because of his transparency. He can go somewhere and play and better his future and he knows that. I heard of some immaturity on his part when he got here, but it looks like he has his head on straight now and is going to do what is best for him and his family. Nothing wrong with that at all. I wish nothing but the best for MattB and hope he makes it to the league one day. Just wanted to thank him for all that he did for us in a buckeye uniform! Once a buckeye, always a buckeye.

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Yoda888's picture

an insightful article w an insider that pierces through the fluff and enables us to have a glimpse of what D1 college athletes really go through....the pressure, the anxiety, the competition, distraction, and the improbability of just making the starting line.

hopefully we can all have a greater sense of appreciation of what these kids go through. for the few that actually make it to being a starter and the fewer that actually make it to the next level, they have earned it. certainly should not be looked upon as being entitled at all.

Yoda888

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Zone's picture

As of recent, and may be it's because I follow recruitment more than ever before, I am so appreciative of these players. They come here as a talented recruit, put their all in hopeful to play on Saturday knowing there is always stiff competitio but sometimes it doesn't work out. I applaud you young man. I know you have put in work and made those around you better. I wish you the best of luck and may you reach your goals.

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tussey's picture

Great article.  Thanks Matt for opening up and Henry for putting it together.  Best of luck to you wherever you head next.  

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bbb's picture

This is the reallest thing i've ever read on 11 warriors.

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ARMYBUCK's picture

You and me both!  Hope these kind of articles continue!

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BroJim's picture

Excellent write up. I’m glad 11w has this kind of access.

I season my simple food with hunger

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Trotwoodbuck's picture

I have long believed these kids make a mistake all packing into programs with more talent then playing time.  Somebody inevitably has to be the bench warmer but when the guys stuck on the sidelines could be starting for 90% of the teams in the power 5 there is a heavy price paid by those individuals.

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stxbuck's picture

Exactly-at places like Bama or tOSU there is always more talent than available PT. Here's hoping Mr. Burrell crushes it at his transfer destination.

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stxbuck's picture

I like what he quoted from Mariotti-your goal shouldn't be a specific position or title, it should be to get better every day. That's a real teacher talking there. Excellent article.

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45has2's picture

Great attitude. Good luck to you.

Censores irrumasti.

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Rockfordbuckeye's picture

Nice kid. Ohio State isn’t for everyone - hopefully he will really shine and grow in another program. 

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CincyBuckeye04's picture

Haven't logged in to comment for a long time, but this article/interview compelled me to do so. One of the best things I've read on here in quite a while. Thanks for the great questions HW and thanks to Matt for being so forthcoming and allowing us to see under the hood of the program we all love so much. Best wishes to you in the future Matt! You will do great things, I'm sure of it. 

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causeicouldntgo43's picture

Excellent article Harry. Really brought the emotions and the struggle of what these players go through. The great thing about Matt is that he is mature enough to adjust to the situation as it is, right now, in front of him. He’s not quitting, getting bitter, or blaming others, rather he is making the best decision for him to move forward. THAT is the secret sauce to a successful life, which will serve him well his whole life.

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Colonel Jessup's picture

I’m showing my ignorance, I know, but can someone explain what it means when a school “pulls a scholarship?” I understand that there are conditions for every scholarship (both academic and athletic). However, if those conditions are met (GPA, discipline, etc), how is it possible for a school to withdraw the scholarship? Is the scholarship only year to year? Or, for athletic scholarships, can scholarships be pulled merely because a player has been unable to contribute on the field? Or is it that scholarships aren’t really withdrawn, but players are pressured to “move on”? (I asked these same questions via a comment on the Friday Skull Session, but I'm posting it here because this is the article that prompted my questions.). Can anyone help me out?

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andretolstoy's picture

One thing is for sure, he's hit man-dom. That's 90% of the battle for life. 

Football will take care of itself. 

Thanks for the reality check.

If you die before you die, then you won't die when you die. 

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BigWillRIP's picture

Love the article.  Hopefully, we'll see more of these in the future.

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BeenThere77's picture

Very impressed with the maturity of Matt. He didn't use the blame game and took personal responsibility for his situation. He obviously learned some valuable life lessons while at tOSU 

My problem with Matt's situation is the enequality in options for the schools and the athletes. If the school are allowed to "run off" players because they no longer fit the scool's needs, then the athletes should have the same options for transferring when the schools no longer fit their needs.

