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2nd generation Buckeye continues ‘sacred brotherhood’

Thomas Bradley / Campus editor

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When you ask Ohio State football players about the bond they share with each other, many of them reference a “sacred brotherhood.” For one football player, that brotherhood extends outside the locker room walls.

Spencer Smith, a redshirt senior tight end from Cincinnati, Ohio, is one of 24 seniors on OSU’s squad this year. Smith is the son of former OSU football player Joe Smith. Joe Smith, a four-year letterman on the offensive line for the Buckeyes from 1979-82, brought many OSU football traditions to the family.

“As a son of a former Buckeye, you do get a feel for what it (means to be a Buckeye),” Spencer Smith said. “It kind of grows on you.”

Spencer Smith said one of the best parts of playing football at OSU was the chance to play with his brother. Connor Smith was an offensive lineman during OSU’s 2006-2010 seasons.

“I got to play with him in high school for two years and three years here. It was my personal highlight because we’re best friends,” Spencer said.

Spencer said he had unique opportunity to have a family deeply rooted in Buckeye football.

“In general just to be able to play with (my brother) and to be here, it’s been a highlight,” Spencer Smith said.

Spencer Smith said the last four years have gone by faster than he could ever imagine.

“It’s gone by fast,” Spencer said. “It’s crazy to think how fast four years is going.”

As a member of the Colerain football team in Cincinnati, Ohio, he served as a team captain. He earned all-Cincinnati and all-Greater Miami Conference honors. He was also a member of the 2004 State Championship team.

Spencer walked-on to the OSU team in 2007 and found his role as a scout squad member. He originally played fullback, before switching to tight end to start his sophomore season.

Spencer saw little playing time in both his sophomore and junior years, but forever wrote his name in OSU history books.

In 2010, Spencer caught a 23-yard touchdown in OSU’s win over Purdue. This catch was his second catch of his career at OSU thus far. He has not recorded another reception thus far.

In the wake of a major NCAA scandal, it’s no secret that this year the Buckeyes are facing more adversity than ever before, but Spencer said he feels like the team has nothing to prove. He said the expectations are always high.

“We’re Ohio State,” Spencer said.

The coaching change affects the team from an outsider’s perspective, Spencer said. But inside the locker room they are playing for one thing: the “sacred brotherhood.”

“We got a new coach, but that doesn’t change what’s been set before us,” Spencer said.

“The traditions and the people that come before us, we got to carry that on,” Spencer said. “Whether we have all the guys from last year or everyone graduated, (OSU) is the same every year.”

Reflecting on his time at OSU, Spencer said his favorite time of year was January — bowl season.

“The bowl games are always a lot of fun as a team,” Spencer Smith said. “We work for 12 or 13 straight weeks and you get matched up with a great team… all of us really look forward to it.”

Because of his Buckeye roots, Spencer Smith said a lot of the experience was what he expected it to be. He said throughout his life he looked forward to the opportunity to be a Buckeye.

“It’s really unexplainable to finally get to experience the same things (my dad did),” Spencer said.

The lure of the sacred brotherhood was always something that appealed to Spencer Smith growing up, but he said experiencing it first hand strengthens the bond between him and his father, Joe.

“I now have that connection just like my dad,” Spencer said. “We now have that in common.”

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