COLUMBUS — To say that Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer has admiration for Buckeyes' senior John Simon just doesn't properly exemplify his true feelings for the OSU star defensive end.
In fact, if he and his wife Shelly ever decide to have a fourth child, we will all see just how much the Buckeyes' boss "loves" the kid out of Youngstown.
"If we have another child I want to name him, Urban John Simon Meyer," Meyer smiled. "That's how much I love that guy. I'm not ashamed to say I love him.
"Love that guy ... man."
Those were his words following the Buckeyes' 35-28 win over California on Saturday. After the game, Simon — who has been suffering from a painful shoulder injury the past few weeks— broke down after the victory in the locker room and issued a passionate speech to his team.
"Boy he lost it in the locker room as far as sharing, opening up his soul for the team," Meyer said. "I've done this a long time, man. You can mark it down, you can put a jersey up there that says 'John Simon,' because that's a grown (expletive) man. Excuse my language ... that's a man."
Meyer stated that the heart Simon displayed in the locker room makes everyone sit back and question whether they as individuals are doing enough for the team.
That also includes Meyer and his coaching staff.
"(Simon) makes all of us look in the mirror and say: 'Are we doing enough for our team?'" Meyer said. "That guy, what he just did in there, not to give you too much of what went on in there, but am I doing enough? When I say I, as a coaching staff, are we doing enough? Are we doing as much as he's doing?
"No. We've got to do more. Got to do more."
Although Simon registered a big sack in Saturday's win over Cal, it was quite apparent that he was struggling with the shoulder injury throughout the game. Meyer said he didn't realize how badly he was hurting going into the game.
Of course, that's mostly because Simon never let's on that he's hurt. He is selfless. He is a warrior in every sense of the word.
"John Simon is unique," Meyer said. "I could go on for two hours about him because that's how much I love this guy. You talk about a completely selfless human being. I think he's just an emotional guy ...
"John is a guy that won't tell you (he's hurt). 'How's it going?' ... 'Great, going good.' ... Then I turn around and watch him walk down the hallway and he doesn't look good. He says he feels a lot better. I had the same conversation I'm having with you. To be honest, he said 'I feel a lot better than I did a week ago.' I said, 'you did not tell me that a week ago, John.'
"He said, 'my shoulder is a long way from my heart.'
"Wow, what is that movie called? Braveheart?" Meyer continued. "Just an amazing kid. If you don't know him and you get a chance to meet him, boy, he's something else."
HYDE OUT AGAIN ... Meyer announced on Monday during his weekly media luncheon in Columbus that junior tailback Carlos Hyde will miss another game with an MCL sprain.
"Carlos will not be available," Meyer said. "I would say no chance.
"He's getting much better, though."
NOON START SATURDAY ... The No. 16 Buckeyes (3-0) will face Alabama-Birmingham (0-2) on Saturday at noon at Ohio Stadium. The game will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.
The Blazers are coming off a 49-6 loss at No. 8 South Carolina.