Ohio State left tackle Paris Johnson Jr. came to Columbus in 2020 as one of the top recruits in the nation.
Now in his third season with the Buckeyes, Johnson reflected on his time with the program in a heartfelt and eye-opening letter for The Players Tribune. In advance of OSU's College Football Playoff matchup with Georgia this weekend, Johnson penned a tribute to Buckeye nation, detailing his path to Ohio State and how thankful he is that he's there.
Interestingly, Johnson did not know much about Ohio State while growing up in Cincinnati, and didn't dream of wearing the scarlet and grey as a kid. Now that he's part of the Buckeye brotherhood though, he wouldn't have it any other way.
I want to win a national championship so badly. Not just for myself, not just for my teammates, not just for my classmates and professors and coaches and trainers. But really for this entire community. I didn’t grow up with the posters on my wall. I didn’t have an appreciation for big-time college football as a kid, and what this place really means. I literally thought we’d won 42 natties. (To this day, Coach Hinton likes to remind me, “Paris, 42? Really?”)
This was not supposed to happen. But I thank God that my path led me to Columbus, because this university and this community is about a lot more than wins and losses and banners on the wall. It’s really a feeling. It’s a brotherhood and an unbreakable bond, and I’m not just talking about football.
Johnson has at least one more year of eligibility remaining, although he could enter the 2023 NFL Draft if he chooses.
For now, he's focused on the No. 1 Bulldogs. Ohio State and Georgia will meet in the Peach Bowl at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday.