Schmiesing making an ‘impact’ for Flyers

Linebacker stars on defense in Dayton’s win over Drake

The Dayton Flyers are just glad he knows how to read a roadmap.

“After three years, fortunately, all roads led back here,” UD linebacker Ben Schmiesing said Saturday after the Flyers’ 27-14 victory over winless Drake at Welcome Stadium in a game where he put on a defensive show with 11 tackles, two pass break ups and a sack.

Were this three years ago, he may have been in Ohio Stadium on Saturday, wearing an Ohio State uniform against Rutgers.

Coming out of Piqua High School in 2018, Schmiesing turned down football offers to Dayton, Davidson and Butler and joined the Buckeyes as a preferred walk-on.

“I got the offer here, but financially at the time it didn’t make sense for me,” he said. “I had that Ohio State opportunity and thought ‘Where else am I going to get this kind of experience?’

“I mean when you come out of the tunnel (at Ohio Stadium), it doesn’t matter if it’s a noon game or a night game, there’s 100,000 people there and the place is rockin’.

“And I got to travel to the bowl games. My last game at Ohio State was for the national championship when we played Alabama. That was a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Then he said something startling:

“But Saturdays here are so much more special to me. I’m a lot closer to the guys here. The whole team is just one big brotherhood.”

At OSU he played in four games over three years.

Asked for an on-the-field highlight, he thought a second, then said: “I had a tackle against Maryland. It was toward the end of the game, so the crowd was probably just 30 (30,000), but it was still awesome to get that against a Big Ten opponent.”

This season Schmiesing leads the Flyers with 29 tackles. He’s a preseason All-Pioneer Football League first team pick and opened the year with an interception at Robert Morris.

Last season, even though he didn’t start until the fourth game, he finished third on the team in tackles. He has 19 against Davidson and at year’s end was a second team All-PFL pick.

Against Drake he broke up two passes near the goal line in the second quarter.

The first came on a crossing route by tight end and he stayed with him and got his hand in to deflect the ball.

“A regular linebacker, I don’t know if he would have had that,” said Flyers coach Rick Chamberlin. “He just has a nose for the football.”

“It’s just nice to be out there in a position where I can lead the team and make an impact in the game,” said Schmiesing, a fifth-year grad student. “That’s something I was missing at Ohio State. I’m a competitive guy and I wasn’t able to scratch that itch there.

“I lost the feel for the game and the love for the game. But then I came here and reignited all that again.”

One thing that hasn’t changed from OSU to UD is his classroom performance.

At OSU he won academic honors all three years and was a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar.

In his first season at UD last year, he was named to the CoSIDA Academic All District team.

Thanks to COVID, he could have one final year of eligibility, but he’s going to bypass that.

“He’s going to have his MBA and he’s engaged,” Chamberlin said. “He wants to move on and I say great.”

He knows Ben Schmiesing will be reading the roadmap once again.

About the Author