Before Kirk Herbstreit established himself as one of the go-to analysts in college football, he shined on the field at Ohio State. He spent four seasons with the Buckeyes from 1989 to 1993, following in his father’s footsteps by playing his college ball in Columbus.
Despite his ties to Ohio State, Herbstreit’s twin sons, Tye and Jake, opted to play collegiately for Clemson. Given the recent rivalry between the Buckeyes and the Tigers, it probably hasn’t been easy for the elder Herbstreit to watch his alma mater go up against his sons’ current school.
In a recent interview, the ESPN college football analyst was asked if it’s been weird to see his kids play for Clemson. He answered candidly, explaining how he wanted his sons to choose their own path.
“(It’s not hard) because of the respect I have for Dabo and for that program, I would love to see them in an Ohio State uniform,” Herbstreit said on a recent edition of the “What’s Next” podcast with Eric Wood, per 247Sports. “First off, you have kids, your kids go through their own journey. If they choose to play ball, they choose to play ball. And if they don’t, then they don’t. They wanted to play. They went to a summer camp going into their senior year at Clemson and did pretty well. Dabo was like ‘I think we want to offer these guys preferred walk ons.’ Initially, I was like, ‘man, they grew up brainwashed Ohio State kids.’ But the respect, again, that I have for Dabo outweighs everything. Yeah, it was easy. Now, it’s such a thrill just to see them in those uniforms.”
— Eric Wood (@EWood70) June 1, 2021
Although unsurprising, Herbstreit’s supportive answer was encouraging to hear. Clearly the family has a lot of respect for Dabo Swinney, which makes the situation significantly easier.
Tye and Jake Herbstreit were walk-ons to the Clemson program. Both will be redshirt sophomores entering the 2021-22 college football season.
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