Ohio State football head coach Urban Meyer talks to his team during a 2016 practice at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Meyer and Buckeyes have one LL Cool J song on repeat this week before playing Michigan.
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COLUMBUS – The current players on Ohio State’s roster are too young to remember the apex of LL Cool J, but they have heard his music so much that the rapper’s voice is unmistakable.
A sure sign of Michigan week at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, the football program’s practice facility, is the music selection. Though there isn’t exactly much selection.
LL Cool J’s It’s Time For War plays through the sound system in the practice before Ohio State plays its rival.
“We usually have a soundtrack before warmups, and ‘Time For War’ was just playing all day [Tuesday],” wide receiver Terry McLaurin said. “It’s playing when we’re eating lunch, it’s playing in our meeting rooms, it’s playing in our special teams meetings.
“It gets annoying, but at the same time, when you hear that song it triggers something in your mind that this game’s different.”
Urban Meyer has played the song during the Michigan week in his tenure as Ohio State’s head coach, and the practice – according to OSU’s players – is alive and very well.
Asked how many times he heard the 2008 song, Ohio State defensive end Jalyn Holmes deadpanned, “Infinity.”
“It’s just non-stop, going all day,” Holmes said.
The Buckeyes already have heard the song more times than they can count this week, but McLaurin said the repeat music does have an effect.
“It kind of locks you in because as soon as you walk into this building you hear that music,” McLaurin said. “It’s time for that big game.”
McLaurin said that records do not matter in rivalry games, which are known for being unpredictable.
But one thing McLaurin could predict: he knows what song will be stuck in his brain for the rest of the week.
“I’ll be walking home tonight [singing], ‘It’s Time For War,’ ” McLaurin said. “You’ll hear it in your head.”
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