The Rose Bowl Game Presents a Picture Perfect Sendoff for Ohio State's Decorated Senior Class

By David Regimbal on December 31, 2018 at 9:38 am
Terry McLaurin, Johnie Dixon, Parris Campbell and Urban Meyer
Eleven Warriors

Fourteen seniors will suit up in Scarlet and Gray for the final time on Tuesday, and the Rose Bowl sets a picture perfect setting for their sendoff.

It isn't the College Football Playoff. It isn't the national title game. It's just the greatest and most historic venue in college football history.

The redshirt seniors from Ohio State's 2014 recruiting class, which ranked third nationally and already has nine of its members playing in the NFL, helped head coach Urban Meyer continue his dominance over the Big Ten. They'll leave Columbus with a national championship, three Big Ten titles, four postseason victories (and the potential to add a fifth on Tuesday) and an incredible 61 victories.

The true seniors from the seventh-ranked 2015 class don't have the national championship ring, but they have 47 wins and a chance to go 3-1 in bowl games.

And most importantly, this group never lost to Michigan.

It's a lasting legacy for a decorated class, and a number of seniors will play key roles against Washington.

The Buckeyes have the most experience at wide receiver with redshirt seniors Terry McLaurin, Johnnie Dixon and Parris Campbell. The trio each eclipsed 1,000 career receiving yards this year, and Campbell himself needs just eight yards to hit the 1,000-yard mark this season alone.

"It’s been a long five years. There’s been a lot of hard work, a lot of time put into it," Campbell said this week.  "Just coming in from high school, from playing running back my entire career since I’ve played football and then making a switch to receiver when I got to college, it was hard. It was rough for me."

Others playing their last game, like right tackle Isaiah Prince, are just trying to focus on the moment.

"It hasn't really hit me yet. I try not to think about it too much. I'm just trying to stay focused on the game," Prince said when asked about his Ohio State journey. "Every now and then I catch myself thinking about it and get a little sad."

But the Buckeyes are excited to be playing in the Rose Bowl, made clear by the fact that none of the season-long starters or contributors chose to sit out of the game. And for the seniors, it's their last opportunity to suit up as an Ohio State football player, and they get to do it on a special stage.

"It's the granddaddy of 'em all," Prince said. "It's a great experience, and for a lot of us in the program, this is our last game as a Buckeye, so we're going to make the most of it."

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