There was no shortage of recent Buckeye greats at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Sunday.
That was because the Woody Hayes Athletic Center was playing host to the CHARG1NG Football Camp, a camp led by former Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller. While Sunday’s camp was the fifth edition of the CHARG1NG camp, which was first held in 2017, this was the first year the camp was held on Ohio State’s campus.
Approximately 225 kids, ranging in age from 8-17, made the trip to the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, to participate in Sunday’s camp. And they had the opportunity to interact with a multitude of former and current Buckeyes while they were there.
More than 20 former Ohio State players helped coach players at Sunday’s camp including former quarterbacks Troy Smith and Cardale Jones, running back Boom Herron, wide receivers Ted Ginn Jr., DeVier Posey and Chris Fields, tight end Jake Stoneburner, offensive lineman Chase Farris, defensive linemen James Cotton, Solomon Thomas and Doug Worthington and defensive backs Doran Grant and Orhian Johnson. Former Ohio State linebackers Jerome Baker and Malik Harrison were also in attendance for the camp.
Miller believes it speaks to the brotherhood Ohio State’s football program fosters that so many of his former teammates and others joined him at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center to be a part of his camp.
“It’s a fraternity, man. I haven't seen some of my teammates in five years, they came here to support and show love for the kids,” Miller told Eleven Warriors. “Troy Smith and Ted Ginn were my idols growing up, and they came out here to show support.”
With the camp being held at Ohio State’s practice facility and current college athletes now able to benefit from their name, image and likeness, current Ohio State players also helped out at this year’s camp, which they had not been able to in past years. Those current Buckeyes included starting quarterback C.J. Stroud, who seemingly signed autographs and/or took pictures with just about every child at the camp upon his arrival.
C.J. Stroud instantly became the most popular person here upon his arrival at Braxton Millers @Charg1ngBrand camp, with kids lining up to get their picture taken with the Ohio State quarterback. pic.twitter.com/0WSFg389qz— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) July 17, 2022
Wide receivers Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Marvin Harrison Jr. and cornerback Denzel Burke were among the other current Buckeye stars who spent time at the camp. Many of Ohio State’s new freshmen were also in attendance; defensive linemen Omari Abor and Hero Kanu and linebacker C.J. Hicks were in attendance for the entirety of the camp, while quarterback Devin Brown, tight end Bennett Christian and linebacker Gabe Powers also spent time coaching campers.
“It’s a great opportunity to show them what I was doing before the NIL stuff came upon,” Miller said. “Being able to host camps and having these guys come out here to see, because I was never able to do this in college.”
Farris, a member of the 2011 recruiting class alongside Miller, credits the number of current and former Buckeyes who helped out at the camp to the “pay it forward” mentality that they were taught during their Ohio State careers.
“It's ingrained in us from the time we're here to the time we're gone. So to get the young guys in here to be a part of this to something that they can continue to do when we’re done,” Farris said.
Miller and business partner Tramain Hall, who serves as the director of the camp, believe the CHARG1NG camp has gotten better every year as an increasing number of Buckeyes have joined their efforts. And they believe their growth is only just beginning. Going forward, Hall said CHARG1NG plans to hold camps in other locations around the country as it looks to evolve from a local brand to a national brand.
“I want to build something that’s sustainable, that's gonna be here years along when I’m done,” Miller said.
Miller credits his time at Ohio State – particularly at the beginning of his career when Jim Tressel was his coach – with teaching him how to become a successful entrepreneur now that he’s no longer playing football.
“Coming in here, our first team meeting, we had to read out loud a chapter from a book,” Miller said. “You weren’t just here to be an athlete, you had to be a student-athlete first, and he was teaching you longevity. They would teach you business things, they would teach you relationships that’s outside of football.”
As for his time spent with the kids who participated in Sunday’s camp, Miller said the biggest message he wanted them to take away was “if you see it, you can achieve it.” And he hopes holding the camp at Ohio State’s practice facility with so many Buckeyes there coaching them enabled them to dream big.
“They’re all young, and they all want to be in the higher level,” Miller said. “I’m sure they watch the Buckeyes and see how they practice, where they practice and having a chance to see this – to believe it, you’re gonna receive it.”