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Thursday, November 22, 2018

Interview with Cornelius Green for Michigan week 2018

I caught up with Buckeye legend and trailblazer Cornelius Green as we approach the 2018 edition of the Game. He shared his thoughts on the rivalry, his special connection with current Buckeye Dwayne Haskins, his thoughts on this year's team, and much more. 

Cornelius Green courtesy of OSU archives

Q: Initially out of high school you wanted to go to Michigan State, talk about what happened there?

A: To start off, I used to go to Flint, Michigan every summer. I felt that when Michigan State was recruiting me that that would be my calling. I thought it was a perfect match for me to go there. But while I was attending my recruiting visit, the guy that was recruiting me was really upset at Michigan State and advised me not to go there. Also, he took me to a little party that Friday night and left me. I had to find my way back to the hotel, so I just crossed Michigan State off after that.

Q: Why ultimately did you choose Ohio State?

A: My main reason for choosing Ohio State was Rudy Hubbard who recruited me, I felt really comfortable with him. He was the running backs coach. I think my mom kind of made up my decision because when I visited Ohio State, Coach Hayes’ whole conversation was about what I wanted to be, and about my academics. I spent probably about 75% of my time over at the business colleges and looking at different colleges that I wanted to pursue my career in. So, when I got home, I told my mom all they were talking about was school mom. They weren’t talking about how good I’d be in football. Obviously, she said, well you’re going to Ohio State because it looks like they are putting more emphasis on school than sports.

Q: Where did most kids from your hometown and the DC area go to school?

A: Most of the kids weren’t getting big division one scholarships. The majority of them were not getting those big looks. I was one of the first to kind of get that big look. The majority of the black schools were looking at a lot of the kids in our area. Once I went to Ohio State and became successful there, then D.C started become a hotbed for other big conferences to come in and get a lot of kids out of the area.

Q: Did you get any flak from your friends or any other people in your hometown, or were they happy for you?

A: It was amazing how so many people were happy, but thought I might have made the wrong decision and tried to down my skill level, thinking I wasn’t good enough to go to Ohio State. A lot of folks were wondering why did I choose to go to Ohio State, because I played football here in D.C. They were saying football started in Ohio, and this and that. I had to really believe in myself because a lot of friends and a lot of mentors and a lot of other folks thought I made the wrong decision going to Ohio State.

Q: Did you have any homesickness?

A: I was very homesick. I got an ulcer. I think being homesick, Woody Hayes, being at a new college all combined was just a little too much for me. Then once I got there, I started getting letters from the Ku Klux Klan and all kinds of other racial groups. Then I started getting a lot of nasty phone calls and death threats. It all kind of adds up and that’s probably why I think I got an ulcer.

Q: In regards to that off the field adversity, how did you deal with it?

A: It was really tough, but I thought that if I didn’t make note of it in terms of the press, letting it get out. Of course, Coach Hayes knew, but I didn’t let it get out. I kind of kept it to myself. Archie would answer the phone, and people thought he was me, and so he knew what I was experiencing. It was tough. Probably one of the toughest times of my life.

Q: This year the Buckeyes have faced a lot of off the field distractions. How did Woody handle the noise outside the program to keep you guys focused on your games?

A: Well Woody always kept us really focused. We were a very close-knit group. A lot of outside stuff didn’t affect us, because Woody was just a great leader. Of course, you know he followed General Patton so we were being raised like we were in the Army. He kept all stuff in house for sure.

Q: Nowadays kids have social media. If they are paying attention to it, it could probably really bring them down. It can get really nasty.

A: Thank goodness, there wasn’t any social media around when we were coming up. My goodness. Because as popular as Archie and I were, with his two Heisman’s, that probably would have gotten very intense with social media.

Q: You talked about academics, so maybe just expand on how Woody emphasized academics and the importance of education. Is that something he instilled right away?

A: That was his whole selling piece at Ohio State. Especially African-Americans, giving them the opportunity to get a great free education and to graduate. That’s what Woody was all about. And also, Woody was about making sure that we paid it forward. As freshmen, twice a week we had to go over to the Children’s hospital and visit sick kids.

Q: I was just going to ask you that. What kind of activities did Woody have you do as far as community service?

A: We did a lot of community service. Especially around Thanksgiving, I remember Archie and I used to volunteer. We used to go out and give away like 100 thanksgiving baskets to needy families. I was a big part of the Columbus community in terms of going to hospitals and paying it forward any way I could, going out to student community groups and things like that. Also, I was in the fellowship of Christian Athletes, so I spoke at a lot of churches as well.

Q: How would you compare the offense that you played under Woody to Ohio State’s offense the last few years?

A: Well, they are totally different offenses where we had a fullback and a wingback in our offense. Whereas, now there is no fullback and only one back in the backfield. I wish I could have played in this type of offense. I think my skills would have been displayed more than they were running in a Woody Hayes type of offense. I think I could have had a Heisman running this offense for sure.

