sophomore Jacob Vaughan, senior captain C.J. Magrum and redshirt junior captain Sean Nemec.
Some people get tattoos for the sake of getting tattoos. Some get them because they believe it will make them look cool.
For the Ohio State wrestlers who have tattoos, they hold meaning.
Captain C.J. Magrum, a 184-pound redshirt sophomore, has four tattoos. The first is a cross on his right outer arm. The second is his last name inked on the left side of his chest over his heart.
The next two tattoos are Magrum’s favorites. He has a depiction of praying hands on his right thigh, with the words “King of Kings, Lord of Lords” underneath the hands.
“If I’m going to get a tattoo, I might as well give praise to the man upstairs,” Magrum said. “I feel like, in a way, I am always looking at those like, ‘Oh man, that’s pretty sweet,’ and then thinking of God. It works both ways.”
Magrum’s other favorite is the one on his inner left bicep, where he has the word “Malulani” tattooed. Malulani is the Hawaiian word for “protected by heaven.”
“My mom used to live in Hawaii,” Magrum said. “When I got this tattoo she actually got a Hawaiian flower on her back with my and my brother’s name on it.”
Magrum said he plans to get another tattoo – after the wrestling season ends – with his best friend. The tattoo will be an ambigram of the words “faith” and “hope.” An ambigram is a combination of two or more words into one image where you see one word from one direction and the other word from the opposite direction.
Besides the meanings of the tattoos, Magrum said, tattoos do another thing for wrestlers.
“I think they mean you’re tough if you have them,” Magrum said. “Whenever I’m going against a guy and I see he’s got tattoos, I’m like, ‘This guy’s pretty tough; it’s going to be a good one.'”
Magrum is not the only Buckeye wrestler with tattoos.
Captain Sean Nemec, a 157-pound redshirt junior, has three tattoos. Nemec’s first tattoo was a sun on his back, near his left shoulder. In the sun there is a symbol for strength. Nemec also has his last name on his right rib cage and the words “Never fear failure” on his inner left bicep.
Nemec got his first tattoo, the sun, when he was 16. He said he got the tattoo because his brother had them and he always wanted one. To Nemec, the sun on his back still holds meaning.
“Strength and power,” Nemec said. “Have strength with whatever you were going through.”
Nemec’s most recent tattoo is the “Never fear failure,” which he got last summer. He said it’s his most personal tattoo.
“I’ve had a habit of thinking the worst possible things,” Nemec said. “I just got to try to be that reminder to not fear to fail.”
Jacob Vaughan, a 133-pound sophomore, is another wrestler with inked skin. Vaughan has either two or five tattoos, depending on how you look at them.
“People tell me I have five,” Vaughan said. “I think it only counts as two.”
The discrepancy comes with the words on his arms and chest. Vaughan has “I will conquer all” written in Latin saying “Ego lovo victum totus,” with one word being placed on each inner arm and each side of his chest.
“It’s a personal thing for me,” Vaughan said. “Good always conquers evil and God will always overcome everything.”
Vaughan also has an unfinished tattoo of his family’s crest on his left side. Currently the tattoo is in black, but when it is done it will have red, purple and white mixed in.
Like Magrum, Vaughan will be getting more work done after the season. He wants a half sleeve on his right arm, which will be an image of St. Christopher.
“My dad has had the same St. Christopher pendant since he’s been 12 years old,” Vaughan said. “It’s a scene of St. Christopher holding Jesus crossing the river. There’s going to be big storm clouds, with waves coming up.”