Jacob Jarvis, teen with muscular dystrophy, scores in Ohio St. spring game


COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The final play of the scrimmage wasn't put on the script until the day before the spring game.

The featured rusher didn't know about it until a couple hours before kickoff. All Jacob Jarvis wanted to do was get in at least one practice rep before taking the field for his debut with Ohio State.

The 17-year-old with muscular dystrophy did just fine without it, though. He took a handoff from J.T. Barrett in his wheelchair, tucked the ball under his left arm and used some head fakes to juke to the end zone and cap off the festivities Saturday afternoon in the Horseshoe with a 20-yard touchdown that launched a wild celebration around him as the clock expired.

"I found out early this morning, about 10 o'clock," Jarvis said at midfield after the game. "It's been fun. I was very excited to do this. I'd seen a guy do this at Nebraska, and he had cancer. He kind of inspired me to do this. It felt amazing to get in the end zone.

"Just our offense, I think we played well today, and they blocked well for me to get in the end zone."

The rest of the Buckeyes left plenty to dissect as they closed out spring camp with a high-scoring battle that featured a spirit duel between backup quarterbacks Joe Burrow and Dwayne Haskins. But Jarvis wound up stealing the spotlight after senior defensive linemen Jalyn Holmes and Tyquan Lewis came up with the idea to get Jarvis involved in the game plan.

"He was ready to go -- he wanted to practice it," Holmes said. "I'm glad he got to do it and I got to see him enjoy that moment. He's been with us for so long, been there through the losses, through the wins, so we just decided he deserved that moment.

"It just showed me how blessed I really am. There are things we may take for granted every day, but this may have made somebody's life, the best moment of their life. It just made me appreciate everything I have. Just seeing him do that made me happy for him."

Dating back to Ohio State's run to the national title in 2014, Jarvis has been a fixture around the team, a regular at both practices and games, and that has helped earn him a special place in the program. After brainstorming a way to pay tribute to Jarvis, Urban Meyer signed off on the newest addition to his playbook.

It worked to perfection.

"They asked if we could do that, and I wasn't sure how you would do it," Meyer said. "But we worked it out, and it was the players' idea, which shows you what kind of character we have in our upperclassmen.

"We love Jacob. He's a part of our family."

Now he's a part of Ohio State's storied spring game history.

What's more, Jarvis got to experience something that a select few ever get the opportunity to do by scoring at the Horseshoe and teaming up in the backfield with a player who has done so regularly for the Buckeyes, having already accounted for 100 touchdowns in his decorated career.

"He's a Buckeye and just a kid that loves Ohio State and the people around Ohio State," Barrett said of Jarvis. "So to have me hand the ball off to him was definitely an honor, and for him to go score, I mean, there's not a lot of feelings that can replace one when you score in Ohio Stadium.

"When he comes into a room, it gives you a little perspective on your life. He brightens up everybody each and every time he comes around us. To have him be able to score at Ohio Stadium, it was a special deal."