Q: Would you prefer the read option as opposed to Pro-style?

A: No doubt about it. man, If I could have played in this type of offense where I had three or four wide receivers and I could run off the option and all I had to do was read that tackle, I would have had a field day.

Q: Maybe just compare the physicality of the game of football when you played versus today's teams?

A: I think the game is much softer. The game is obviously softer than when we played. Even from a practice standpoint, Woody never put a yellow jersey on me. They are going to protect the quarterbacks now. Of course, with the concussion scare and things like that I think the game is good being on the safer side. Of course, the players are much bigger than when we played. It’s a really good time to play football right now though.

Q: How did you get your nickname "Flamboyant?"

A: Leonardo Shapiro. He was a beat reporter for the Washington Post and ended up being the Washington Post editor in sports. He was well known. I had on some tassels on my pants and some white shoes and all the other guys out there had on black shoes and he nicknamed me "Flamboyant." He said "Flamboyant Green" directs Dunbar past whatever school we played. The next day all my teammates all called me "Flamboyant" and "Flam" so it just stuck.  But he named me that. I can’t take credit for giving myself that name, I have to give it to him.

Q: Now I wanted to talk about your relationship with Dwayne Haskins if that’s okay. Maybe just talk about your relationship as far as you both being from the DC area and carrying on that lineage of African-American Quarterbacks at Ohio State.

A:  I’m very proud of that. You know, there hadn’t been another African-American quarterback wearing number 7 as far as I knew of for 45 years; And how amazing 45 years later that an African-American came out of the Washington D.C area. His dad and I are very good friends and of course I’m always sending him some nice spiritual quotes, and he sends me some as well in terms of praying for his son to make sure he stays healthy, which I always do. But I’m just really proud of Dwayne and his accomplishments and couldn’t be prouder of a kid like him who is a spiritual kid, and we both have a spiritual number in number 7.

Q: Talk about how you got the number 7.

A: It was really wild for me to wear number 7, because when I first got to Ohio State, they gave me number 25. If you add 2 and 5, you get 7. They gave me the number 7 maybe the 4th or 5th week of the season. It was amazing. One of my teammates, Steve Luke's mom told me the night before. She said, "Cornelius I had a dream that you were wearing number 7" and I just thought she had lost it or something. The next day I went into my locker and lo and behold number 7 was in my locker.

Q: I thought Dwayne showed a lot of heart against Maryland in front of his family and his friends. Since you were at the game what were your thoughts on his play and getting to see him beat the season records for touchdowns and yardage?

A: It was a homecoming for him. I wish I would have been able to come back home and play in the D.C area where all my friends and family could come out and see me. So that was a blessing for him to come back home and also it was a blessing because he had initially signed to go to Maryland, before switching to Ohio State. So, I think he had a lot on the line in terms of wanting to impress people in this area that came out to see him. I was just more impressed with him using his legs in this game because there had been several games where he never ran the ball. It was great timing for him to use his legs in this game and to throw so many touchdowns in addition to running.  That puts another thing on Michigan’s mind.

Q: Do you think Ohio State should bring in Tate Martell at all?

A: I think you do because it adds another something that Michigan’s defense is going to have to get ready for. When Tate Martell comes in, all he has been doing is running but Urban might get pass happy and make that kid pass and catch Michigan off guard a little bit.

Q: What advice would you give to Dwayne as he approaches the Game and the rest of the season?

A: This is a game where you really make a name for yourself. This is a game where everyone is going to remember what you did. You can throw that 10-1 record out the window. I think the reason I’m so popular and well known is because I never lost to Michigan. I’m 3-0-1 against them. Back then, when we played, if you didn’t win the Big Ten championship or title, you didn’t go to a bowl game, so all the marbles were on the table when we played. It meant everything to me.

Q: Do you believe when OSU plays Michigan that the records truly do go out the window?

A: There is no doubt about it. You can see even when Michigan didn’t have some good teams and good records, they always played Ohio State really tough though. You can throw the records out the window. This game is going to go down as a street fight.

Q: Do you have any concerns going into the game? Even though Ohio State is 10-1 many people think OSU has underachieved. Is it a matter of flipping a switch?

A: I think nobody thought that Ohio State’s defense would play as well as they did when they played Michigan State. I think the defense is going to show up like they did against Michigan State. That might be surprising to some, but they played great after the Purdue collapse. They came back and played good defense. I think Maryland had a very tricky offense. When you come and play Michigan, they are not tricky at all. You know pretty much what they are going to do. I can’t see them putting wide receivers out there throwing deep passes. I think the defense has a better shot playing against Michigan versus playing Maryland, where they split a lot of guys out at wide receiver.

Q: What advice would you have for the current team going into the Game with them being a 4-point underdog?

