Cody Simon Ohio State Buckeyes Linebacker

Cody Simon Understands Responsibility As Buckeyes’ Middle Linebacker

Before Cody Simon earned the starting middle linebacker job at Ohio State this spring, he started nine games at middle linebacker for the Buckeyes back in 2021.

That was Simon’s sophomore season. He dealt with a shoulder injury throughout the year and eventually gave way to Tommy Eichenberg. Eichenberg never gave it back, until his own injury late last season.

Being the middle linebacker at Ohio State is a storied position with the kind of responsibility that is ideally only reserved for those who can handle it. That’s somewhat of a luxury, however, because there have been ups and downs at the position for the last couple of decades.

Cody Simon is the latest, however, and he is not taking that fact lightly.

“It’s definitely been a long time coming, but I feel honored,” Simon said this spring. “There’s a lot of respect and effort that goes into being a linebacker at Ohio State. It’s a great honor and I want to honor the guys who came before me, but I also want to play my own way and be a great defender here and lead the defense.”

Simon was one of the large handful of Buckeyes on defense who opted to put the NFL on hold and return for one more year. This is now Simon’s fifth year with Ohio State, and it holds an abundance of purpose and drive for him.

Why did he come back?

“I talked to a lot of coaches and I felt like there was stuff we needed to come back for,” he said. “We had some unfinished business, I know that’s the term people use. But I think everybody realized that there’s more to give here.”

As a fifth-year senior, Cody Simon is experiencing everything for the final time. He already went through his last spring camp and now he’s in the middle of his final summer workouts.

His freshman season was 2020, which seems like a lifetime ago for everyone, but time is only moving faster for him now.

“You know, that’s a big thing. You want to appreciate those moments that come because they really are fleeting,” he said. “After being here for five years now, it’s like every day goes by so much faster. You want to appreciate these moments.”

It was basically understood that once Simon announced he was returning, he was the Buckeyes’ starting middle linebacker. And not just a starting linebacker, but also one of the leaders on the team.

He has prepared to be a starter since his freshman year, but the leadership aspect of it took longer, as it does for all players. Being a leader takes time, and it takes trust. Cody Simon eventually built that trust, and now he is thriving as one of the leaders of this Ohio State football team.

“I love having that on my shoulders. I love being the guy that people look to for help and I want to be able to lead these guys,” he said. “And I can say I’ve been preparing my whole life — even when I was young, my brother, we always tried to be that first guy in the room. The loudest, the most vocal, and the most responsible. So I think all those little intangibles play into playing Mike here, and it all helps.”

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