What it takes to be for an Ohio State player to be graded a “Champion” after games

·2 min read

You’ve likely heard the team grading out as a “Champion” after each week’s game for Ohio State. Basically, the coaching staff grades the performance of each individual player and releases those players’ names that are Players of the Game and therefore grade out as, “Champion.” The players take great pride in it and it’s the bar for doing what you set out to do for the team against every opponent.

Well, if you’re like us, you know that grading out with that after your name is a really good thing, but maybe didn’t know what it took to grade out as a “Champion.”

Welcome to the club. I’m sure it’s been written about somewhere, but we thought we’d lay it on you since Ryan Day advertised how a player gets the coveted grade when the coaches go through the film. The question came up because only one offensive player got the “Champion” grade (receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba) for the Penn State game, and there were questions of whether that was done to send a message.

According to Day, the staff is pretty genuine and purposeful in grading each player. And it’s a simple process really.

“We have a standard here,” Day said. “In order for you to be a ‘Champion,’ you have to play over 15 plays and grade over 80%. And we had one guy on offense. That was it. We can try to make people feel better, but that’s not how this game works. Guys got to be held accountable, position coaches got to be held accountable for their units, each guy’s got to be held accountable for their job — over 80% in terms of execution.”

That’s it. There’s no secret formula or gray areas when it comes to those lists of “Champions” the program highlights after every game. So, next time you wonder, or if you’re amongst a gathering of fellow Buckeye fans, you can now drop some knowledge on the group.

You’re welcome.

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