The Vest, why he will always be my favorite coach.
This guy is a real class act no matter who you root for.
Tyson was a walk-on from Sandusky Perkins who was filling time as a receiver one random day during a nondescript practice when he went over the middle, stretched to pull down a high pass, got hit while he was doing it, came down funny and has been paralyzed from the waist down ever since. After not much progress early on, he had surgery and has re-gained the movement of his arms.
“I took 10 hours per quarter after my injury,’’ Gentry said. “It’s been a whole adjustment period. When you do have a setback, there will be an adjustment period. I’ve have great family support and great friends to pick me up.”
Gentry takes life and recovery one day at a time. “All spinal cord injuries are different,’’ he said. “I’m very happy with where I am. I’m focusing on things can always be worse.’’’
His team never forgot Tyson and Tyson has always been part of the Buckeye football experience.
As an example, Gentry considers himself part of five straight wins over the University of Michigan. Even then, he said his favorite moment was when the Buckeyes beat the Wolverines, 25-21 in 2005.
“That’s the most exciting moment overall,’’ he said. “We played at Michigan and I got to travel and beat them there. We had to comeback and (Heisman Trophy quarterback) Troy (Smith) and the guys did a great job.’’
During Michigan week in November 2008, Tressel asked Gentry to address the crowd at Skull Session, a pep rally held at St. John Arena prior to each OSU home game.
During the Tunnel of Pride introductions for the senior class, Gentry was the final player to take the field — even after the intros of the four co-captains. Coach Tressel has taken a special personal interest in this special player and this special situation. How so? Here’s how:
Gentry rehabs at the WHAC and spends a lot of time on one machine, in particular. About a month ago, JT was walking through the room and stops by to say hello to Gentry. Tressel asked him how the rehab, was coming and Gentry mentioned that the machine he was presently on seemed to do the best for him - and that he uses it whenever it is available. Apparently a lot of guys use it and it isn’t always readily available. After a couple of more minutes of talk, Tressel left and that was that.
But it wasn’t. It wasn’t all that.
A week later Tyson was at the doctor's office for a check-up. When he returned home, he found in garage new version of his re-hab workout machine. How did it get there? Well, we know that Tressel paid for it (about $6,000) and that there was a note attached from the coach saying "You'll never have to wait in line to use it again."
Some men are distinguished by the way that they play. Some by what they do afterwards. And some by the actions they take when no one else is around to notice.
That’s when men are really men…