Adam Smith with Brutus at a recent Ohio State football game.
Cambridge High School alumnus and Ohio State sophomore Adam Smith used his passion for sports and natural leadership ability to take advantage of a huge opportunity to become the Director of Football Operations for the Block O, the official student section for Ohio State athletics.
“I played sports in high school, and I watched a ton of sports, so I knew I wanted to be involved in college,” Smith said. “I kind of stumbled upon it. Block O had an opening night where I went and learned about the organization. I joined and from there I knew I wanted to be a bigger part of it. I joined the football committee last year – basically a group of people that help facilitate all the gameday stuff and all the experience for the student section.”
Smith’s responsibilities included rolling t-shirts that were thrown into the crowd, helping organize the traditional card stunt, hanging all the banners the club puts up and setting up the microphone and other audio-visual equipment used by Block O during the games.
Little did Smith know he was preparing for an even bigger role with Block O during his sophomore year. He was contemplating running for the elected position as leader of the Block O’s football section. That is when the incumbent encouraged Smith to run for the leadership position.
“In February of last school year, the time came for the election, and I thought it might be something I would want to do, but I wasn’t sure about the qualifications,” Smith said. “The director at the time thought I would be good and told me he wanted me to run for the director position. Fast forward a couple of months and here I am.”
Block O has 11 different sections aligned with different sports at Ohio State and each section has its own director.
“Our goal is to provide a homefield advantage for Ohio State in all of their events,” Smith said. “The Block O was founded in 1938 by the head cheerleader as a football section and has grown to what we do today.”
The Block O section occupies the center seats in the South end of Ohio Stadium and the similar seats in the North end. Students are assigned to a section. The Block O tickets the hardest tickets to get because they are in the highest demand.
Adam Smith leads the cheers as director of football operations for the Block O.
The official Block O sections seat 890 people, but since no one really sits in those sections, there are closer to 1,000 students crammed into the section. All the South end seating – what used to be the bleacher seats in the open end of the Horseshoe – are now designated for students.
Being football director of Block O has provided Smith with some other cool opportunities including interacting with Big Noon Kickoff personalities Mark Ingram, Matt Leinart, and Urban Meyer. He also worked with ESPN Game Day to distribute show passes to Ohio State students which included fellow Cambridge High School alumn Andy Ogle.
Smith also got to experience the holy grounds of Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana as part of the Ohio State student section at the Buckeyes 17-14 victory over the Fighting Irish.
“The way I describe it is it was a spiritual experience,” Smith said. “Before the game even starts, you’re in a place with so much history, so much college football, it is something to behold. It is a bucket-list destination. You go and you see the Golden Dome, you see Touchdown Jesus, and you see how the campus is set up and you can tell there is so much tradition.”
Smith said from the student section seats, he could see Touchdown Jesus and the Dome in the background. The game winning touchdown was scored in front of his section and the Buckeye fans in attendance got to celebrate twice because the score was reviewed.
“Obviously, it was a great game. It was just one of the greatest games you’ll ever get to watch,” Smith said. “It was a great experience, and I will say, the helmets are just as shiny in person.”
Smith will be traveling to Ann Arbor this weekend as part of a group of Block O members who will be taking in “The Game.”
“I am confident we will play well,” Smith said. “I believe we have a better team. We are going to show up in Scarlet and Gray and be loud.”
In high school, Adam played baseball, basketball, and golf, and was a captain on the basketball and golf teams. He was also president of the Class of 2022 and the National Honor Society. His biggest role may have been Chief of the Fugowi Tribe, the Bobcats student section.
At Ohio State, Smith is a sophomore marketing and finance major who is a member of the American Marketing Association, an International Affairs Scholar, and an honor student.
Smith is a legacy at Ohio State as his grandparents Roy and June Morris attended Ohio State as well as his three uncles, Tim, Barry, and Steve, and several cousins. In fact, his grandma still gets season tickets that are used often by family members.
Smith plans to continue to be part of Block O and would like to return to his role as football director to lead the football section next season or maybe even run for president of Block O.