Football

A Look Inside Ohio State Football Fall Camp Check-In Day

Ohio State Buckeyes football quarterback Justin Fields

The Ohio State Buckeyes football program is built on tradition.

There is the awarding of Gold Pants for wins over Michigan. Senior Tackle, where players in their final year on the team hit the tackling dummy one final time before the Michigan game. Singing “Carmen Ohio” after every game, win or lose. Ringing the Victory Bell after every win.

The OSU Marching Band has its own traditions, like Script Ohio and the ramp entrance.

But there is no tradition surrounding the Buckeye football program stranger than camp check-in day.

On one afternoon each fall, OSU players check in to a hotel near the Ohio State campus. It’s a chance for them to get away from distractions and just focus on football during the critical lead-up to the season. That, in and of itself, isn’t weird.

What’s weird is that literally dozens of reporters and photographers will line up on both sides of the entrance to the hotel to take photos of these college students walking in.

The players walk past the phalanx of photographers with a combination of confusion and amusement. Other hotel guests stop to ask what’s going on, and if the President is in town.

If you’re a Buckeye fan, this is an annual rite in the countdown to kickoff. Big Ten Media Days, the first fall practice, camp check-in day, the day BTN visits camp, a scrimmage or two, and… voila. It’s suddenly game day.

Outside of Columbus… this is not normal. Even in the college football fever swamps of the south, players and coaches are able to walk into buildings largely un-hassled by pigskin paparazzi.

It’s weird, yes. But here you are reading about it, so let’s just acknowledge that no one’s hands are exactly clean and move on.

Here’s a look at some of the highlights from today’s camp check-in day.

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