For the third time in three years years, wide receiver Kamryn Babb has suffered a knee injury. This is his second knee injury in his 10 months or so in Columbus.
Recovering from an ACL tear last June, Babb was expected to contribute for the Buckeyes this season as a redshirt freshman. That may still happen, but the timeline has certainly been pushed back.
Ohio State isn’t disclosing the nature of the injury, only that Babb will be having surgery this week.
All injuries are unfortunate, but for a player who has already been through so much, this one has been felt by everyone in the Scarlet and Gray.
“It’s tough because one, he’s such a great guy,” receivers coach Brian Hartline said on Wednesday.
“You want guys to earn things, but he’s attacked it the right way. Whether it be in the weight room or academics and studying and being on my hip. And he really is a great young man from a great family. So if anyone can weather the storm, it’s him. But it is a blow to our unit because I think he adds a lot of value to our room.”
Babb isn’t the first Ohio State receiver beset with injuries, and he won’t be the last.
For three years, Johnnie Dixon dealt with his own knee injuries before eventually coming through the other side over the last two seasons.
Last year, Austin Mack went down with an injury in the eighth game of the year and missed the rest of the season. He knows what it is like to miss what you love.
And as tough as it may seem for Babb at the moment, Mack’s advice has been to make the most of the situation at hand.
“Man, it’s been tough, ever since he’s been here it’s been injury,” Mack said. “But the biggest thing for him, and I just try to support him as a brother and as an older guy, is to be positive. This is the time where you can really load up on classes. Maybe try and get a masters, really try and graduate early.
“It’s a time where you can be more purposeful and really understand the game better. And just really don’t get down, because mental health is a big thing and you can really get down in times like this. Especially when you’re about to come back and hopefully start playing ball for your first year.”
Mack experienced that need for mental toughness last season and it helped him through his recovery process. Babb has been through this before. He knows what it takes to get back.
It won’t be easy, mentally or physically, but he wouldn’t have made it this far if difficult was too much for him.