Ohio State fifth-year receiver Xavier Johnson will wear the Block O jersey for the Buckeyes this fall. Johnson is the fourth recipient of the jersey, which is a tradition started by head coach Ryan Day in 2020 and is meant to reward the player who most exemplifies the standards of former Buckeye great Bill Willis. Those standards include toughness, accountability, and high character.
Willis, whose No. 99 jersey is retired by Ohio State, broke the NFL’s color barrier as a member of the Cleveland Browns and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as well as the College Football Hall of Fame. Willis played for the Buckeyes from 1942-1944 and was an All-American defensive end and national champion.
Xavier Johnson is a former walk-on who worked his way into a scholarship position for the Buckeyes. He earned his degree in 2021 and is a three-time scholar athlete.
In his five seasons with Ohio State, Johnson has played cornerback, running back, and receiver. And he played the latter two of those positions very well for the Buckeyes in several big games last year.
He finished with 13 receptions for 151 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing for 146 yards on 12 carries, scoring once. His touchdown receptions came against Notre Dame and Georgia.
Johnson joins former OSU defensive end Jonathon Cooper, former OSU offensive lineman Thayer Munford, and former OSU receiver Kamryn Babb in earning the honor of the Block O jersey.