A: Obviously, never look at that as far as points. I think we are ready. I definitely think these guys should have some confidence because Michigan hasn’t beaten us since Harbaugh has been there. So obviously we have an edge and also, we have an edge being at home. I don’t think Michigan has seen a passer like Dwayne Haskins and their defensive backs aren’t that good to me. I feel really good, especially with our passing game.

Q: Did you notice a difference in the emotion and the intensity during the Michigan game versus the regular season games?

A: There is no doubt about it. Because we practiced for Michigan the first day of practice, which was Aug. 20th. I remember we practiced for Michigan and we were playing Indiana. We practiced for Michigan Monday and Tuesday, and we practiced for Indiana Wednesday Thursday and Friday and we weren’t playing Michigan for another 5 weeks.

Q: Do you root for Michigan to do well during the season or are you just kind of neutral on that?

A: I’m a little neutral with Michigan but I also know that when Michigan does well and we do well it’s great for the conference and great for the rivalry. It’s not like I’m always wishing for them to do bad. It’s kind of been in our favor here lately, so no matter how good they do, we always catch them at the end of the season, so it’s fine with me.

Q: Do you have a score prediction for this year’s game?

A: I think we might win 31-17. Put one field goal in there for us.

Q: Lastly, seeing the lineage of African-American quarterbacks and now as you look back, how do you feel about the legacy you started and left at OSU?

A: For what all I had to go through in being the first, I’m so proud of Ohio State for selecting a person who could play the position, and not looking at it in terms of color at all. I feel really good about it. A lot of folks had kind of forgotten that I started it off, because you see so many African-American quarterbacks at Ohio State now you kind of take it for granted. And you kind of forget who started it, and what I had to go through to start it. If I’m the Mount Everest of African-American quarterbacks at Ohio State, I’m really proud to be the first.

Nicholas Jackson

Copyright 2018 Nicholas Jackson - All rights reserved.

Nick is a 1997 graduate of Ohio University, in Athens, Ohio where he received his B.S in Biological Sciences. He went on to receive his Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy at Andrews University in Dayton, Ohio and then his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Chatham University in Pittsburgh. He has been published in the Newark Advocate, The Granville Sentinel, and the St. Louis Metro Voice; and professionally in the Journal of Acute Care Physical Therapy. Nick has also been a guest host on 88.9 WLRY and 880AM WRFD

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Saturday, November 17, 2018

Unverferth House Offers Hope and Healing for Families of Transplant Patients

With all the anticipation and excitement that Michigan week brings, one special tradition quietly stands out in the Buckeye Community and it deserves to be spotlighted, so that it isn’t lost amidst all the clamor. On Tuesday Nov. 20th, the 4th annual John Hicks Unlimited Love event will be held at the Villa Milano Banquet Center in Westerville to benefit the Unverferth House, which provides free temporary housing to families of heart transplant patients.

The Off the Field Legacy of Dr. Unverferth

Our teams and players often become larger than life to us. We follow their every stat. We greatly value their exploits, and their accomplishments often become part of the tapestry of OSU lore. They become legends that we regale our children with, in order to pass on their great legacies and to honor their achievements.

Dr. Donald V. Unverferth wasn’t a statistical giant at OSU compared to the pass heavy modern offenses of today. He played under Woody Hayes from 1963 through 1965. Woody as you may know is famous for his three yards and a cloud of dust running offenses and who it is also attributed to him as saying, “Only three things can happen when you pass and two of them are bad.” Despite being part of a system that prioritizes the running game, Dr. Unverferth threw for 2,518 yards in his three seasons a mark which stood until Art. Schlichter eclipsed it in 1979. Dr. Unverferth had many memorable drives at the helm of the offense and held a 2-1 record against that team up north, a stat that alone solidifies his on-field legacy at OSU.  It was off the field that Dr. Unverferth, however, shined the most.

Don Unverferth courtesy of OSU athletics

After his playing days were over, he continued his medical training at OSU and then served as a military physician. After his military service, Dr. Unverferth returned to OSU to receive his training in internal medicine with a specialization in cardiology; And so began a meteoric rise in the areas of cardiopathy and congestive heart failure as he became a world-renowned physician, eventually laying the foundation for the Ohio State Medical Center’s heart transplant program.

The world would only be graced with Dr. Unverferth for just a short time as his life was tragically cut short in his prime. He died in 1988 from a brain tumor at the young age of 43. If you want to understand how impactful a physician is in their life you can look to his colleagues and his patients. 

Dr. Charles Bush, a colleague of Dr. Unverferth spoke to the Columbus Dispatch about his unassuming and humble nature. “Don was clearly a leader,” Bush said. “He was not somebody who would go around tooting his own horn.” It was out of this tragedy, however, that the idea for the Unverferth House was born. As a way to honor her late husband, Barbara Unverferth spearheaded the development of the House. She shared how the idea originated, “The idea really came from his patients, because they loved him dearly. He would’ve so loved something like that.” (Columbus Dispatch Feb. 4th, 2011)

A Home Away from Home

The Unverferth House has since served as a respite and sanctuary for heart transplant patients’ families since 1989. It is conveniently located at 190 King Avenue which is in close proximity to the Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital at the OSU Wexner Center in Columbus, Ohio. Over 200 families stay at the Unverferth house annually. Families are primarily connected through the social workers at the Ross Heart Hospital and the needs are so great that they are full 365 days of the year.

