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Kirk Herbstreit reveals mental health struggles while at Ohio State

You know him as one of the main voices of college football. Kirk Herbstreit is well respected and perhaps the face of college football for ESPN, and might we add, quite the ambassador for Ohio State despite some of the hate thrown his way that I’ll never really understand.

Before his career as a broadcaster, Herbstreit starred under center his senior season at Ohio State in 1992 as the starting quarterback after waiting his turn behind Greg Frey and Kent Graham. He ended up being the team MVP and throwing for 1,904 yards that season.

What we didn’t know is that Herbstreit battled mental health issues (subscription may be required) while in Columbus. While appearing on “The Mental Game Podcast,” Herbstreit admitted to some mental health issues as a freshman while trying to adjust to life as a college student and college football player. It got so bad, he actually contemplated quitting football before meeting with the football team’s psychiatrist, Alfred Ferrante, who helped him get through a difficult time.

“Man, I struggled. I just could not deal with it,” Herbstreit said. “I had a really hard time adapting to it. I moved to defensive back, I was covering kickoffs and then I circled back to quarterback my last three years. And I was just at the end of the road. I was ready to quit.

“There was no NIL. There was no transfer portal. I was just ready to go play baseball and be done with football. And my dad was like, ‘Give it another spring.’ And then I ended up going to see this doctor. And I’m telling you, the courage it took in 1990-91 to go into his office, which was at Ohio Stadium – they gave him a little nook – I’ll never forget walking from my apartment, looking around my shoulder the entire time wondering if anybody saw me, knocking on his door and, even then, still kind of looking.

“Isn’t it crazy that you’re so afraid? I was like 20, 21 years old and I didn’t want people to make fun of me, just to be honest. I didn’t want people to think I was weak because of the way we were trained. But at least I had the courage to knock on his door.”

Give credit for Herbstreit sharing this sensitive information. He often keeps his personal life behind closed doors, but more and more high profile athletes and media personalities continue to be more bold about the topic, and we’re grateful for it.

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Story originally appeared on Buckeye Wire