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December 30, 2018

Parris Campbell

Pasadena, California

Q. You've come a long way in three, four years, having your own podium at the Rose Bowl. Can you tell us about the progress you've made as a player and what you're feeling heading into your last game?
PARRIS CAMPBELL: So, it's been a long five years. There's been a lot of hard work, a lot of time put into it. Just coming in from high school, from playing running back my entire career since I've played football and then making a switch to receiver when I got to college, it was hard. It was rough for me. But you know, never gave up, never quit on myself. Even though some people may have -- the critics say what they say, I just never gave up myself.

I put a lot of time put a lot of work, effort into it. It blossomed. You don't get anywhere in life without hard work. And I think I'm a testament to that.

Q. You paid attention. The term I've used is you may have made yourself a lot of money this year, just from the way you played. Do you feel that way, too, that you've opened some eyes but also you captured your potential in that regard?
PARRIS CAMPBELL: For sure. I think this particular year was extremely beneficial for me. I had that decision to make after the season last year, you know, sit down with my family, talk with coaching staff. And honestly look at myself in the mirror.

There were things that I needed to get better at and things I wanted to do and things I wanted to accomplish. And this fifth year has definitely been great for me. I feel like I'm going to have a great campaign leading into the NFL. That one more game in the Buckeye uniform, I'm excited to play. But definitely this fifth year has been beneficial.

Q. This is supposed to be the best -- reputed to be the best secondary in the country you're going against. What jumps out at you about them?
PARRIS CAMPBELL: They're an NFL defense. They have NFL talent across the field. They have All-American DBs across the field. Just their whole scheme is an NFL-based defense. It's going to be a challenge for us. But also excited to face an NFL defense just because we know the entire world is going to be watching. We'll be the only game on that day. We'll be excited to put on the show.

Q. You watched them on video. Are they as good as anybody you've all played this year? I'm not trying you to get them to rank them necessarily. But are they like anybody else? Obviously Michigan had the number one defense in the country when you guys played them.
PARRIS CAMPBELL: They're not like anyone we've played. I think this is the best secondary that we'll face of all season. You said it, Michigan had the No. 1 defense, but just athlete-wise and actual NFL football players, this is the best group that we've seen.

Q. Have you been out to the Rose Bowl stadium yet?

Q. What do you anticipate the feel of game-day morning, playing in the Granddaddy of Them All, but also it's not like Ohio Stadium or (inaudible)?
PARRIS CAMPBELL: The juices will be flowing. It's going to be an emotional time just because it's my last game as a Buckeye. But it's also going to be emotional because it's Coach Meyer's last game.

Also it will be emotional because it's other seniors' around here last game. But we're excited for the moment, ready for the moment, can't wait for that game.

Q. Is it surreal to think that this is going to be your last game as a Buckeye?
PARRIS CAMPBELL: It's pretty surreal. It hasn't hit me too deep yet because the game isn't here yet. But just leading up to the moment, as we get closer, definitely been more surreal each and every day.

Q. Has LeBron been back? Has LeBron visited you guys?
PARRIS CAMPBELL: No, he hasn't. I know he's got that groin injury going on. So, no, he hasn't really.

Q. (Inaudible)?
PARRIS CAMPBELL: LeBron? It's a lot. It means a lot. Just because two kids from the same area grew up experiencing the same things, going to the same high school. It's huge, especially the platform that he has for himself and to be able to reach out and give back is huge.

And just being a kid from Akron, everyone there looks up to him, wants to do the things he's done. And I have an opportunity to go on a different stage, the NFL, trying to continue some of the things that he's given back to the city. It's huge.

Q. When was the first time he reached out to you?
PARRIS CAMPBELL: First time he reached out to me is actually in high school. He came by to -- during the whole NBA lockout thing he came to our practice. He actually practiced with us. No joke. That's when me and him had our first conversation. Then just throughout my entire career, finishing up high school and leading up to college, he's been an advocate for me, always, like, cheering me on and things of that nature. So it's huge.

Q. Any advice he's given you that's helped you out?
PARRIS CAMPBELL: Definitely. I had a conversation, I want to say it was my freshman year of college. I went back home, saw him at a basketball game, and obviously everyone knew that I was making that switch from running back to receiver. And obviously I was struggling and going through whatever.

He just always told me, you should never give up on myself, man, and continue to be great. I had greatness all around me. And it would continue to blossom. Just put the work in and never give up.

Q. (Inaudible)?
PARRIS CAMPBELL: A great teammate, honestly. And I think before this season a lot of people questioned his leadership, his ability to vocalize on and off the field. But he's really took a huge step. You look up, it's the last game of the season, and I don't think he gets that much credit for the leader he's become. Because he's worked at it.

Some people it comes natural to. Some people, they have to work at it. He's a guy that works at it. He's been an unbelievable teammate, unbelievable leader and a great quarterback for us.

