The Marty Smith Podcast: Former OSU, NFL Linebacker Joshua Perry Talks Transition From the Gridiron to Sports Media

by Chris Haney
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Earlier this week on The Marty Smith Podcast, former Ohio State national champion turned football analyst, Joshua Perry, joined the show. Over the last few years since retiring from his playing career, the 28-year-old has switched over to covering the sport he loves. He opens up about that transition and some of the difficulties he’s faced coming from the gridiron as a player.

Perry was a starting linebacker for OSU’s 2014 National Championship team and was a leader of the defense. Following an impressive collegiate career, the San Diego Chargers selected him in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft. After a short pro career, Perry retired due to injuries and concussion concerns.

Since retiring in July 2018, the former linebacker has stayed involved with football as an analyst and host. Perry grew up in Columbus, Ohio and was already a fan of the Buckeyes before playing for the university. After his playing career came to an end, he went back to his hometown and covered OSU and the Big Ten for Columbus’ sports radio station “The Fan” 97.1 FM.

These days, Joshua Perry is an Emmy-nominated football analyst for the Big Ten Network. He also co-hosts The Rally on Bally Sports, which is a discussion-based afternoon sports show that debuted earlier this year in January. Perry opened up about his national championship run at OSU and so much more on the newest episode of The Marty Smith Podcast. But the guys made sure to talk to him about his work within sports media during his interview as well.

Joshua Perry Shares the Difficulties of Transitioning to the Media

During his The Marty Smith Podcast appearance, co-host Wes Blankenship asked Perry about his transition from the football field into the media.

“What’s been the toughest thing for you transitioning to the other side of things?” Wes asked. “To not be stale, not be that guy that’s always asking the same questions saying all the same things as everybody else, and being yourself?”

“I think you have to shift your mind,” Perry explained on the podcast. “There’s two sides of it – it’s what I know as a former athlete and then what people want to know as consumers of sports. And then how can you find the most interesting angle and intersection of that. And it’s difficult because it forces you to think outside of the box and you have to workshop different ideas.”

“The other thing that I always try to be cognizant of is, having been in that seat before, I always want to give the proper amount of respect to the athletes and to the sport. And so that can be difficult at times because you’ve gotta find where that line is of where you really want to take it. But also you’ve got a job to do,” he added.

The Player-Turned-Analyst Has a New Perspective on the Media

As their conversation continued, Joshua Perry shared that as a player you’re basically taught to be “adversarial” to the media. Now that he’s been on both sides of it, he understands reporters’ role and has a better perspective on things.

“It’s been fun to reshape my mind and to also be on the other side too,” Perry shared. “As players, it’s almost like you’re coached to be adversarial when it comes to media. You sit there and your arms are folded and you’re pissed off all the time. And now that I’m on the other side… it’s just people trying to do their job. It’s been kinda interesting to have both perspectives now.”

The guys talk about that and much more with Joshua Perry on the newest episode of The Marty Smith Podcast. Make sure to check out the entire podcast in the video above, or listen to their full conversation on Spotify, Apple, or wherever else you listen to your favorite podcasts.