COLUMBUS, Ohio — Had Jason Hug simply had his phone at the end of Ohio State’s game against Army, his night probably would have turned out a little differently.
Through a wild series of events, the senior West Point cadet ended up singing Carmen Ohio with Ohio State coach Urban Meyer after the Buckeyes’ 38-7 win against Army on Saturday.
Hug, a life science major at West Point who is a native of Bryan, Ohio, grew up rooting for the Buckeyes and wanted a picture with Meyer after the game. His position as Brigade Operations Officer got him a field pass, and he approached Meyer after postgame handshakes were complete. Unfortunately, there was one small problem.
“I just went up to him and explained that I was from Bryan, Ohio, and asked to get a picture with him,” Hug told Land of 10. “I’d given my phone to one of my buddies, so I asked him to get this picture but didn’t even have my phone on me.”
Without a phone to take the picture, Meyer kept talking to him and asked him about life at West Point. When the Army band began playing the school’s alma mater, Hug paused the conversation. Meyer stood next to him near midfield and asked him to sing a little louder so he could hear the words.
And then he asked Hug to join him for Ohio State’s alma mater.
“It was just spur of the moment, and it ended with him asking me to sing Carmen Ohio with him,” he said after retrieving his cellphone. “After the alma mater we chatted for a second and he said, ‘Come sing Carmen Ohio with me.’ I wasn’t going to say no. It was a surreal experience.”
It capped off a great day for the West Point senior, who said he grew up rooting for the Buckeyes. Although he’d been to a handful of games at Ohio Stadium previously, getting to watch Army play as he watched on the sidelines topped anything he’d ever seen before.
“Honestly, it was an incredible experience,” he said. “I’ve been to probably five games at the Horseshoe growing up, and it’s really cool to see Script Ohio and the halftime show and the game. But to be there on the sidelines with the school that I currently go to playing was surreal. I grew up as a die-hard Buckeyes fan marching around to the fight song as soon as I could walk. We have home videos that show me and my brother doing this. Today was an amazing experience.”
Hug’s leadership experience has put him in position to apply to be a Rhodes Scholar and a Schwarzman Scholar. He wants to be an intelligence officer, and he’s considering applying to law school or medical school once his military service comes to an end. Doing so means he could end up as a student at Ohio State.
“It would be awesome to be a Buckeye,” he said.
After an incredible Saturday night, he’d know better than most.