Our series, Live to Explore Cbus, features Columbus’ thriving neighborhoods through the eyes of influential people who live, work and play in the area. Discover personal stories, favorite locales and best-kept secrets about the neighborhoods that make our city so special, from the people who experience them every day!

We’re highlighting the University District with Parris Campbell, Jr.—a 2018 Ohio State graduate and former wide receiver for the Buckeyes. Parris is a 2015 National Champion, two-time Big Ten Champion and was selected 2018 First-team All-Big Ten. In 2019, he was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the second round of the NFL Draft.

As he continues his professional career, there’s no doubt his time in Columbus was formative in shaping the man and athlete he is today. Take a look at The Ohio State University/University District through his eyes.


Ohio State Marching Band performs Script Ohio at The Shoe


What was it about OSU/University District that made you feel at home?

I would have to say the people. Everyone is very warm and welcoming. I loved being a part of a team because we were like family. You hear those stories about students finding lifelong best friends at OSU, and I experienced that firsthand. The people at Ohio State share similar values and have a lot in common when it comes to being great people.


OSU's Urban Meyer and Parris Campbell Jr. embrace following a game


Do you believe your time in Columbus impacted you as a person and a professional athlete? If so, how?

ABSOLUTELY. I was a young kid when I got to Columbus. When I stepped on campus as a freshman, I was only 16 years old, so I grew up into a young man/adult during my time there. Not only did football help me develop qualities to be a great person, but also living on campus and dealing with the daily responsibilities that come with being a student-athlete, like having your place, getting to class on time and following a daily routine. The things I learned at Ohio State made me hold myself accountable, and that goes a long way when you’re not in school anymore. Little details like those are what make adulthood just a little bit easier.


Describe your favorite memory at The Ohio State University.

My favorite memory by far was my senior year playing TTUN (The Team Up North) and beating them 62-39! We were underdogs in our own stadium, which has never happened in the history of that game. It was also senior night, so it was my last time ever playing in The Shoe and we went out in style. After the game, the fans rushed the field and it was a good time.


OSU's Parris Campbell Jr. cheers with teammates


While at school, what was your favorite thing to do in the University District when you had some time away from football?

I liked to eat at all the restaurants in the University District. My favorite place was Adriaticos for some really good pizza.


Why should visitors and residents of Columbus spend time in the University District?

I mean who wouldn’t? In my opinion, the Campus/University District is the best place on earth. There’s so much to do and see, and I hear game days are pretty exciting (haha)! It’s just a cool environment and once you visit, I guarantee you’ll want to go back.




The OSU football season kicks off on September 3. What are you looking forward to most?

I’m looking forward to watching my guys get back on the field. I know how excited they are to finally be playing and I want to see them get back to doing what they love. I’ve missed watching them play on Saturdays. Also, they’ll be NATIONAL CHAMPS this season! GO BUCKS!