Buckeyes Full of Energy, Excitement in New Orleans as They Prepare For No. 1 Alabama

By Tim Shoemaker on December 30, 2014 at 3:45 pm

NEW ORLEANS — Tyvis Powell was sitting at a table talking to various members of the media when his teammate, starting right guard Pat Elflein, walked by and called him out for revealing one of Elflein's biggest secrets.

Elflein loves to eat uncrustable peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

"Tyvis, you calling me out for all those uncrustables, bro?" Elflein joked. "Calling me Fat Pat and everything?"

"That's Fat Pat, baby. That's Fat Pat y'all," Powell replied, shouting as Elflein walked past him. "Fat Elflein!"

Two days from now, the current players on the Buckeyes' roster will play in the most important game of their lives when they face No. 1 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. But on this day, Sugar Bowl Media Day, Ohio State was quite upbeat.

The players cracked jokes on one another. They told stories. They laughed a lot as they answered questions from reporters for 60 straight minutes.

Ohio State tight end Jeff Heuerman even got in on the action, asking some questions himself. He walked around the Mercedes Benz Superdome with a microphone conducting his own interviews with a handful of teammates.

“12-Gauge, we’re here and we just want to know your emotions going into this game, the first-ever College Football Playoff and how far you’ve come,” Heuerman asked Buckeyes starting quarterback Cardale Jones.

“Well, that’s a good question Jeff,” Jones replied.

Asked Heuerman: “Where did you start from?”

“I started from the bottom now I’m here,” Jones said, smiling ear to ear, referencing the popular song by the rapper Drake.

Elflein, Darryl Baldwin, Billy Price and Jacoby Boren sat at a table, shouting at Taylor Decker, the Buckeyes' fifth starting offensive lineman, as he was doing an interview with ESPN in hopes to distract him. Decker couldn't help but crack a faint smile.

The players answered some questions about how they've gotten to this point or what they expect to see from the Crimson Tide on Thursday, but most of Tuesday's Media Day was spent telling stories or cracking jokes.

And while the Ohio State players were in quite a lighthearted mood, make no mistake about it, they know why they're here.

"We're having a blast," Powell said of the time in New Orleans. "But we know when we need to be serious and we've done that."

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