Craig Cataline may not ring a bell with many Buckeye fans, but the young man is one of the most impressive players on the Ohio State roster.
An alumnus of Grandview Heights High School in Grandview Heights, OH, Cataline was certainly not a highly touted prospect out of high school. Instead, he had a much higher calling.
Cataline, following in the footsteps of his brothers, served in the United States Navy for four years before walking on at Ohio State in 2012. He served a tour of duty in Kuwait, learning sacrifice, dedication, and discipline, while defending this nation’s freedom.
While the importance of his service is far more important, his time in the Navy certainly earned him a spot with the Buckeyes.
Upon his departure from the Navy, Cataline set out to become an aircraft mechanic at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Arizona before completely switching gears and deciding to walk onto the Buckeyes.
With four years of high school football far behind him, Cataline beat all odds and made the Buckeyes. As Cataline said in an interview with the Columbus Dispatch and Buckeye beat writer Tim May, “I lucked out- they needed some fullbacks”.
Once Cataline made the team, he made his impact felt immediately. Surely one of the toughest, strongest, and most committed players at Urban Meyer’s disposal, Coach will surely look past his shoddy athleticism and get him on the field.
In 2012, Cataline was mostly a special teams player who saw action in a few games, but his outing against Miami — the first game of his Buckeye career — was an incredibly memorable one.
It was Cataline, the former defender of freedom, who paved the way for Bradley Roby to recover a Redhawks fumble for a touchdown. Cataline was at the bottom of the pile, ripped the ball from the Redhawks punter, and jarred it loose for seven points for the good guys.
In 2013, it’s hard to expect where Cataline will end up. He’s listed on the Ohio State Athletics page as a linebacker, despite his past as a fullback. There’s no doubt that we’ll see Cataline making plays on the special teams, as he is the perfect player for his position. His discipline, dedication, and tenacity are the pillars of what is needed from special teams players.
Whether or not Cataline plays this season for the Buckeyes, his contributions to the United States of America renders him worthy of our thanks and praise.
Thank you Craig for your sacrifice and we hope to see you making a multitude of plays for the Buckeyes this coming season.