Video: Ohio State Linebacker Joshua Perry Named to Allstate AFCA Good Works Team During Surprise Ceremony At High School Alma Mater

By Tim Shoemaker on October 30, 2015 at 5:45 pm

LEWIS CENTER, Ohio — Joshua Perry made the short, 15-minute drive north from Ohio State’s campus to Olentangy High School on Friday afternoon thinking he would be speaking to his alma mater at a pep rally for the Braves’ upcoming game against Delaware Hayes that night.

While that was, in part, true, there was another reason Perry was invited back to his former school: He was set to be named a member of the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, which acknowledges college athletes for their dedication to serving the community.

Perry, a starting outside linebacker for the No. 1-ranked Buckeyes, was one of 197 nominees for this award and just one of 22 selected.

“It was a big surprise,” Perry said. "I saw a lot of people who weren't Olentangy High school teachers and my parents came out so I figured it was something."

As he was called up in front of a nearly filled stadium filled with students in the Olentangy school district from the elementary to high school level, Perry received a raucous ovation. Donning a shirt which said ‘Hometown Hero’ that he said somebody made for him, Perry addressed all those in attendance.

“It’s an honor to be back out here in front of people that I know, people that I learned from, people who showed me the way along my journey — my parents, teachers, coaches, everything,” he said. “It’s funny because I remember being here in this stadium as a high schooler just enjoying my time out here and now I’m a senior in college. It just shows how fast the time goes.”

“If I could say one thing it would be to really cherish this community, cherish all the opportunities here, take advantage of them,” he continued. “Treat people the right way and go out there with your best attitude every day.”

“Thanks. Go Braves and Go Bucks.”

Perry has been involved in a wide range of community outreach programs throughout his career at Ohio State. He’s an active member of the ‘Be Brave Foundation’ helping assist families with children who have cancer, a volunteer at local children’s hospitals, a sponsor in ‘Whipping Childhood Cancer,’ and is an advocate for anti-bullying and positive social media usage, among other things.

Perry, teammate Chase Farris and seven other Ohio State athletes also spent time in Costa Rica in May as part of the ‘Soles For Souls’ campaign, a volunteer program designed to help provide footwear to those in need.

"Joshua has always done his best, treated people the way he wants to be treated and then also made sure that he does everything the right way,” Perry’s high school coach, Ed Terwilliger said. “He not only talks it, but he walks it.”

Being involved in the community has always been important to Perry, who credits his parents for raising him to have such beliefs.

“Football is going to be over at some point,” Perry said. “I feel like I’m going to leave a mark in my football career, that’s been a goal of mine, but I want to leave a bigger mark, something that’s going to last longer, something that will definitely be here when I’m gone.”

Ohio State’s star linebacker is well on his way.

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