If you watched the Buckeyes Saturday, you know our fearsome defensive line is yet again a pride of the Buckeyes.
Doug Lesmerises has an inspiring column in today’s Cleveland Plain Dealer about the greatest source of the strength of that unit. No, is not the weight room. Rather that source is defensive line coach Larry Johnson.
I have admired Coach Johnson ever since he came here from Penn State. Obviously one reason is what he has done on the field, the tremendous players he has developed and the joy it is watching them get after the quarterback. More importantly, I have admired not only what Coach Johnson has done, but the way he has done it.
Larry Johnson reminds me so much of my hero, friend, and subject of Myles Traveled. Obviously that is former OSU Assistant Coach, Bill Myles. The similarities of the two are remarkable. Old school applies to each. Neither needs to cuss, having as Jim Lachey says in the book, “Better words, I guess.” Both came here from another Big Ten School. Both coached line. Both developed many All-Americans. Both were born in segregated times – Bill in a segregated 1936 Missouri and Larry a segregated North Carolina in 1951 – and overcame those obstacles. And most importantly both are revered and worshiped by the hundreds of players that they coached, became father figures for, and made into successful modern day role models.
In Doug’s column, he writes of Larry’s daughter – as he wrestled with leaving Penn State and thought of retiring from coaching – telling Larry, “Dad, there’s somebody else that needs you. They don’t know who you are, but somebody else needs you.”
The theme of Myles Traveled is Bill’s saying, “The Place You Seek is Seeking You.”
Larry Johnson has found that place.
This world needs more Bills and Larrys. If you would like a nice pick-me-up from the strife and turmoil in the news today, read Doug’s column at the link below: