Ohio State Buckeyes: Northmont grad joining football staff

Credit: Jeff Haynes

Credit: Jeff Haynes

An area grad has taken an important behind-the-scenes position for head coach Ryan Day at Ohio State.

C.J. Barnett, an All-Big Ten safety for the Buckeyes who starred at Northmont, has joined the athletic department as director of player development and external affairs.

Barnett was a multi-sport standout at Northmont and a four-star defensive back recruit in the class of 2009.

He started at safety for three seasons in Columbus and was a team captain his senior season of 2013.

More recently, Barnett became a member of the Columbus Police Department and spoke to the OSU team website about what life has been like on the front lines as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

“Life for everyone has changed, and that goes for law enforcement as well,” he said in October. “With so much interaction with communities, we see some of the effects and stresses COVID-19 has put on people. While we’re doing our jobs, we also have to let others do theirs, though, and not be so critical of one another so much.”

His new role is one that was previously filled by Ryan Stamper, a longtime confidant of former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer who had been in Columbus since 2012.

Although it is not an on-field coaching role, it is viewed as vital to the success of the program. Stamper served as a resource for players in all areas of their development.

That included organizing the “Real Life Wednesdays” program that connects leaders and members of the business community with players to provide a glimpse into aspects of professional opportunities outside of football. That program, which includes a job fair each spring, is something OSU coaches push hard in recruiting.

Stamper recently left Ohio State to join Meyer’s new staff with the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are based in Stamper’s hometown.

***The OSU staff directory also includes the names of Todd Fitch and Paul Rhoads as quality control coaches.

Fitch is helping on the offensive side while Rhoads is listed as a defensive assistant.

Roads is an Iowa native who was a graduate assistant ago Ohio State in 1991 under John Cooper.

He most recently was defensive coordinator at Arizona for one season but is best known as the head coach at Iowa State from 2009-15.

Fitch is a Michigan native who graduated from Bellaire High School in eastern Ohio and played defensive back at Ohio Wesleyan in the 1980s. He was the interim head coach at Vanderbilt last season after starting the season as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Commodores.

His numerous coaching stops include working for fellow eastern Ohioan Lou Holtz at South Carolina in the early 2000s and sharing a Boston College staff with Ryan Day in 20013 and ’14.

Quality control assistants are staff members who cannot actively coach on the field or recruit off campus, duties limited to the 10-member coaching staff that includes the head coach, but can help out in numerous ways otherwise.

The number of on-field coaches is limited to 10, but there is no limit to the size of the support staff.

Last year, Ohio State had four quality control coaches — Keenan Bailey, Drew Christ, Parker Fleming and Joe Bolden.

Fleming was recently promoted to a full-time, on-field position as special teams coordinator.

***Meyer’s full staff at Jacksonville was announced Thursday, and it includes two former Ohio State players.

Tim Walton, a cornerback for the Buckeyes from 1990-93, will be the secondary coach for the Jaguars while Anthony Schlegel was hired as head strength and conditioning coach.

Schlegel played linebacker for the Buckeyes from 2003-05 and was a member of the strength and conditioning staff at OSU from 2011-15.

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