COLUMBUS, Ohio — As a product of Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, Ohio State wide receiver Parris Campbell is no stranger to the LeBron James logo. In 2013, the NBA megastar gifted his alma mater with new Nike uniforms, surprising the school by modeling them himself.
Also a member of the school’s basketball team, Campbell regularly wore James’ signature shoes throughout his prep career. So when the Buckeyes coaching staff sported a non-traditional logo on its sleeves during the spring game last week, the junior was already well aware of the significance of the crown.
“Oh, yeah,” Campbell told Land of 10 with a smile when asked if he noticed the coaches wearing the LeBron logo.
The coaching staff’s spring game attire is the latest sign of the growing relationship between James and the Ohio State program. Last season, the four-time MVP gifted the Buckeyes with a football version of his Nike Soldier 10 shoe prior to their regular-season finale vs. Michigan, which the entire Cleveland Cavaliers team attended. James also has shared a relationship with Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, who recruited him as a wide receiver during his days as an assistant at Notre Dame.
It appears almost inevitable Ohio State will one day wear the LeBron James logo on its uniforms.
Campbell agrees — and he’s all for it.
“Oh, definitely,” Campbell said. “I think Phil Knight — the Nike CEO — Coach Meyer and LeBron, they’re all for it. So hopefully they can pull through and get it done.
“I love it. I love the idea. Just from high school, always having that LeBron logo on our jerseys and our gear, I love the idea. Hopefully they’re able to make it happen because I’ve always represented [James]. He’s always kind of been like a big brother to me. So it’d be pretty cool.”
We ride with @KingJames.
— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) March 1, 2017
Perhaps it’s no coincidence that Knight, Nike’s co-founder and former CEO and chairman, attended Ohio State’s spring game, serving as an honorary coach.
While the idea of the Buckeyes football team wearing a basketball logo might seem strange, it’d hardly be unprecedented. Last season, Michigan became the first football program to become a part of Michael Jordan’s Jumpman Brand, with North Carolina joining during the offseason.
Michigan’s new duds have been a slam dunk with recruits.
“Whether it’s they like the colors and think they look better in blue than they do in orange or whatever, you can never underestimate what might tip the scales,” said Rivals.com national recruiting director Mike Farrell. “Kids have chosen programs for a whole lot of dumb reasons.”
Further partnering with a star of James’ magnitude undoubtedly would be a hit for Ohio State. Current players in the program often can be found wearing his Nike shoes or the James-endorsed TACKMA brand.
Prior to the Buckeyes’ College Football Playoff-clinching victory over the Wolverines, James could be spotted on the Ohio State sideline, wearing a Buckeyes Starter jacket, on which TACKMA collaborated.
“He means a lot in recruiting,” Meyer said of James in 2014. “You can’t measure the positive feeling of him standing on the sideline for an Ohio State game.”
As their relationship through Nike has strengthened, James’ presence around the Buckeyes program has only continued to grow. At this point, it appears to be a matter of not if, but when, the LeBron logo will adorn Ohio State’s uniforms.