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Transfer to Ohio State a fresh start for Gunnar Hoak

Gunnar Hoak


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.”


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  1. Interesting article. All that said, I sort of wonder why OS didn’t offer when he was in HS? I’m happy if he’s happy, but he had every opportunity to earn a starting role at UK, let’s all remember that. He was also one play away from being the starter in 2019 too. UK don’t need him if his heart is not in it. It will be interesting to see if he plays at OS, but I could really care less about Ohio State football, I’m about UK football, that is just me. Coach Stoops and his staff are starting to get their fair share of Ohio boys to don the Blue and White, and the way I look at it, OS just gets in our way. Look I wish Gunnar the best, but UK will be just fine without him.

    1. He was not a fit in Urban Meyer’s offense

  2. As it has turned out, I think we won the transfer battle. The Troy Boy (has a good ring to it) has more experience and stronger credentials. Hopefully it will be a win/win for both schools. I always liked Hoak and did think he got Hooded a little but also failed to take advantage of some given opportunities.

    1. Well said Mike

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