Picture of the Unverferth House located at 190 King Avenue in Columbus, Ohio

The Unverferth House consists of 8 apartments and a common area. Each apartment has a bedroom, living room, kitchen and a bathroom. Ann Carmichael, the Director of the Unverferth House listed the needs met by the House, “We provide everything. The only thing we tell people that we don’t provide is obviously clothes and then food in the fridge. We provide all the sheets, the towels, the toilet paper, the paper towels and the detergent. We have a laundry facility for them to use, but they are required to keep it clean.”

“If they are so ill that they can’t be at home and they are in the hospital waiting for a transplant, then their loved ones can stay at the house while they are waiting."

“Most of the time what happens is once they get their transplant, they are usually in the hospital anywhere from a week to three weeks and then they come over with their loved ones and spend a minimum of two to three weeks at the house close by,” Carmichael stated.

Mural in the common area at the Unverferth House

The House’s annual budget is paid for entirely through grants and private donations from friends who support the House. Imagine the costs that would be incurred from an out of town family staying at a hotel for a month? The House takes away this financial stress placed on a family already strained from exorbitant medical and travel costs; And it does it in an environment that is truly a home away from home, with other families that are undergoing the same shared difficulties.

"Me and my dad with a rainbow and a butterfly," painted by Katie Unverferth

Unlimited Love

You can’t mention the Unverferth House without mentioning the off the field legacy of another Buckeye great, John Hicks. On the field, Hicks was a mountain of a man. He was the precursor to Buckeye legend Orlando Pace, winning the Outland and Lombardi trophy for the top lineman as well as finishing second in the Heisman in 1973, an award usually reserved for skill positions. When Hicks arrived, freshman were not eligible to play. He started as a sophomore in 1970 and helped lead the Buckeyes to the Rose Bowl. After suffering a knee injury and sitting out the 1971 season, Hicks returned with a vengeance, garnering back to back All-American honors and leading the Buckeyes to consecutive Rose Bowl appearances after the 1972 and 1973 seasons.

John Hicks courtesy of OSU athletics

“In all that he did, he was a giant on and off the field, Archie Griffin told the Columbus Dispatch after Hick’s passing in October of 2016. Hicks was nicknamed the “Godfather,” because of his desire to help everyone in need on and off the field. He was involved with the Boys and Girls Club of Central Ohio and the Central Ohio Diabetes Foundation. Griffin went on, “Anytime someone needed help they’d call John.” He’d be organizing folks to help, whoever it was that needed the help.” He was just unbelievable man.” (Columbus Dispatch Oct. 2016)

Towards the end of John’s life, even as he battled sickness, he became actively involved in helping organize an annual event to raise money for the Unverferth House. After John’s passing the event was named The John Hicks Unlimited Love event. Ann Carmichael described John’s involvement, “He would come to committee meetings. He was very involved. He came to the first one. He was there even though he was pretty sick, but his wife and kids have come to every single one of them and they are great.”

Unlimited Love is the perfect name for an event named after a man that has such a giant capacity to love others. Every year, for four years now, the event has brought together speakers on both sides of the rivalry to share battle stories. Last year, Cornelius Green and Jim Tressel spoke on behalf of OSU and this year the 50th anniversary of the 1968 National Championship team will be honored with Rex Kern and Brian Baschnagel speaking. Jack Harbaugh will be sharing what’s bound to be great stories about that team up north.

A Greater Need   

While serving 200 plus families is wonderful, the needs of the transplant and other hospitals in the OSU community go far beyond just 200 families. Roughly 170 families had to be turned away and were not able to be helped last year. The Unverferth House’s goal is to build an entirely new facility that can house many more families and meet the needs beyond just the transplant community. “At a minimum we want 45, and then we would love it actually to hold at least 60 if not more, and it would be then for the entire medical center. It would be for the James patients, the main hospital, and then for the Ross,” Carmichael stated. Money raised from the Unlimited Love events all go to fund this new building project and to further Dr. Unverferth's legacy of healing and helping even more.

In this day and age, we tend to glorify what athletes do on the field, myself included. The Unverferth House story is so touching because we can see how the off the field legacy of one-man Dr. Unverferth, helped spark such a great cause, and in the process has helped so many people. It’s remarkable to then see another Buckeye great in a different decade, John Hicks, a giant on and off the field, come along and help advance Dr. Unverferth’s legacy even further.

