While Ohio State is preparing for its biggest game of the year, a group of Buckeyes also took some time to give back on Monday just three days before Thanksgiving.
A group of Ohio State players led by TreVeyon Henderson helped serve Thanksgiving dinner at TownHall’s third annual “Feed the Need” event in downtown Columbus on Monday. Henderson helped organize this year’s event after Paris Johnson Jr. and C.J. Stroud hosted it in 2021 and 2022.
“I'm just so thankful to be here,” Henderson said. “I'm so thankful that God put me in this position to allow me to come here and give back and help people that are in need. It's a blessing to just be able to be here.”
Henderson was joined at the event by a number of his Ohio State teammates, including fellow running back Miyan Williams, wide receiver Xavier Johnson, defensive tackles Mike Hall, Ty Hamilton and Tyleik Williams, linebackers Steele Chambers and Tommy Eichenberg and cornerbacks Denzel Burke, Jordan Hancock and Davison Igbinosun.
The Buckeyes said they feel it is important to use their platform to give back and that Monday’s event helped them keep things in perspective as they prepare for Saturday’s high-stakes clash with Michigan in Ann Arbor.
“One of the things that I'm big on, and my family taught me, the core value of my family, is serving others. Especially when you're in a fortunate situation, and there might be someone in a less fortunate situation,” Johnson said. “So wherever I can find a way to kind of escape from football, take a deep breath and serve others, I love to do so.”
That doesn’t mean the Buckeyes aren’t already hard at work in preparing for The Game, though. While Monday was the team’s mandated day off before Ohio State returns to the practice field on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Johnson said the Buckeyes are “locked in” on trying to beat Michigan as they look to end their two-game losing streak in the rivalry and earn their first win over the Wolverines since 2019.
“Everything rides on this game. It's like that year in and year out,” Johnson said. “It's the biggest game because it’s the next game, but it's the biggest game because it also means so much to so many people, and it means so much to us in that Woody Hayes facility. So we're gonna check all of our boxes, turn over all of our stones and shoot our best shot.”
While Johnson, a sixth-year senior captain, was with the Buckeyes for a pair of wins in 2018 and 2019, most of Ohio State’s players are still chasing their first pair of Gold Pants. For Henderson, whose junior class is 0-2 against the Wolverines, his hunger to beat Michigan is even higher after he missed last year’s rivalry game due to injury.
“I know I didn't get to play last year, but I'm just so excited that I get to play this year,” Henderson said. “I'm so thankful that God allowed me to be here and to be able to go into this game … We’re definitely just looking forward to this week, man, so we can’t wait.”
“It’s the biggest game because it’s the next game, but it’s the biggest game because it also means so much to so many people, and it means so much to us in that Woody Hayes facility.”– Xavier Johnson on The Game
Hall, who said he will be ready to play Saturday after missing the Minnesota game with an injury, shared a similar sentiment to Henderson entering his third rivalry game as a Buckeye.
“This week is the biggest week. I mean, we work for this game 365 days throughout the year, so we got to come and we got to execute,” Hall said. “We’re definitely hungry this year, but the focus is on the team up north and we just gotta lock in on that.”