Freshman Grayson Overman has been an integral part of the Ohio State men’s volleyball team’s success in the 2010 season.
A starter in all of his team’s matches, the 6-foot-7-inch California native has been a key contributor for the Buckeyes since day one.
The team held high expectations coming into the season. Overman is one of the key young players coach Pete Hanson said would have a breakout year earlier in the season. While the pressure to come into a whole new situation and succeed might unnerve some freshmen, it was motivation for Overman.
“From the very beginning, the expectation level for the freshman was to play at the level of the rest of the team.” Overman said. “I love being pushed to play at the level of the older guys each and every day.”
Overman said that the level of competition in college is at a whole different level compared to when he played volleyball for his high school in San Clemente, Calif.
“The players are all bigger, stronger, faster and more athletic than the kids in high school,”Overman said. “[But] because the intensity and competition increased, it makes everything more rewarding and fun.”
Overman seems to have adjusted well to the college game. He currently ranks third on the team in total kills and points scored. But if it weren’t for some heavy recruiting by OSU coaches, the freshman could be scoring for a school out west.
“I had originally wanted to stay on the west coast,” Overman said. “But after my official visit and meeting all the guys on the team, I knew I was going to play for Ohio State.”
Despite being more than 2,200 miles from his hometown, Overman says he has been able to fit in just fine with his teammates and his new surroundings.
“One of the main reasons I came to Ohio State was because of the guys on the team,” he said. “They are all such great people and they have made my transition such an incredible experience.”
Nicknamed “Cali brahs” together with freshman and fellow California native Kyle Lawrence by their teammates, Overman says their acceptance is helping him have the time of his life.
“I am having such a good time on the team and here at Ohio State that I haven’t had time to be homesick,” he said.
Overman said he is able to attribute his success to not only his talents, but because of the support he receives from the players and coaches.
“Everyone on the team supports and helps each other on and off the court because the team is our new family,” Overman said. “The unity and support is always there when I need it.”
But if Overman should ever feel overwhelmed by the differences between the surf town of San Clemente and the city of Columbus, he is comforted by a simple fact.
“California will always be there when I need it,” he said.