Andrew Holleran / Photo editor
Ohio State students will be asked to participate in the newest Buckeyes football pregame tradition that coach Urban Meyer hopes will pump up his team before they “go kick someone’s ass,” and instructions will be sent to their university email accounts Friday.
During an exclusive Thursday interview, the first-year OSU coach told The Lantern that Buckeyes’ strength and conditioning coach Mickey Marotti will lead both the Scarlet and Gray and students in the “quick cals” drill facing the south end zone prior to home games. An informational email containing a video message from Meyer and Marotti, as well as an instructional video for how to do the quick cal drill, will be sent to all OSU undergraduate and graduate email accounts Friday, OSU athletics spokesman Jerry Emig confirmed.
Before the Buckeyes retreat to their locker room prior to the game’s opening kickoff, the team plans to punt a ball out to Ohio Stadium’s midfield area, congregate around the player that catches the ball and run back to the south end zone to join students in the quick cal.
The new tradition is part of the team’s continuing effort to engage the student population, Meyer said.
“We want to start our own tradition at a place that has so many great traditions, so everything we’ve done since January is to get our students involved and tied in,” Meyer told The Lantern. “It’s not the boosters, it’s not the media – it’s the students. We’re going to continue to do as many things as we can with our students.”
Meyer, who said he recalls “hundreds of times” during coaching stints at Bowling Green, Utah and Florida when fan noise helped his teams, said he has a vision of growing the drill into a stadium-wide quick cal exercise.
“The vision is that hopefully, someday, 90,000 people will be doing it with our team before we go kick someone’s ass,” Meyer told The Lantern. “It’s intimidating. It’s just a great opportunity.”
Marotti agreed, adding that he hopes all fans will participate even though the tradition will be geared toward students.
OSU’s first-year strength and conditioning coach traces the roots of the quick cal to former national-championship winning Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz. Marotti adapted it for himself after being hired at Cincinnati.
“We started implementing them (at Cincinnati) … and I was at Cincinnati for whatever years and then we went to Notre Dame and we did those,” Marotti said. “Now, I did those back in the early 1990s, but I kind of changed it and I’ve been doing it ever since.”
The purpose of the quick cal, Marotti said, is to be sharp, precise and to demonstrate quick movements as a team. He also said it may take a while for some to memorize the movements the make up quick cals.
“It’ll take a little bit to catch on, but once you see it, they’ll do it. It’ll be great. I think it’s a cool idea that coach (Meyer) kind of came up with and I like it because our players love it. When your players love it, the student body will do it and they’re going to love it.”
The future of another Buckeyes pregame tradition, sometimes referred to as “the hive,” where players link arms, sway back and forth and eventually sprint toward midfield, appears to be uncertain.
Marotti said he isn’t sure if the team will continue “the hive.”
“I think you’ve always got to do what you’re comfortable with and we’ve done (quick cals) forever,” Marotti said. “It’s really cool.”
Meyer confirmed that the quick cal will be instituted before OSU’s Sept. 1 season-opening game against Miami University (Ohio). Kickoff is scheduled for noon, meaning Marotti could potentially introduce the “quick cal” at about 11:37 a.m.