If we can have one take away from the story of the Unverferth House, it is that life is more than a football game. It’s more than wins and losses. It can be a journey of unlimited love and it can start with you.

To donate to the Unverferth House you can go to their website and donate directly.

Nicholas Jackson

Copyright 2018 Nicholas Jackson - All rights reserved.

Nick is a 1997 graduate of Ohio University, in Athens, Ohio where he received his B.S in Biological Sciences. He went on to receive his Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy at Andrews University in Dayton, Ohio and then his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Chatham University in Pittsburgh. He has been published in the Newark Advocate, The Granville Sentinel, and the St. Louis Metro Voice; and professionally in the Journal of Acute Care Physical Therapy. Nick has also been a guest host on 88.9 WLRY and 880AM WRFD

Permission to reprint article required from author
Nick’s email:

Friday, October 5, 2018

The Life and Legacy of Buckeye Great Terry Glenn

How could we not talk about family when family’s all that we got?
Everything I went through you were standing by my side
And now you gonna be with me for the last ride

It’s been a long day without you, my friend
And I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again
We’ve come a long way from where we began
Oh, I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again
When I see you again
                  Excerpt of “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa & Charlie Puth, from Terry Glenn’s memorial

When Buckeye Nation lost Terry Glenn last November, they lost a true son of Columbus. Some will remember him for his meteoric rise at Ohio State where he exploded from a walk on to All-American; becoming the only wide receiver in Ohio State history to bring home the coveted Fred Biletnikoff award as the nation’s top collegiate wide receiver. Others will remember him for his time in the NFL as an impact player for the New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys.

Those who were privileged with knowing Terry personally, however, knew him as a loving father, an incredibly loyal friend, and a man who left a lasting legacy of love through his work with foster children. Terry Glenn Jr., the eldest son of Terry Glenn, knew his dad both as a father and as a faithful friend, and is uniquely positioned to speak to his father’s legacy both on and off the field. We will include Terry Jr.’s insight throughout as we tell his father’s incredible story of turning tragedy into triumph.

Terry Glenn at OSU. Photo courtesy of OSU Athletics

Before Terry Glenn even stepped foot on Ohio State’s campus, he had experienced more tragedy in his formative years than perhaps anyone experiences in their entire lifetime. When Terry was a child, he didn’t see his mother very often as much of her time, she was incarcerated. When she was home, he witnessed her boyfriend physically beating her up. This was in a time in the 70’s and early 80’s where people would see things but wouldn’t want to get involved. Terry would spend his nights rocking her to sleep with ice packs on her face. His grandmother would become his only support system, but tragically she died of diabetes soon after his mother was released from prison.

Things would get even worse as his mother was found beaten to death in an abandoned building when Terry was only 13. Terry describes his resultant battle with depression, “Life was over as I knew it. I fell into a deep depression. Mute, zombie, empty, numb, hurt, worried, ashamed, self-pity, angry, bitter are some of the words that described me.  I felt alone and trusting people became an adventure.” (83 Kids Foundation website) 

Where there was family instability, the system stepped in to try and provide some stability for Terry. Terry, however, was bounced between 15 different foster homes and ten different schools between kindergarten and the 12th grade.

Terry Glenn Jr. relates how this affected his dad, “My dad was a real shy guy. He never trusted anyone just because of everything that he had been through…people turning him down, people not giving him opportunities; So, he just never ever trusted anyone unless you really showed him that he could trust you; and he wasn’t being a bad kid, he just wanted to be a normal kid.”

Terry Glenn Jr. continued, “It’s going to affect you negatively. You’re going to be blocked in. You’re not going to trust anyone. You’re going to have a small circle.”

It was at Brookhaven High School in Columbus, Ohio where Terry starred on the gridiron and would begin to develop this tight inner circle. Terry would eventually live with the Henley family in Columbus. His coach at Brookhaven, Gregg Miller, would also serve as a father figure for Terry. Another of the families that came along and “adopted” Terry in high school was the Gwinn family; Anthony and Jayson Gwinn would both end up playing with Terry at OSU.  

Terry Glenn Jr. talked about the impact the Gwinn’s had on his father, “Mrs. Gwinn was awesome. They were everything. They were always there from Ohio State, Brookhaven and on. Jayson Gwinn (Terry’s best friend) had gotten killed in a car accident; he was going to be a first-round draft pick. He was amazing. They just became my dad’s best friends pretty much all of them. She definitely became that mother figure for sure. She was always at my dad’s games. She was always wearing his jerseys.”

“There is still the Gwinn/Glenn foundation that my dad started with Anthony Gwinn (Jason's brother), and I know we are going to do a charity event for that here soon and I’m definitely going to be involved in that.  Anthony was one of my dad’s best friends for sure. They were best friends all the way to the end.”

Georgia Hauser, a teacher for 35 years at Brookhaven High school, also became a life long friend and like a mother to Terry.

