Oak Harbor’s Chris Kuhn living dream as a Buckeye

Yaneek Smith

        Most people could only dream of playing football for Ohio State, but for Oak Harbor’s Chris Kuhn, that dream is a reality.
        The sophomore offensive lineman is part of a Buckeye team that finds itself 13-0 and facing a matchup with the Clemson Tigers in the College Football Playoff on Dec. 28. Clemson, which is ranked third in the country, is also the defending national champion.
        This season has seen Ohio State play flawlessly at times, as evidenced by their perfect record, a 56-27 victory over Michigan and a Big Ten championship.
        “It’s been really exciting (with us) just being so consistently good,” said the 6-foot-5, 270 pound Kuhn, who played prep football at Sandusky St. Mary. “I think everyone is having a good time, but we’re very, very focused on what we still have to do.”
         It’s the first year with former assistant Ryan Day at the helm, a position he inherited from Urban Meyer, who went 83-9 and won a national championship in seven years as the head coach. Despite the coaching change, the Buckeyes have transitioned seamlessly and are still performing at a high level.
        “I think that a lot of the continued success can be attributed to Coach Day, who is as good as they come,” said Kuhn. “I think it’s a testament to the guys behind the scenes — the staff — who are very consistent for the players and the program.”
        Kuhn says there is a drive that exists in both Meyer and Day and how that is also demanded from the players.
        “It’s pretty incredible. It’s a great lesson in leadership and being a high-performance person. They’re both very driven and they have a vision and an expectation. They surround themselves with great people and make sure that it’s carried out in the best way possible,” said Kuhn. “They’re great coaches, but for both of them, whatever they would’ve ended up doing, they would be just as (successful).”
       As you might expect, Kuhn has a very busy and demanding schedule. Class begins at 8 a.m., and two to three days per week the team lifts weights before class in the morning. After class, Kuhn comes to the athletic facility for lunch at 1 p.m. and then the club has meetings and practice until 7 p.m. Kuhn spends the rest of his time focusing on homework before he goes to sleep.
       “Sometimes it can be kind of challenging, just with the time demands, especially during the season,” he said. “It’s something I’ve gotten a lot better at. Once you get in the routine, it just becomes very consistent and you can kind of know what to expect.”
       Kuhn is majoring in construction management.
       “I had a physics class in high school that was project-based, and I found myself organizing a lot of projects and taking the lead role,” he said. “And when I came here, it sounded like a good major and so far, it’s been a really good fit.”
       Kuhn, 19, values the Catholic-school education he received.
       “I’m really glad I was able to go to St. Mary. They are able to challenge you and test you, but I think some of the things that maybe translate really well are teaching us more than the subjects we learn in school. They talk about character development and leadership, things that are important for people that want to be a good person,” he said. “I think a lot of that is decision-making skills, making choices that stem from that.”
      In high school, Kuhn played tight end and defensive end for the Panthers and wrestled, finishing second at 220 pounds in Division III in his senior season.
      Kuhn credits his family – Tim, his father; Stacey, his mother; and Allie, his sister – with steadfastly supporting him. Allie, who attended Oak Harbor High School, is currently majoring in nursing at the University of Louisville.
      “They’re the reason I’m where I am today,” he said. “They’ve pretty much always supported me and helped guide me to make the right decision. I think they’ve been great supporters, and I couldn’t do it without them.”
      Needless to say, Kuhn is enjoying his time playing for the Buckeyes and loves being there to enjoy the atmosphere that is created by over 100,000 people packing Ohio Stadium.
     “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I had never been to a game before last fall. It’s kind of unlike anything you can imagine if you haven’t been there before. It meets your expectations and then some. It’s more than you could ever expect,” he said. “It’s great to be in Ohio Stadium and see all these games, especially in a season like this.”


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