PASADENA, Calif. – Thirty-four years after Brendon White’s dad, William White, started in the 1985 Rose Bowl for Ohio State, he will smell the roses as a starting safety for the Buckeyes in this year’s Rose Bowl on Tuesday.
White brought stability to a safety spot where Ohio State had tried three other players when he moved into the starting lineup at Michigan State in OSU’s eleventh game of the season.
A 13-tackles performance against Nebraska after Jordan Fuller was ejected for targeting propelled White into the lineup. His 39 tackles rank sixth on the Buckeyes’ defense.
“I’ve always had a nose for the football. I’ve always loved to tackle,” White said on Sunday at Rose Bowl media day. “So, when the opportunity came and I was able to make plays against Nebraska my biggest thing was to go out there and make plays for my teammates. If anybody was coming my way I was going to tackle.”
The other Buckeye with a northwest Ohio connection, Leipsic’s Gavin Cupp, will make be on the field on Tuesday on special teams if the Buckeyes attempt a field goal.
The third-year junior offensive lineman also played the entire second half in wins over Tulane and Rutgers.
“The year went good, I got to be in there in a few games. I was in on field goals the entire season. I really felt myself improve. I’ve got a lot of momentum right now and hope to keep going,” Cupp said.
“I improved jJust overall, in the film room and on the field. I’m just understanding more and more about what each position does and the areas you need to improve on and what you need to do to improve in those areas. Really, it’s everything,” he said.
Cupp called the level of competition to get playing time at Ohio State “unbelievable,” but has no thoughts of exploring a transfer.
“It’s a brotherhood. I love these dudes,” he said.