Sika realizes dream after donning scarlet and gray

It’s pretty fitting that a guy like senior offensive lineman Scott Sika would be from a town called Strongsville, Ohio. But not just for the obvious reasons one would expect. Sika was able to walk on to the Ohio State team because of his heart and work ethic. But he is a pretty strong guy, too. Putting on the scarlet jersey and silver helmet was a lifelong dream for Sika. Nearly every member of his family went to OSU. He remembers watching every Buckeye game on Saturdays when he was growing up with his father, who went to optometry school at OSU. “He’s been a big influence in my life. He’s one of the main reasons why I chose to walk on too, because he would always tell me ‘you could play here,’ but you always have doubts in the back of your mind,” Sika said. “But once you get here you realize, as they say, fathers know best. Just his influence has helped me.” Choosing to walk on to OSU’s team did not come without any risks. He would not be guaranteed a scholarship, like he had been offered from smaller programs. Nor would he be guaranteed any playing time. But Sika never had a problem focusing on the positives. “I couldn’t pass up the chance. I really wanted to go to college here. Why not give it a try and play. It’s turned out really well for me,” he said. Sika said the rigors of playing for the scout team were difficult at first, but he always maintained a team-first mentality. “When I started I knew I was going to be on the scout team. Basically I’m here to help the team. Granted, I wish I could play as much as possible, but I’m just doing what I have to do to help the team,” Sika said. “It’s coaches’ decision, whether it’s playing scout team or playing with the twos, I just do what I do and I’ve enjoyed it.” While Sika’s father, brother, sister and mother all attended OSU, his uncle wore navy and maize as a football player for the Michigan Wolverines. “It was pretty ironic,” he quipped. “We always gave each other a hard time. Every week he says he roots for us, aside from when we play Michigan obviously. We go at it, but the last couple years I’ve easily had the upper hand and he hasn’t been able to say much. It’s a fun relationship, we go back and fourth but he just wants the best for me.” The memories of multiple BCS games, including a couple National Championship games and the Rose Bowl, will stay with Sika, But he said aside from all the obvious big stages he’s seen, it’s been the relationships he’s built with his teammates that he’ll remember most. Sika will be graduating with a degree in sports management. He plans on using everything he’s learned as a football player at OSU and the connections he’s made to help him in the professional world. But no matter what, he’ll always remember the feeling he had when he first realized he was a Buckeye. “It was surreal,” he said. “As I tell a lot of people, you don’t really understand it when you’re doing it. Sometimes you sit back and say to yourself ‘wow, I’m playing for the second ranked team in the nation.’ “You get to play where Orlando Pace and Eddie George played. It’s just an honor and you don’t realize it when you’re here but once you’re gone … it’s just memories and I’m so thankful to have had an opportunity.”

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