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stxbuck's picture

Sometimes we need to remember that these kids are getting scholarships-4 years of room, board, and tuition at a given school in exchange for playing football, lacrosse, crew-whatever. If a kid is getting his education at tOSU paid for, there is no "inequality".  5 starting spots, 17 or however many OL on scholly-the kids can do the math and decide what is more valuable to them-playing time or a tOSU diploma. If they get to keep their scholly/graduate, they are not being 'run off"-this isn't PeeWee league where players SHOULD all get guaranteed playing time.

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Harry Wexner's picture

I'm so excited by the way the 11W community has received Matt's story! I wasn't sure how this would go, but I think it speaks volumes that Buckeye Nation takes the time to learn about a guy who isn't going to be part of a winning drive. The respect you have shown Matt is awesome. Thank you. 

Most of all, thank you to MB for having the strength to be vulnerable, the confidence to be humble. 

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stxbuck's picture

Kudos for the article, and kudos for Matt Burrell for cooperating. This is real journalism, not just re-tweeting who is visiting campus this weekend to "build relationships" w/ the staff.

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hodge's picture

More of these kinds of articles, please.  This is fantastic work.

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OH-IO's picture

A great front row view into Urban's pressure cooker. 

Good luck, kiid. Keep getting better. 

OH-IO living BACK IN COLUMBUS after 32 years in the ATL. 

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ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

This is some fantastic insight that one doesn't often get.  A look into how things run inside the program, and a look into the thoughts of a young man that seems like a good, hard working young man that, unfortunately, things didn't quite go the way he would have hoped.  I think we may have known to some degree how demanding the culture is - how high Urban and the staff have set the standards - but this is a great look at that when you talk about the consistency, and how that was really the one thing that kept Burrell from being a surefire starter here.  Sometimes it just doesn't work out...I don't think you can look at Burrell and say he didn't work hard enough, had a bad attitude (his attitude actually is really good, even in the face of leaving), screwed up off the field, or anything negative like that.

I wish him the best of luck.  Use what you've learned here to be the best that you can be wherever you go.

Class of 2010.

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BuckeyeLion's picture

I honestly could see him linking back up with Warner at *ichigan if there is no transfer restrictions. Then again there would have to be.

In the poll era (since 1936), OSU is by far the class of the B1G:
National Titles: OSU 8, UM 3
B1G Titles: OSU 34, UM 27
Head-to-head: OSU 43, UM 36
Major Bowls (New Year's Six): OSU 20-14, UM 10-16

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Hockey Buck's picture

This is why I love this school and am so glad to be a graduate. Started with Woody and continues to this day with the main purpose being to go forward as a loving family.  Best of luck Buckeye.  Bo Pelini call you yet?

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TkeBuck's picture

what a great interview!

obviously a fine young man!

all the best.

klusewski

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teddyballgame's picture

Really interesting exit interview.  Good luck to you Matt

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rockyincbus's picture

Outstanding article and a great look at what goes on in the mind of a student athlete at a place like the Ohio State University.   Inciteful pieces like this one are what makes Eleven Warriors so special.  I appreciate Matthew's candor and will certainly root for him to have success whatever he does from here.  I think he displayed sincerity and heart but at the same time the type of restraint that marks unusual maturity at a very uncertain time in his journey.

You've got barbecue back there?

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KYBuck's picture

A million thanks to Harry for helping open the curtain to the real world of these kids in collegiate athletics. Many folks have not the first clue about how tough it is and how much work is involved in trying to compete for a spot on the team, then to get playing time. Add in the balance that must be struck to remain academically eligible, and hopefully get a degree. I got to watch this play out back in the day when I was a GA teaching gen ed classes, and 1/3 of my class would be scholly athletes. I was at a small school -- just think about a program like tOSU, with the insane level of talent and competition, and the intense interest/scrutiny of the media and the fan base -- talk about magnifying (many times over) the pressure to perform and achieve!

I think Matt will do fine at his new school. I'm very sad that it will not happen in Columbus, but it hasn't been but a few years ago that another talented young Buckeye needed a new start, and went to an FCS school down the road in Richmond, KY. He got his act together, worked hard, and made it to the NFL. Matt has none of the baggage this kid had, and he has plenty of talent. He will have his chance to shine.

Thanks again for a wonderful read, Harry. May God bless Matt in his endeavors, and here's hoping he finds much success in football and in life.

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