Taylor Decker had the last word Saturday at Ohio State’s national championship celebration, grabbing the microphone as players left the stage and telling the estimated 45,000 fans at Ohio Stadium to follow @TDeck68 on Twitter.
The Vandalia Butler High School graduate hugged his mom Sheila as he headed toward the tunnel. Later he summed up another joyous day for the scarlet and grey — and there have been many in recent months — with this Twitter post.
“That celebration was unbelievable,” wrote Decker, a junior starter at left tackle. “#BuckeyeNation always shows out for us. Nothing to say but blessed.”
Twelve days after beating Oregon 42-20 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, to claim the program’s eighth national title and the first College Football Playoff championship, the Buckeyes and their fans relived that game and many more great moments from the 2014 season.
Fans who arrived early watched the entire national championship game on the big screen at Ohio Stadium. Another highlight package played when the team appeared.
Among the other highlights Saturday:
• Coach Urban Meyer officially named wide receiver Evan Spencer, a departing senior, a team captain for the 2014 season.
• Meyer, Spencer and senior tight end Jeff Heuerman took turns hoisting three national championship trophies: from the College Football Playoff, the American Football Coaches Association and the Associated Press.
• Meyer recognized senior walk-on Nic Sarac, who was awarded a scholarship only to have his parents tell Meyer to “give the scholarship to someone who needs it. We can afford it. Give it back to your team.”
For a team that will be most remembered for its trio of quarterbacks — Braxton Miller, J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones — the highlight of the day was Meyer introducing them one by one.
First the Wayne High graduate Miller, who suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in August, took the microphone. As Miller spoke, fans chanted, “One more year!”
“It was a privilege and honor to be a part of this national championship team in 2014,” Miller said. “I guess we’ve got another year to do it. So go Bucks.”
By that comment, Miller again seemed to indicate he would return to Ohio State rather than transfer to play his fifth and final season.
“It’s a unique situation,” Meyer said after the celebration. “We’ll cover that later.”
All three quarterbacks shared the stage as well as they shared the spotlight this season. Barrett credited the entire quarterback group, including freshman Stephen Collier. Jones said he dedicated his three games as a starter to Miller and Barrett.
No one enjoyed that moment more than Meyer.
“I love this team,” he said. “To see those three quarterback up there, to hear the Nic Sarac story, there are so many stories. That’s why I tried today, instead of just screaming and yelling, to let (fans) know what really went on. It has to be one of the most selfless groups ever, certainly that I’ve ever been around.”
Thank you for reading the Dayton Daily News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Dayton Daily News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.