By LARRY VAUGHT
For Gunnar Hoak, going back to Columbus to play football at Ohio State was comparable to a Kentuckian like Travis Ford coming back to the Bluegrass to play basketball for Kentucky like he did about 25 years ago.
“Someone that wasn’t born and raised in Columbus probably could not understand that loyalty,” said Holly Hoak, Gunnar’s mother. “It’s similar to Kentucky basketball. Go to any street in Columbus and you will see Ohio State flags flying, bumper stickers. It’s football year round.”
That’s why Hoak’s transfer from Kentucky to Ohio State created so much interest in Columbus. Hoak, a grad transfer, has two years of eligibility left and did not want to be Terry Wilson’s emergency backup for two years at UK.
“It was a huge headliner here on radio, TV, local paper,” Holly Hoak said. “We have yet to go out and somebody not come up and congratulate us on Gunnar coming home and talk to us about it.
“As a mom it is nice to have your kid home but once they leave to go to college they are never really home again. I think once (preseason) camp starts it will sink in he is really here. When he came on his visit to Ohio State, there was just this feeling that maybe this was the right thing for him, a fresh start. It’s hard to explain to a lot of fans because they see and hear what they want.”