Not a captain but Chekwa leads by example for OSU

Cornerback Chimdi Chekwa entered this football season in the top three in games started on the team. The rest of the top three, offensive guard Bryant Browning and defensive end Cameron Heyward, were named captains. Chekwa was not. Considering the Buckeyes named six captains for only the second time in team history, some teammates were surprised Chekwa was left off the list. Captain selection “could have went a lot of ways. I kind of was a little surprised,” senior safety Aaron Gant said. “But you don’t have to be a captain to show or possess that quality.” Chekwa wasn’t bothered by being left off the list and has continued to do his best to lead, he said. “I was talking on the sideline like I was a proud father,” Chekwa told Scout.com’s Jeff Svoboda while sitting out of a practice. “I’ve tried to teach (the corners) everything I know.” The leadership of the cornerback was not lost on his head coach. “Chimdi Chekwa … continues to lead back there and play with a lot of energy and enthusiasm and play like a senior,” Jim Tressel said. “We’ve said a million times that you can have a good team if your seniors have their career best year and Chimdi certainly is on task to perhaps make that happen.” Leading by setting an example on the field has been Chekwa’s most successful method. “I’m not a very vocal guy but it depends on the situation. I’m not going to scream or anything. I let (safety) Jermale (Hines) handle the loud talking,” the 6-foot, 190-pound corner said. “But if something needs to be said, I’ll say it.” Though he may not be loud about it, teammates appreciate what Chekwa does. “He is always communicating and talking, making sure we’re on the same page,” Gant said. “He keeps us going, never letting us slack.” The tenacity comes in part from his experience on two teams that played for the national championship. Playing in the national championship game “helped a lot. Whenever you go out on the field and compete with other great players,” Chekwa said. “I learned from all of that.” He expects to use what he learned to get his team back to that game this year, captain or not, he said.

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