Ohio State Buckeyes: Ryan Day calls Northmont grad ‘perfect fit’ for new role

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.
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.

Credit: Jamie Sabau

Credit: Jamie Sabau

Ohio State confirmed the hiring of Northmont graduate C.J. Barnett to an important off-field role with the football team.

Ohio State coach Ryan Day called Barnett, who was a three-year starter at defensive back for the Buckeyes, the perfect fit for director of player development.

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He replaces Ryan Stamper, who left to join Urban Meyer with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

“We’ll miss Ryan Stamper, as he helped our program become the standard when it comes to helping players prepare for life and success off the field,” Day said in a release. “C.J. is going to come in and build onto that standard and enhance it, too. His experiences as a player and as a member of the Columbus Police Department make him exactly the kind of person our players can learn and grow from. We’re thrilled that he’s back with our program.”

News of Barnett’s hiring trickled out last week after his name was added to the university employee directory.

Northmont's C.J. Barnett runs the ball during their Crosstown Showdown game against Mason at Nippert Stadium at the University of Cincinnati on Saturday.
Northmont's C.J. Barnett runs the ball during their Crosstown Showdown game against Mason at Nippert Stadium at the University of Cincinnati on Saturday.

He is set to start Wednesday in a role that involves preparing players for the future off the field, including educating them on and connecting them with business interests in Columbus and beyond.

“I am really pleased to be coming back to work for a program that has given so much to me,” Barnett said via press release. “I look forward to using my experiences to become a trusted advocate and resource for our players in all areas of their lives. I look forward to getting to work for Coach Day and this staff, and on behalf of the players, and to help grow the already strong culture that exists in this program.”

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

A Jim Tressel recruit, Barnett led the team in tackles as a sophomore in 2011 when the Buckeyes were led by interim coach Luke Fickell.

He became a team leader under Meyer and was voted team captain as a senior in 2013.

He earned All-Big Ten recognition three times and was a third-team All-American as a senior.

Barnett finished his Ohio State career with 36 starts and 224 tackles along with eight interceptions.

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