COLUMBUS — The return of C.J. Barnett to Ohio State was confirmed by the Buckeyes football program on Monday.
Barnett, one of Urban Meyer’s team captains in 2013 and a third-team All-American safety, has been brought in to replace Ryan Stamper, who left Ohio State in January to follow Urban Meyer to Jacksonville. The official title is director, player development for external affairs.
“C.J. is the perfect fit for what we were looking for in terms of our player development position,” Ryan Day said in an Ohio State release. “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. 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.”
Stamper helped craft the Real Life Wednesdays program that would serve as a cornerstone of the Ohio State program over the last decade or so. Barnett, who has served as a member of the Columbus police department the last two years, will continue that work and provide real-world guidance and mentorship for young Buckeyes.
“I am really pleased to be coming back to work for a program that has given so much to me,” Barnett said. “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.”
Barnett will officially take over his post on Wednesday.