She described Terry's love for his mother, "Terry was a really very sensitive person. He was very deep and he really loved his mother. She was everything to him."

"I think he just knew that I was there for him whenever he needed somebody to do the things that a mother would do for their child. Along with Mrs. Henley, and Mrs. Gwinn, Terry knew where to go when he needed that reinforcement.”

She went on, “For me it was really like having another son. I was there when he needed me. I tried to make Terry comfortable when I could if he needed something down at Ohio State. It just added a really wonderful dimension to my life. Terry was very thoughtful. He was caring and he was appreciative.”

“He had a lot of perseverance and whenever you thought, 'I don’t know'...He stepped up to the plate.”

Diagnosed with a severe case of ADHD, it was a daily struggle to maintain his grades; hence Terry would head to OSU as a preferred walk-on. All he needed though was that one chance and the rest was history.

Terry Jr. describes his father’s journey as a walk-on and what it meant for him to be a Buckeye, “I think it meant everything to him. When he knew my mom was pregnant with me, it just pushed him even harder. Coming out of high school, he wasn’t ready to go. He was a walk-on, so everyone kind of looked down on him, but knew that he had talent. Making the team and being a part of the team, when he finally got to that point, was everything to him and it just made him work harder. Without Ohio State and without him meeting my mom and everything, there would never be any Terry Glenn, or any NFL Terry Glenn.”

Terry’s break out junior year will go down as of the most spectacular and singular seasons in Ohio State receiver history. Terry was downright explosive. He would often sacrifice his body with his catches; to the point of even laying out and diving on artificial turf, something most receivers today don’t risk. He may be best known for his 82-yard catch and run for a touchdown against Notre Dame on September 30, 1995.  

In one catch and run, he dealt the death blow to the myth that the BIG Ten was slow and plodding; electrifying the Ohio Stadium crowd and nationally televised audience.

Glenn would go on to catch 64 passes for 1,411 yards and 17 touchdowns (the current record for receiving touchdowns in a season) in his break out 1995 season. He remains the OSU single game record holder for receiving yards in a game with 253 against Pitt in 1995.

Terry Glenn's plaque for consensus All-American at the Buckeye Grove at OSU

Terry was drafted in the first round (seventh overall) in the 1996 draft by the New England Patriots. He had an immediate impact, setting the NFL Rookie receptions record with 90 receptions and earning him the UPI NFL rookie of the year.

Well known NFL quarterback Drew Bledsoe called Terry the best receiver he had ever thrown to. This is remarkable considering he threw to the likes of Keyshawn Johnson, Terrell Owens and Troy Brown.

Bledsoe and Glenn would develop a deep connection both off and on the field. The off the field connection grew as Drew learned more about Terry’s life circumstances and his early tragedies. Bledsoe spoke of his friend after he passed away in Sports Illustrated,“My buddy grew up in the worst of circumstances. When I finally took the time to try and see the world through his eyes he told me, “Everyone I ever loved or trusted betrayed me or died, I decided I just wouldn’t let anyone in so I wouldn’t get hurt anymore.” That recognition ultimately allowed him to slowly come around and learn to love and trust people.” (Drew Bledsoe, Nov. 20, 2017. Sports Illustrated)

Terry Glenn Jr. spoke very highly of Drew and his dad’s friendship and connection, “There is no connection like what Drew and my dad had. I wish they’d have had more time in retirement to get together to work on their off the field connection, because they definitely had it on the field. Drew’s really supportive and I couldn’t thank him more for that.” “I talk to him a couple times a week and he is really going to be involved with getting the foundation (THE Terry Glenn Foundation) running and getting everything going.”

Terry Glenn would go on to play the 2002 season in Green Bay and then would join the Dallas Cowboys in 2003. In 2005, he finished the season with 1,136 receiving yards while leading the NFL in yards per catch and helped lead them to the playoffs in 2003, 2006 and 2007.

Terry Glenn catching a pass for the New England Patriots

While Terry Glenn was spectacular and accomplished on the field, his son Terry Jr. wants people to know the kind of person he was off the field, and the kind of father he was.

“The main thing I want people to know is that he was so much more than a football player. Everyone remembers him as that. Of course, when I was young, he was a big deal as a football player. A lot of my big memories are of him as that. I truly want people to know that he was so much more of a father figure and cared about his kids and us way more than he cared about football.”

He talked about how his dad’s early experiences shaped how he treated his brothers and sisters,” He was in 15 different foster homes, so he never really had anything. He’d be around families opening Christmas presents and stuff and there would be no Christmas presents for him. So, I think that’s really what led him to give me and all my brothers and sisters everything that we ever wanted, because that’s something that he never had.”

Terry Jr. continued, “He loved having a big family. My brothers and sisters and I were everything to him. All he did was try to make us happy. I remember back when I was an only child; My dad gave me every single thing that I could possibly want. I saw the same thing with all my brothers and sisters. They always had everything they wanted. He was just a big family man. We always went fishing. We always went to Disney World; things like that besides the material things. He was always there for all of us."

