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Northmont grad and former Buckeye C.J. Barnett salutes Urban Meyer

Former Ohio State University football captain and Northmont High School graduate C.J. Barnett saluted Urban Meyer by video after Tuesday’s announcement that Meyer would retire as the Buckeyes’ head coach following the Rose Bowl game.

A three-year starter in the secondary at OSU, Barnett graduated from the Columbus Police Academy last summer and is a rookie officer with the Columbus Division of Police, patrolling downtown streets.

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Barnett coaxed Meyer into speaking to the cadets following their July graduation.

“Urban, I want to thank you for everything you’ve done,” Barnett said in the video, “not only for me, but the city of Columbus. When you came to Ohio State, you changed the culture and gave myself a great opportunity. You touched the lives of many players and me in particular on my path to become a police officer with the Columbus Regional Police.

“Coach, from the bottom of my heart I love you. Thank you for everything you’ve done and go Bucks.”

A strong safety, Barnett played at OSU from 2009-13. Undrafted, he signed as a free agent with the New York Giants. Barnett graduated from Northmont in 2009 and graduated from Ohio State with a degree in criminology.

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Kurt Coleman, another Northmont grad and like Barnett also a former OSU captain, is a strong safety with the New Orleans Saints. He’s in his ninth NFL season. Coleman, the son of Stebbins boys basketball coach Ron Coleman, graduated from Northmont in 2006.

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OSU (12-1) will play Washington (10-3) in the 105th Rose Bowl Game at Pasadena, California, at 5 p.m. Jan. 1 (ESPN).

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