Q. (Inaudible) what kind of player, especially as a leader (inaudible) can the NFL expect to see when he gets there?
PARRIS CAMPBELL: I think they're going to be more than grateful to have him, excited to have him. Obviously there's going to be a transition that's going to be a step that he needs to take to actually lead an NFL team. But he's ready no doubt. He's going to be an incredible leader, an integral part to wherever he goes. Whether that's staying here or going to the NFL, he's going to be an integral part wherever he goes.

Q. (Indiscernible) younger guys that you're around (indiscernible), what do you think Coach Day (inaudible)?
PARRIS CAMPBELL: Coach Day is going to be great. I think just the freshness that he has about himself, the juice he brings, just the mentality that he has, there's going to be a lot of fun around here especially on offense.

But just as he gets into that role, starts to learn defensive guys and just try to mold his team and try to get them all on the same page I think guys are going to be excited to have something fresh and something new, especially Coach Day. He's a great guy. He cares a lot. So I think this team's going to be good.

Q. Growing up in Ohio, Ohio State hasn't been part of the Rose Bowl much (inaudible). Is this special at all for you to be able to close this out here (indiscernible)?
PARRIS CAMPBELL: For sure, definitely. Growing up you see Ohio State in the Rose Bowl game. And that's the game that's always been watched for college football, years past. So it's been a dream of mine to play in this game and now that I'm here it's kind of crazy just to fathom it. But it's definitely the right way to close out the last season at Ohio State this year.

Q. What have these last few weeks with Coach being (inaudible), what has it meant to you to have (inaudible)?
PARRIS CAMPBELL: It's meant everything to me. Because I think kind of the fact that we played under the Urban Meyer era, that this is going to be his last college football game, I think as people kind of just run over that and don't sit down and actually get the time to think about what we've played in.

He's one of the best winning coaches. He's a legendary coach. I think everyone on this team has just been grateful to play for him, so we take these last moments with him very seriously. I'm pretty sure game time things will be emotional. We've got a game to win, but I'm pretty sure things will be emotional. It means a lot.

Q. Are you guys all rallying to make sure he goes out --

Q. (Indiscernible) what's that kind of been like knowing you obviously had (inaudible) all season, but now there's a really narrow focus? Is that big for you guys?
PARRIS CAMPBELL: That's huge. It's not anything different from our other games because each game -- game week, we take it as worry about this game first, don't worry about the future, don't worry about the past; just focus on one thing. We're used to it. We know how to prepare for big-time games. We know how to make plays in big-time games. So this isn't any different.

Like I said, obviously the emotions will be running high, but everyone knows how to prepare for big-time games and knows how to focus on things.

Q. How has this week gone for you guys? There's a lot going on outside, just preparing for football. Is it more difficult knowing that you've got to go and do stuff at night, also practicing and meetings and stuff?
PARRIS CAMPBELL: I mean, not really, honestly, just because that's a testament to the maturity of this team. We know how to separate out work from play. We know when we wake up in the morning that it's serious time, time to go win a football game; it's time to prepare the right way.

And as soon as the practice is done and the pads and helmets are put down, we know how to relax and know how to hang out and chill and enjoy each other. That's just a testament to the maturity of this team.

Q. Are you enjoying being out in California and getting to practice (inaudible)?
PARRIS CAMPBELL: Yeah, for sure. It's definitely much better than Ohio weather, for sure.

Q. How has practice been? (Indiscernible) the other day, seems like you're excited to be here, but also seems like you guys were in rhythm. You were very at ease.
PARRIS CAMPBELL: It's been energetic. We're all excited to go play in this game, excited to represent the Big Ten. We're excited to represent Coach Meyer with it being his last game. And I just think that we're clicking at the right time. These last three games we've played we've been clicking on all three cylinders. And going into this last game I think everyone is as ready to continue to prove what we have to world. So everyone's just excited.

Q. It being Coach Meyer's last game, has he been at all more sentimental in practice?
PARRIS CAMPBELL: Not really. He's not really a whole emotions guy. But I'm sure after the game he'll be a little bit more emotional. But he tries to stay stone faced at all times.

Q. Dre'Mont said (indiscernible) about Gatorade? Any other surprises that you know of?
PARRIS CAMPBELL: Not at the moment. I'm sure we'll have something planned. But Gatorade, that will be for sure. For sure. Definitely.

Q. Washington, what have you prepared for in practice? I know (inaudible) defensive guys. Looking at their secondary, what have you seen from them?
PARRIS CAMPBELL: They're truly an NFL-based team. Their defense is really designed like an NFL team. They have All-Americans across the field. They're a very talented group and I think it's the best secondary they'll face all season.

So it would be a challenge for us but we're ready. We know how to prepare for big-time games. We know how to prepare and get ready for big-time games. It's going to be a challenge but we're ready.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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