While Terry Glenn Sr.'s early experiences built in him an unconditional love for his children, they also gave him a profound and abiding love for foster children. Terry wanted to provide that unconditional love to other children, besides his own. It was out of this desire to provide that unconditional love to foster kids that Terry developed the 83 Kids Foundation.  

Terry Glenn, Sr. described the unconditional love that every child needs on the website. 

“We as humans need that unconditional love that really is an unspoken feeling that hovers over a loving family. That was the thing that I missed the most. Since we as humans are going to make “mistakes,” we need that safety blanket of a loving family that won’t judge you and will be there for you when the chips are down. Feeling alone on an earth full of people, has to be one of the worst feelings a child could bear."

Terry Glenn, Jr. witnessed his father's passion for foster kids firsthand,“I could just tell the passion he had for it." Terry Jr said. "I’ve never seen him have that passion towards anything else other than football that he had towards this. The passion that he put into the kids...I could just tell that it was what he was destined to do. He just felt better doing it because he knew how it felt to be in that position, in the worst of that position and make it out.”

Terry Jr. talked about how his father was a real-life example to the kids he helped, “I think that he could literally provide, not just your cliché stuff; but real-life man to man, man to woman, just person to person; how not only to make it through, but be successful by making it through.”

Towards the end of his life Terry Glenn developed a renewed sense of purpose and faith that had not been there previously. It showed in his renewed energy for his foster foundation.

“You could really tell that he was a different person." Terry Jr. explained. "He found something that he had not found before, because I know that he was never really looking for God or going to church, or ever really doing that searching before. He really started reading the Bible and started really getting into it. He started going to church. I think that really helped with how he felt about the foster kids. I think it kind of just went together.”

Terry Jr. expounded, “Football was what enabled him to provide for us with everything that he did. He loved us and wanted to make sure we did not grow up like he did; He always told me that from day one. He told me I’d never have to worry about anything. Just stay on the right path, stay focused and God will lead the way.”

“He literally poured his heart and soul into the foundation and was doing everything he could to get it going and to help as many kids as possible. He was also going to move it here to Columbus as well, but obviously he didn’t get a chance to do that.”

Buckeye Nation came alongside his family and helped them in the healing process. After his father’s passing, Terry Glenn, Jr. was invited to a practice to meet Urban and to tour the facility. 

“Urban was awesome. He was really remorseful, just a really down to earth guy honestly. He completely understood what I was going through.” “I got to actually see the Biletnikoff trophy that they have there.”

Terry Glenn Jr. with Urban Meyer. Photo courtesy of @TerryGlennJr

That next weekend, the Buckeyes wore helmet stickers with the initials TG in honor of Terry’s father against the Team Up North, which the Buckeyes won 31-20.

In many ways, Terry Glenn’s legacy is still being written. His life was cut tragically short in his prime.

Terry’s kids are a huge part of that legacy.  He often prayed to have at least 5 or more kids that he could provide for in a loving family. He was blessed with seven; Terry Jr., Natalie, Samantha, Christian, Vanessa, Tatum, and Greyson.

It is my hope that we all can come alongside them and shower them with love, encouragement and to really invest in their lives. May we also cultivate in our own hearts that same love for foster children that Terry had; building on that legacy of love, until we see him again.

RIP Terrance “Terry” Glenn: July 23, 1974-November 20, 2017.

Terry’s work with 83 Kids will continue on with THE Terry Glenn Foundation, founded posthumously by 83 of Terry's former teammates, family and close friends in honor of Terry and his love for both foster children and his 7 surviving children.

The Highland Mint has kindly designed several commemorative Terry Glenn silver coins available to help launch the work of THE Terry Glenn Foundation, and help carry on his legacy. 100% of the proceeds will directly benefit the foundation and it's designated foster children organizations. They can be found on the foundation's website


Nicholas Jackson

Copyright 2018 Nicholas Jackson - All rights reserved.

Nick is a 1997 graduate of Ohio University, in Athens, Ohio where he received his B.S in Biological Sciences. He went on to receive his Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy at Andrews University in Dayton, Ohio and then his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Chatham University in Pittsburgh. He has been published in the Newark Advocate, The Granville Sentinel, and the St. Louis Metro Voice; and professionally in the Journal of Acute Care Physical Therapy. Nick has also been a guest host on 88.9 WLRY and 880AM WRFD

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Friday, September 7, 2018

Discover Christian Church to Hold its 9th Annual Cruisin’ for a Cause Car and Truck Show on Sept. 16th to Benefit Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

September 7th is World Duchenne Awareness Day.  The 7th day of the 9th month represents the 79 exons of the dystrophin gene. It is mutations of this gene that are responsible for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, the most severe type of muscular dystrophy.  Symptoms of voluntary muscle weakness generally begin around the age of 4 and get progressively worse over time.  Children with DMD will often lose the ability to walk sometime between the ages of 10-14 and their life expectancy is estimated to be in the low to mid 20’s.  Currently, there is no cure for Duchenne as it is 100% fatal.

