Our weekly 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!

This week, on the eve of The Ohio State Buckeyes’ first game back in action, we’re highlighting the University District with Parris Campbell, Jr.—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 literally 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 own 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, 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.

Gateway

The OSU football season kicks off on Oct. 24. 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!

Ohio State University's What's Your Why?

This football season, it’s more important than ever for Buckeye fans to be responsible and take an active role in keeping our communities safe and healthy. As the Buckeyes take the field on game day, there a plenty of ways you can experience the action safely.

Looking for more ways to celebrate? Check out our recommendations for how to cheer on the Bucks in 2020!