Part of the Real Life Wednesdays program that Urban Meyer implemented a few years back allows for the Ohio State football players to make job connections outside the realm of football.
There is a job fair each year that provides a wealth of different possibilities for the student-athletes.
There are also a wide array of speakers from all kinds of walks of life and industries who share experiences and lessons with the team any given week. If any of those speakers strikes a chord with a Buckeye player, they are always free to reach out. Ohio State’s Director of Player Development Ryan Stamper is usually the intermediary.
A player will generally let Stamper know that they’d like more information about a speaker or that they’d be interested in learning more about a particular subject. Stamper will then coordinate whatever needs to happen.
This year, fourth-year junior defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones found himself intrigued by the Drug Enforcement Agency following a presentation to the team.
For the sociology major Jones, this was right up his alley.
He eventually took part in an internship with the DEA, spending a week this summer in Manchester, New Hampshire.
But what he did during that internship he can’t exactly say.
“I’m not going to tell you what I did because it’s confidential,” he said. “I got into it because we have this thing called Real Life Wednesdays, and Coach Day’s brother came in and they spoke to us about the types of problems that are happening in our world that they’re dealing with day in and day out with the jobs that they have.
“My major was along the lines of that, so I kind of talked to them afterward. Thanks to Ryan Stamper, he met up with them and I got going with it.”
Stamper’s role in the football program is vast — he is the one you’ll see on the videos calling up players to have their black stripes removed. Behind the scenes, however, he is just as involved helping players like Jones find things that could be waiting for them when their playing days are done.
Even though he still has his sights set on playing football for quite a few more years, because of the connections he has made through Real Life Wednesdays, Jones’ future may one day be in law enforcement.
“I might want to,” he said. “I’m so young. I’m 21. I don’t know exactly what I want to do besides play football at the moment. But that’s a good outlet for me. I made some good connections.”