Winter 2022 magazine

Kamryn Babb praises his Savior as he inspires No. 2 Ohio State despite 4 torn ACLs

Kamryn Babb’s injury struggles started before he even got to Ohio State. The St. Louis, Missouri, native suffered his first torn ACL his senior year of high school.

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He suffered the same injury in his first season as a Buckeye. Then it happened again the next year, and a fourth torn ACL sidelined him last season. Yet, Babb was named a team captain in 2021 as he worked his way back from his most recent injury.

On Saturday, he finally got to make an impact on the field too. Babb caught a touchdown pass from quarterback C.J. Stroud in the Buckeyes’ 56-14 win over Indiana. It was the first reception of his college career.

The Ohio State sideline erupted.

Knowing he was going to be one of the stories of the game, Babb took the opportunity to repeatedly give glory to God.

“I don’t really know if words can kind of describe it, but if I had to say a word, man, just thankful,” he said after the game. “Just thankfulness first and foremost for Jesus Christ, man, and who He is to me. He’s my Rock, my Lord, my Savior. But also thankful for my teammates.”

Babb had years to plan a touchdown celebration, so his response to the special moment was decided upon well ahead of time. He fell to his knees, bowed his head and took a moment to himself.

“I would say the past five years, that’s kind of been a dream of mine, is whenever I catch a touchdown — whenever that moment is — to get on my knees and give praise to Him, to Jesus Christ because that’s the only hope that I truly have,” Babb said.

Sharing the microphone with Babb in the postgame press conference, Stroud raved about his teammate and fellow believer’s leadership and the way he lives out his faith.

“It’s hard when you’re on that type of path [being a Christian],” Stroud said. “People look at you to be perfect, and I definitely think that he’s done his best to be that to us. Of course, I’m not perfect — he’s not either — but at the end of the day, he strives to get to God every day and to reach people, and he’s inspired me.”

On Monday, Ohio State released a video celebrating the “Kamryn Babb Moment.” Babb said in the video that he really surrendered his life to God after his third torn ACL and the Lord “changed everything about” him.

He went on to thank God for surrounding him with a strong support system and declared that his hope is in Jesus alone. Wide receiver Emeka Egbuka also credited Babb with helping him reestablish his relationship with God.

Near the end of the video, Babb referenced John 16:33 and encouraged everyone to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Babb was asked after the game whether it was football, faith or a combination of the two that explained why he kept coming back when it would’ve been so easy to walk away. He said it was definitely more faith than football, and he knew God was on the throne no matter how the rest of his career went.

“When I truly surrendered my life to Jesus, and He showed me His love and who He is, I just wanted to share that with the world, and we have such a big platform here at Ohio State,” Babb said. “I just thought, you know, if it doesn’t work out, then Jesus is still good. He’s still King. He’s still Lord. He’s still my Savior. It doesn’t really matter. But if it works out in a way that I think it can … there’s so many people that I can turn to Him.”

Up next for Babb and the 10-0 No. 2-ranked Buckeyes is a trip to Maryland before their showdown with archrival Michigan on Nov. 26.

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