Ryan Day, Brian Hartline and CJ Stroud all thought the same.
After Marvin Harrison Jr. made his seventh and final catch of the day and the coaches decided it was time to take him out of the game, Hartline walked up to Day and said, “I think that’s it. is Kam Babb’s time.”
During an injury timeout three games later, after Ohio State reached the 8-yard line, Stroud approached Day and said, “How do you feel about trying to get Kam’s touchdown here?”
“And I said, ‘I think that’s true,'” Day said.
In Game 10 of his fifth year at Ohio State, it was finally the right time for Kamryn Babb. Babb’s moment to catch the first pass of his Ohio State career, score the first touchdown of his Ohio State career, and be swarmed by his teammates in a celebration that will no doubt go down one of the most memorable moments of the Buckeyes’ 2022 season. .
“What happened today in the stadium was magical,” Day said. “And that’s what college football means to a lot of people. Not to everyone, but to a lot of people. That’s one of the reasons college football is special. It’s one of the reasons you coach is to see something like this happen. And hopefully there’s someone out there who is going through tough times and can see that as motivation to overcome.
The play on which Babb caught the touchdown could be described as routine. The fifth-year wide receiver made a clean but simple outing to the right side of the end zone, and Stroud made a pinpoint pass to the right front corner of the scoring zone for an 8-yard completion.
Kamryn Babb for SIX to extend the @OhioStateFB conduct pic.twitter.com/RfZR72r4rM
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) November 12, 2022
When asked to describe the hold after the game, Babb said he barely remembered the game itself.
“It was kind of a blur in a way,” Babb said. “A good blur.”
Until this game, however, nothing about Babb’s career at Ohio State had been routine. That’s what made his touchdown take so special.
Dating back to his senior year of high school, Babb tore his two ACLs twice each, causing him to miss the entire 2018, 2019 and 2021 seasons. Prior to Saturday’s game against Indiana, Babb had only played all eight Ohio State games during the 2020 season, and he didn’t catch an assist in any of those. While expectations were high for Babb throughout the past offseason, he suffered another knee injury during preseason camp, which caused him to miss Ohio’s first nine games of the year. State before finally being cleared to play this week.
Despite these many setbacks, Babb never stopped working to get back on the court for the Buckeyes. And that’s why everyone inside Woody Hayes Athletic Center wanted to see him have the moment he finally had on Saturday.
“There will be big wins and there will be big accomplishments here at Ohio State, but what he overcame is one of the big accomplishments, and it’s not something people will see,” said Day. “But at least they got to be part of that there. And those who were in the stadium were able to be part of it because it’s as special as I am.
Stroud said he was as nervous throwing that pass as he’s ever been on any pass because of how he wanted Babb to have that moment.
“I saw the coverage we got, I saw the influence we had on the corner and I was like, ‘Oh man, I better not ruin this for my guy,'” a Stroud said. “So I’m glad I got the throw.”
After Babb caught the pass, he dropped to his knees at the back of the end zone. He took a moment of self-reflection during which he looked at the ground before looking up and blowing a kiss skyward – a symbol of his Christian faith, which he says has allowed him to persevere through all setbacks.
“For the past five years, it’s kind of been a dream of mine, it’s every time I catch a touchdown, every time that moment is, to get down on my knees and praise Him, Jesus Christ, because that’s the only hope I really have,” Babb said. “I love football. I love what it can do for so many people. But I just know there’s a world out there with a whole bunch of stuff going on. And so many people need hope. And so if I could give and shine the light that Jesus gave me and give it to others, I think that’s my responsibility as a son of God, a son of Jesus. So that moment was sort of in my mind for the past five years.
Babb was mobbed by his teammates once he got up. All of the other 10 Buckeyes who were on the field came over to hug him. Then every Ohio State player on the sideline did the same, spilling onto the playing surface and drawing a game-delay penalty that no one cared about. Even after the game resumed, the celebration continued for minutes on the sidelines, as apparently every member of the team wanted to congratulate him personally.
These reactions of @OhioStateFB on the sidelines after Kamryn Babb’s TD pic.twitter.com/RiT5wG49wf
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) November 12, 2022
Many current and former Buckeyes also took to social media after the shoot to congratulate Babb. Stroud says it reflects the impact Babb — a two-time captain and this year’s recipient of the team’s Block 0 jersey — has had on the program even when he hasn’t been able to play.
“His phone is probably going crazy with Chris (Olave), JK (Dobbins), all types of people, man, just probably touching him,” Stroud said. “Because everyone’s been really felt by Babb. From Chase Young to Justin Fields to Chris Olave to Garrett Wilson, I bet you’re all really happy for my guy. So that’ll tell you that every year he’s left a legacy.
“That’s one of the reasons college football is special. That’s one of the reasons you coach is to see something like this happen. And I hope there’s someone one out there who is going through tough times and who can see that as motivation to overcome.– Ryan Day on Kamryn Babb’s touchdown
Ohio State defensive end Jack Sawyer said Babb’s touchdown “almost brought tears to my eyes.”
“Seeing the things he’s been through and how hard he’s worked and how humble he is and what a man of faith he is inspires me, and seeing him out there catching a touchdown, his first touched at Ohio State, it means the world to all of us,” Sawyer said. “He inspires us all to be better people.”
I have never cried like this. I love you brotha All Glory to the VERY HIGH @kamm_o https://t.co/oXfAYtMVNc
— Emeka Egbuka (@emeka_egbuka) November 12, 2022
Babb is grateful for all of the support he received from his teammates, coaches and staff at Ohio State, not just on Saturday, but in the five years leading up to this moment.
“In a moment like this, just love when you feel that, you see so many people around you who just want to hug you; again, it kind of leans on the brotherhood and what we really have,” Babb said. “It’s not just a word for us, and it’s the guys in the locker room who make it possible. And then just the coaches we have too. So, man, I’m just grateful for every guy that we have… I’m grateful to be at this university, on this team, and I tell people all the time that I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Simply because the people make the state of Ohio what it is. So I’m just grateful to be part of it.
Babb’s touchdown might never have happened if the start of Saturday’s fourth quarter hadn’t gone the way it did. After Xavier Johnson ran for a 71-yard touchdown on the Buckeyes’ previous possession to extend the Buckeyes’ lead to 49-7, Ohio State planned to pull Stroud and the rest of its offensive starters out of the game. But after a failed punt from Reis Stocksdale led to an Indiana touchdown, Ohio State decided to keep Stroud and the first-team offense in the game for another series. leading to Babb’s touchdown on Stroud’s final pass of the day.
If Babb’s touchdown hadn’t happened on Saturday, there’s no certainty it would have happened. With only two games left in the regular season, and one of them being the Michigan game, there won’t be many more opportunities for Ohio State to script a moment of well-being. be. But Babb always believed his time would come – and now that it does, he hopes this is just the start of the impact he can have for the Buckeyes this season as they pursue their goals. to beat Team North, winning the Big Ten Championship. and win the national title.
“If it has to happen, then Jesus, He will make it happen,” Babb said. “I guess you can say the time was running out, but in my head I’m basically thinking like, you know, even if it’s in the north team game or any game we play and I have a chance… the national championship game, whatever game it is, it can make anything happen.
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