How Cleveland’s Lloyd McFarquar went from extra to Ohio State group leader during Michigan week: Doug Lesmerises

COLUMBUS, Ohio – His days playing the viola at Memorial Junior High and his training as a cornerback for Ohio State melded into the present moment Sunday in a Michigan Week tradition for the Buckeyes. Lloyd McFarquar of Cleveland found himself at the top of the ladder. It was music meets football.

“I just gave the energy,” said McFarquar, “it was necessary.”

The Ohio State University Marching Band’s Sunday night post-workout visit to the indoor soccer field at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center is one of the kicks off the Rivalry Week. LL Cool J’s song “It’s Time for War” has become a Michigan weekly fixture at OSU football headquarters, but this musical interlude is lighter. After Ohio State completes its first week of rivalry training, TBDBITL plays, football players are given instruments and work in the flow of the march, and at least a few Buckeyes are to try their hand at leading The Best. Damn Band in the Land.

Wave to McFarquar. He climbed the ranks with his jersey n ° 42, baton in hand.

A senior who will graduate with a communications degree in the spring, the Brush High School graduate joined the football team as a preferred substitute in 2018. He has been considering playing at some MAC schools, or maybe at the University. Ashland, but the Buckeyes’ draw were too strong.

“As a native of Cleveland, Ohio State will always be that school,” McFarquar said. “I’ve had those other opportunities, but Ohio State isn’t something that happens to everyone.”

McFarquar played the cornerback in the Ohio State spring football games. He’s seen action in a handful of games over his four years, including two this season, mostly on special teams. This week, in preparation for the 117th edition of The Game, McFarquar occasionally ran with the third team defense, he spent time with the Boy Scout team and he was always around special teams action. .

But a player like McFarquar isn’t really at Ohio State primarily for football. He is there for the moments. He is there for the memories. He’s there to be a part of something bigger, and then at the right time, in the right way, to make a contribution. Improve teammates. Make teammates happy.

“I don’t even call them my teammates, I call them my brothers,” McFarquar said. “No matter my age, no matter how far I go, I still have my brothers on this team. They are not even like friends, they are like my other family.

Ohio State starting right-wing forward Dawand Jones is on the roster at 6-8, 360 pounds, though he’s likely a bit fatter. He will spend Saturday blocking two future NFL players in Michigan defensive ends Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo. Videos from Sunday night show Jones looking at McFarquar at the top of the ladder and smiling and dancing, as McFarquar waves his arms and swings his hips. It wasn’t a scale designed for a future NFLer weighing nearly 400 pounds. So after defensive tackle Tyleik Williams tried his hand at management, Jones was one of the players who told McFarquar to take his turn.

“My main goal was to just have fun,” McFarquar said. “My teammates see, I like to be silly all the time. So it wasn’t the first time that my teammates had done this. I just wanted to make people smile while we do this tradition.

“No matter how serious it is, always have time for yourself and for fun. In the end, you played football because it was fun. People forget that we are not just athletes. We are also students, we are also young adults. People forget that we are not machines. We can show that we have a normal and personal side. We can have fun like everyone else, and stay serious when the time comes.

McFarquar can’t believe his last week in Michigan is here, that his last home game is over last week, that his Ohio State football career is drawing to a close.

“It’s really moving,” said McFarquar. “You can’t take these things for granted. “

Ohio State-Michigan week ends Saturday afternoon in Ann Arbor in a top-five clash with a century of history behind it and a playoff berth on the line.

The Ohio State-Michigan week kicked off Sunday with Lloyd McFarquar grabbing a moment atop a ladder.

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