For one church community in Central Ohio, there are faces behind the statistics and the impact of Duchenne hits very close to home.  Discover Christian Church in Dublin, Ohio has three members of its church community who are battling Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.  For this reason, Discover Christian Church has decided for the second year in a row to dedicate the proceeds of their annual Cruisin’ for a Cause Car and Truck Show on Sept. 16th, 2018 to help find a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Many folks in Buckeye nation may recognize the name Jacob Jarvis.  Jake, a member of Discover Christian Church, is a young man with DMD who was befriended by Coach Urban Meyer at a practice in 2013.  Coach Meyer saw something special that drew him to Jake, and their friendship persists to this day. Click here to read more about Jacob's special story.

Jacob Jarvis with his good friend Urban Meyer.

Jake was then adopted by the OSU program as an honorary Buckeye.  He and his family have a special place in the heart of Buckeye Nation.  He served alongside his good friends Jeff Heuerman, Doran Grant, Michael Bennett, and Curtis Grant as an honorary captain in a game against Cincinnati.

Jake was able to witness in person the glory of the national championship victory at the conclusion of the 2014 season.  The whole nation then watched Jake score the final touchdown in the annual OSU Spring football game in 2017 as the moment went viral on social media and Jake was solidified in Buckeye lore forever.  Here is the video of that special moment.

Jacob and his brother Noah entering the field against Cincinnati.

If you look closely in the picture of Jake as he served as honorary captain against Cincinnati, you will notice his younger brother Noah riding along on the back of Jake’s wheelchair during that memorable moment.  Noah is 10 years old and also has DMD. He will undoubtedly face many of the same challenges that his older brother has faced.  Levi Rhodes, a young boy in his early teens is another member of Discover Christian Church, who like Jake and Noah is also fighting Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Levi, Noah and Jake manning a table at last year’s event.

Cruisin’ for a Cause started out as Hot Rods for Haiti in 2010 as a means to raise money for Haiti, after the nation was ravaged by a hurricane.  It has since become an annual event for Discover Christian Church to pay it forward and share the love of Christ in their community.  Last year all the proceeds went to Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy one of the leading organizations in the fight to end Duchenne.  This year the proceeds will go to CureDuchenne another organization on the frontlines in the battle to end Duchenne.

Cruisin’ for a Cause consists primarily of a car and truck show where people from all across Ohio are bringing their vehicles to be judged.

One of the cars from last year’s show.

Those who wish to enter their vehicle will park in the church parking lot and there is a $10 entry fee. Admittance is free for those who simply wish to attend the event and they can park in the Meijer parking lot across from the church.  The event is from 1pm-6pm with registration running from 1pm-3pm.  The show begins at 3:00pm and culminates in the trophy presentation at 5:30pm.

Flyer with all the details for this years event.

One of the unique aspects of the event is the custom hand-crafted trophies made by Ark Hot Rods which will be rewarded at the conclusion of the show to the victors.

Hand crafted trophy from last years event made by Alec Carpenter of Ark Hot Rods.

The show is a family friendly event for those who love cars and trucks, and for those who just want to have a fun filled day of food, music and activities for kids of all ages.  There will be vendors set up from all over Ohio, and there will be a craft show and a silent auction with all kinds of items for sports lovers.

There are many ways you can help if you are unable to attend the event.  Items are still needed for the silent auction.  Last year there was a signed Eddie George and Orlando Pace jersey and all kinds of other OSU, Blue Jackets and items from other Ohio professional sports teams.  Please include the item value and they can be mailed or dropped off at the church office to Kristin Carpenter.  For those who would like to donate, checks can be made out to Discover Christian Church with CureDuchenne in the memo.

Discover Christian Church
2900 Martin Road
Dublin, Ohio 43017

Finally, if you go to Discover Christian Church’s website you will see that their mission is to, “LOVE GOD, LOVE PEOPLE, and IMPACT THE WORLD through relational community.”  On Sept. 16th let’s show up in force and help them carry out their mission.  What better way can we love others, and impact the world, then by curing Duchenne.

Nicholas Jackson

Copyright 2018 Nicholas Jackson - All rights reserved.

Nick is a 1997 graduate of Ohio University, in Athens, Ohio where he received his B.S in Biological Sciences. He went on to receive his Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy at Andrews University in Dayton, Ohio and then his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Chatham University in Pittsburgh. He has been published in the Newark Advocate, The Granville Sentinel, and the St. Louis Metro Voice; and professionally in the Journal of Acute Care Physical Therapy. Nick has also been a guest host on 88.9 WLRY and 880AM WRFD

Permission to reprint article required from author
Nick’s email: