Ohio State football notebook: Long snapper lands NIL deal

COLUMBUS — Ohio State long snapper Bradley Robinson got a rare seventh year of eligibility from the NCAA earlier this year.

Then that seventh year opened the door to a chance to do a name, image and likeness endorsement on a radio ad in the Columbus area for Green and Sons, a Marysville business which sells farm and lawn machinery.

Lots of college athletes have signed NIL deals. But not a lot of long snappers. How did this happen?

It all started when Robinson announced his return for a seventh year on Twitter and included a quote about lots of people going to school for seven years that he said came from Chris Farley’s character in the movie Tommy Boy.

“They (Green and Sons) approached me about it. Bill Green, the guy who owns the tractor company, said, ‘Hey, I’ve got this idea. I saw your Twitter about coming back and I loved the Tommy Boy reference.’

“I was all for it because you play off the seventh year, that when you’re buying a tractor, you’ve got to get it to last,” Robinson said.

Robinson is from Troy, Michigan, not the Marysville area. And he doesn’t come from a farm background. He even suggested Green and Sons might want a teammate who did grow up around farming.

“I actually asked them if they didn’t want to approach Cade Stover, who goes home and helps out on the family farm in the summer. And they were like, ‘No, no, no we’ve got this joke. It’s going to be great. It’s perfect,’ ” he said.

Ohio State special teams coach Parker Fleming said, “I can’t remember what day it was. I think it was in spring ball and I’m driving in and I heard it on the radio. It almost caught me off guard. I get in the (special teams) meeting and I’m sitting there, like ‘Is that real?’ He just laughed.

“I heard he was actually really good when he did it. He only did a couple of takes. He was kind of a natural. So maybe he gets more,” he said.

• Opener opponents: When No. 2 Ohio State and No. 5 Notre Dame play on Saturday night at Ohio Stadium it will be the first time in 36 years Ohio State has played a Top 10 team in its opener and the first time Notre Dame has opened against a Top 10 team in 21 years.

In 1986, No. 9 Ohio State opened against No. 5 Alabama. In 2001, No. 18 Notre Dame opened against No. 4 Nebraska.

• Ryan Day radio show: On his weekly radio show on Thursday, OSU’s coach Ryan Day said the new artificial turf at Ohio Stadium is “a fast track” and that “it’s really nice and the guys like it.”

He also said the Nike footballs OSU will use at home games this year are similar to the Wilson balls used in the past and described Notre Dame defensive end Isaiah Foskey as an NFL first-round draft choice.

• Freeman didn’t play against Irish: Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman was on Ohio State’s roster as a sophomore linebacker when the Buckeyes played the Fighting Irish in the Fiesta Bowl at the end of the 2005 season but did not play after suffering a knee injury in the season opener. He was redshirted and missed the rest of the season after the opener.

• Where’s Jim Knowles?: Will new Ohio State defensive coordinator Jim Knowles be on the sideline or in the coach’s booth high above Ohio Stadium on Saturday?

Knowles wouldn’t say where he will be when asked earlier this week.

Wherever he is, he’s confident Ohio State’s defense will be ready to show it has improved. “We’re ready. We’re 100 percent ready to go,” Knowles said.

“We’ve put them through the crucible. We go against the nation’s best offense every day. We’ve pushed and poked and prodded and tried to stretch them as far as they can go. So, yeah, I’m confident.”

Jim Naveau has covered local and high school sports for The Lima News since 1978 and Ohio State football since 1992. His OSU coverage appears in more than 30 newspapers. Naveau, a Miami University graduate, also worked at the Greenville Advocate and the Piqua Daily Call. He has seen every boys state basketball tournament since 1977. Reach him at [email protected] or 567-242-0414.