23-year-old Kamryn Babb already has his undergraduate degree in Communications from The Ohio State University and he's about to receive his Master's in Sports Management. By all accounts, Kamryn's next chapter in life is off to a great start academically.
But there is another aspect of Kamryn's life that hasn't gone as planned--football. Kamryn was recruited by Alabama, UCLA, Michigan, Oklahoma, and many others. In 2018, Kamryn chose The Ohio State Buckeyes.
During his high school football career, he experienced ACL surgery while playing at Christian Brothers College High School in St. Louis. That was now behind him and 4-years of Buckeye football were ahead of him. Until it wasn't.
By 2022, Kamryn had 4 ACL surgeries and only played a few games in a COVID-shortened 2020 season. It was in the midst of the emotional and physical pain that Kam came face-to-face with his real purpose. And it wasn't football.
Kamryn was chosen by his teammates as the team captain again for the 2022 season. They chose him, not for what he did ON the field but for what he did OFF the field. Wide receivers coach, Brian Hartline, says of Kamryn, "Kam does a great job rubbing off on guys and really making our room a better room because of who he is. He would be a guy that, when you look back, probably has made more of an impact on others than maybe anybody else around this team. He's a very special young man."
During his interview on Mike Stone's podcast, "Behind the Mike: Conversations of Hope", Kamryn says the discouragement of injuries left him crying out to God. He basically said, "God, if you are really there, I need you." That moment found him putting his Hope in Jesus Christ instead of football. He says his grandmother, "Gigi", was the one he aspired to be like. She talked about Jesus all of the time and impacted Kam just when he needed it.
While a knee injury in 2022 sidelined Kamryn, it wasn't season-ending. On November 12, the Buckeyes hosted the Indiana Hoosiers at Ohio Stadium, The Horseshoe, in Columbus. Kamryn knew that he was available to play, but had no idea what was about to happen.
In the fourth quarter, fellow Christ-follower and quarterback C.J. Stroud called the play in the huddle, asking Coach Ryan Day if the ball could go to Kamryn. C.J. took the snap with 8:49 left on the clock. Kamryn went right, and C.J. rolled right hitting Kamryn in the end zone for the first touchdown of his collegiate career. The Buckeyes took a delay of game penalty as the entire Buckeye's sideline congratulated Kamryn--celebrating not just a touchdown, but a moment that had been in the making for years from a highly respected teammate.
Kamryn said that for five years, he knew if he ever scored, everyone would know that the glory would go to Jesus Christ--and they did. He knelt in the end zone while his teammates gave him a moment before swarming him.
With their loss to Michigan, the Buckeyes dropped to 5th in the College Football Playoff standings. However, with a Utah win over #4 USC, the Buckeyes would find themselves back in the CFP at #4. The day after the final CFP standings were announced, Kamryn Babb joined Mike Stone on "Behind the Mike: Conversations of Hope" to discuss his purpose in the pain, and his Hope beyond the gridiron.
The Buckeyes will face the #1 Georgia Bulldogs in the Peach Bowl on New Year's Eve at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. A win over the Bulldogs would give the Buckeyes a chance to avenge themselves against the Michigan Wolverines and a chance at the National Title.
We are hoping to see Kamryn Babb on the field at the Peach Bowl, but we know that he no longer defines his life by what happens on the field. Kamryn has found his Hope beyond the gridiron, and that is just fine with him.
© 2022, Milestone Creative, Mike Stone