Former Ohio State running back Eddie George returned to Columbus, Ohio, Tuesday, and he certainly had some things to say.
The Lantern had an exclusive opportunity to talk to George, and his wife Tamara.The Georges were back on OSU’s campus for a book signing to promote their co-written book “Marriage For Real” at the South Campus Gateway Barnes and Noble.
The two also briefly discussed a number of issues including his future, thoughts on relationships and marriage, the idea, or lack thereof, of an understood “gentlemen’s agreement” while being recruited in the Big Ten and whether or not he was able to balance relationships and football during his time as a Buckeye.
On being back on OSU campus
Eddie George said, in the future, he is excited to hopefully work with OSU in infusing different projects and ideas.
“For me personally, I have aspirations and plans on coming back and really engaging the student body in a great capacity, in a greater capacity,” he said.
On Marriage and Relationships
Eddie George wanted to issue a warning to couples thinking about tying the knot: “If you’re not ready to get married, don’t do it,” the former Heisman winner said. “Once you get married, there’s a new layer to be discovered.”
Tamara George agreed and said in marriage, there are some things you will like and some things you will hate.
The couple, which will celebrate eight years of marriage in June, advised college-aged students who read the book to make the most of their time and freedom in school.
Eddie George said that while “it’s a joy being married,” you “definitely need to enjoy your time being in college.”
“Explore, date other people, travel the world, I wouldn’t start thinking about getting married until in your 30s, mid 30s, even your 40s, because you’re still developing your ideas, who you are as a person, figuring out what you like, what you don’t like in a human being and, again, marriage is an experience—it’ll be there,” he said.
His wife took the opportunity to expand upon that idea of marrying at an older age.
“If you get married in your 20s I think usually when something happens, you probably think the end of the world is coming, but you’ll realize that it’s not as bad as it seems,” Tamara George said. “As long as you’re still breathing and able to stand up, you can get through anything.”
Connie Hibbler, 53, said she’s followed Eddie George throughout his entire football career—college and in the NFL.
Hibbler, who came to the book signing with her sister, said she’s excited to see what one of her favorite football stars has to say about marriage.
“Everyone can use help in their marriage,” Hibbler said.
On recruiting controversy in the Big Ten
Eddie George also said that during his recruitment in the early 1990s, “it was only once choice for me.”
“The other Big Ten schools, I really didn’t consider because in my mind, Ohio State represented the Big Ten — them or Michigan,” he said. “So (having other schools approach me after committing to one school) wasn’t a big deal to me.”
He acknowledged though that recruiting has become much more competitive in the Big Ten with programs like Wisconsin, Iowa and Penn State all having varying degrees of success.
In the past month, Big Ten coaches, such as Wisconsin’s Bret Bielema, took issue with new OSU football coach Urban Meyer’s recruiting tactics.
Eddie George said Meyer “comes in as the new sheriff in town,” and that’s just the way he approaches recruiting.
“He’s saying, ‘Hey, this how I get down, this is how I operate,'” he said. “So it’s all fair game. It’s all fair game.”
On balancing a relationship while playing football in college
While she said she wasn’t with her husband for his playing days at OSU, Tamara George said she knows how Eddie George handled relationships while playing football for the Buckeyes.
“He didn’t balance a relationship back then,” she said while laughing hard at the idea of it.
Eddie George supported her take on the issue, and said while he had a girlfriend, she wasn’t talking about marriage, nor was he.
“I didn’t want no girlfriends,” he said. “Again, I was enjoying my youth (smile on his face) and being a football player at The Ohio State University. No, marriage was not coming in my vocabulary or my vernacular back then.”