About 45,000 fans cheered for the Ohio State football team at Ohio Stadium on Saturday in what was the Buckeyes’ second public celebration at OSU after winning the National Championship in Texas.
The first welcome event, meant to be just for students, was held at the Ohio Union on Friday.
The event at Ohio Stadium included an appearance from the OSU Marching Band, crowd cheers and speeches, including Mayor Michael Coleman announcing in a video message that a street sign will be placed at Lane Avenue and High Street, naming it “The Undisputed Way.”
Andrew Ginther, president of the Columbus City Council, presented the sign to Coach Urban Meyer at the ceremony.
“The spirit of Ohio State is second to none,” OSU President Michael Drake said after initiating three “OH-IO” chants — some of which were met with boos. “Ohio State showed everyone what it means to cheer.”
In his video message to fans, players and coaches, Coleman recognized that the team has “overcome adversity” to win the national championship.
“They are very humble guys,” Meyer said of the team, and “the most selfless group of players and people I have ever been around.”
He recognizd several players, including the “magnificent three,” as Meyer called quarterbacks Braxton Miller, J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones.
“I dedicate the season to the two guys on my left and right,” Jones, a redshirt-sophomore, said, as all three OSU quarterbacks held the National Championship trophy on stage.
Representatives Patrick Tiberi, R-Ohio, and Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, also brought greetings from Washington, D.C., to the ‘Shoe.
“We love you in Washington,” Beatty said.
“The nation now knows that Ohio State has the best football team and the best fans in the land,” Tiberi added.
Five trophies were handed over to the Buckeyes, including the Big Ten championship trophy and the Sugar Bowl Classic championship trophy.
Michael Kelly, chief operating officer of the College Football Playoff, handed the national championship trophy to Meyer.
“History books will always remember that it was Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes who won (the first National Championship),” Kelly said.
American Football Coaches Association Associate Director Gary Darnell presented this year’s AFCA Coaches’ trophy to Meyer and the team.
“The trophy is a symbol of supremacy in college football since 1986,” he said to cheers of the crowd.
Eva Parziale, the Associated Press’ East regional director, awarded the AP College Football National Champion Trophy.
“The trophy (has) existed since 1936,” she said, adding that it’s the fifth time the award has been given to OSU.
“It was one of our dreams this season,” Barrett said of the national championship win in North Texas.
Senior wide receiver Evan Spencer, sophomore defensive lineman Joey Bosa and sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott were among the players Meyer recognized at the ceremony.
“It means so much to me,” both Elliott and Spencer said.
Students, alumni and other fans attended the celebration in the ‘Shoe.
“It was awesome, cool (and) insane,” said Josie Darr, a second-year in animal sciences.
Speaking of the next season, she added, “I hope we can keep up the momentum.”
“It was a great combination of band, team, politicians,” said Deb Miller, an alumna who works at the Office of Student Life.
Miller said she attended the national championship game with her her husband, Bob Miller, a Columbus native.
Even though he said that AT&T Stadium is impressive, Bob Miller added that “nothing beats the ‘Shoe.”
“This is where we belong,” Deb Miller said.
Kenny Turscak, a second-year in world politics, said it was nice to have the ceremony.
“It’s a good way to end the season,” Turscak said.
Krzna Ziyad, a third-year in early childhood education, said she always believed that the Buckeyes would bring home the championship trophy.
“I never doubted for a second (that we would win the National Championship),” Ziyad said. “It was good that they brought something here.”