Ohio State Buckeyes: Northmont grad talks life as police officer

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 24:  C.J. Barnett #4 of the Ohio State Buckeyes is congratulated by fans after Ohio State defeated the Michigan Wolverines 26-21 at Ohio Stadium on November 24, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 24: C.J. Barnett #4 of the Ohio State Buckeyes is congratulated by fans after Ohio State defeated the Michigan Wolverines 26-21 at Ohio Stadium on November 24, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

Credit: Jamie Sabau

Credit: Jamie Sabau

After starring for the Northmont Thunderbolts, C.J. Barnett logged over 200 tackles as a safety at Ohio State.

Now the All-Ohio defensive back who graduated with a degree in communications from OSU in 2013 after starting 36 games over three seasons for the Scarlet and Gray is a member of the police department in Columbus.

ExploreOhio State players and coaches making sacrifices to play through pandemic

As part of a series on former Buckeyes on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic, Barnett spoke with the school website about his experiences.

How did OSU/athletics prepare you for what you are dealing with? Ohio State prepared me in several ways. The first being, how to handle adversity. I learned that things will not always be easy and there are definitely times of turmoil or despair, but this is when it is most important to stick to your strengths. Secondly, Ohio State instilled that ‘team’ is most important and to simply do your job. In this situation we are all dealing with, we have to do our jobs and control what we can control.

What has this pandemic been like for you? Life for everyone has changed, and that goes for law enforcement as well. 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.

Any encouraging words for others like you who are on these front lines? This is a part of what we signed up for: to be a pillar, to be a role model, to lead, to have a positive impact. There’s no more important time than now to do it. Let’s do our part!

How best can we help? I think the main thing is trying to remember WE are in this together and not be selfish. We all need to help out and be there for each other in these trying times. We need to remember our humanity as we and others try to navigate through this. We are up against a tough opponent. We can’t allow ourselves to get in our own way of persevering through this.

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