Ohio State football players visit patients at the James Cancer Research Center


The special guests walking the halls of the James Cancer Research Center were there to make a difference.

Several Ohio State Football players paid visits to patients Monday afternoon.

"I was selected, but I would have definitely volunteered if it was an opportunity like that," Jaylen Harris said.

Harris gets it.

"I know the effects [cancer] can cause," he said. "I just know what can happen and what cancer does to people who have it."

It's why he spent some of his Monday visiting cancer patients. Both his grandmother and grandfather passed away because of pancreatic cancer.

Jeff Okudah gets it, too.

"Coming here's kind of ripping off an old Band-Aid, but I'm happy to have the opportunity to come and be able to help out people who are in a similar situation," Okudah said.

Okudah lost his mother in January after a 20-year battle with Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

These players say they know how important a distraction can be.

"If anything, just spend time with them and get to know them a little bit," J. T. Barrett said. "[And] try to get their minds off of what's going on a little bit if that's possible."

Just a little distraction. Whether that's Barrett's confession of his love for the TV show, American Pickers, Harris teaching a woman how to take a selfie or getting lost in a good conversation about the Buckeyes latest win.

"They think about how you treated them," Barrett said. "So, if you treat them well, that's something they're going to remember for a very long time."