Ohio State football’s veteran defensive line coach Larry Johnson took center stage on Tuesday as he met with the media ahead of what promises to be another exhilarating season for the Buckeyes. Johnson, the longest-tenured coach on Ryan Day’s staff, having been brought on board by Urban Meyer in 2014, is gearing up for his remarkable 11th season with the team, following an illustrious 18-year stint with Penn State.

Johnson, revered by players, fellow coaches, and college football enthusiasts alike, is renowned not only for his prowess in developing defensive linemen but also for his exceptional mentorship of young men both on and off the field. His dedication to nurturing not just athletes but individuals of character sets him apart in the realm of college football.

However, despite his sterling reputation and undeniable track record, Johnson has found himself facing a challenge of a different sort in recent years. At the age of early 70s, rivals have attempted to leverage his age against Ohio State in recruiting battles. Yet, Johnson confronts this issue head-on with characteristic candor and integrity.

“When I make the decision of what I want to do, I’ll tell them,” Johnson stated firmly in response to questions about his future with the Buckeyes. “I’m not going to recruit a guy, bring him here, and then take off. That’s not in my DNA or my character.”

Johnson’s unwavering commitment to honesty and transparency in recruiting resonates deeply with both recruits and their families. His emphasis on integrity and staying true to one’s word serves as a beacon of guidance in an often murky landscape.

“It’s about believing in principle about who you are as a coach,” Johnson emphasized. “I’m not chasing money, I’m not chasing anything. I’m chasing greatness with my players in a hope that they have a chance to be really special, and that’s what’s important to me.”

In contrast to Johnson’s steadfast dedication to his players and the program, recent events involving former Ohio State running backs coach turned Michigan’s running backs coach Tony Alford, highlight a departure from such principles. Alford’s decision to prioritize financial gain over loyalty and respect sends a stark message, one that stands in stark contrast to Johnson’s ethos.

As Ohio State gears up for another thrilling season under the guidance of Coach Johnson, his unwavering commitment to the development of his players both on and off the field serves as a testament to the enduring values of loyalty, integrity, and excellence. And while some may choose to chase fleeting rewards elsewhere, Johnson’s focus remains firmly fixed on the pursuit of greatness, ensuring that the scarlet and gray continue to shine brightly on the college football stage.