Fullback Picks Buckeyes

Fullback Aram Olson has made his college pick.

Columbia, S.C.--Aram Olson said if he had a good visit he might commit on his trip to Auburn over the weekend and end his recruiting by selecting the Tigers.

Although he said the visit to Auburn was good, it wasn't good enough to convince him to be a Tiger. On Wednesday he said he will sign with the Ohio State Buckeyes making him the third prospect from last weekend's recruiting group of previously uncommitted players to pick his college. Darrell Roseman, a defensive end from Dunnedin, Fla., announced for the Tigers on Sunday to become Auburn's 18th public verbal commitment. On Monday, wide receiver Jason Sherman committed to Cincinnati after not getting an offer from Auburn.

Olson played part-time as a junior and rushed 162 yards and one touchdown in 2004, averaging just over six yards per carry. He averaged seven yards a carry as a senior and more than doubled his rushing total as a starter whose main role was as a blocker.

"They didn't give me the ball much," says Olson, whose Irmo Yellow Jackets finished the 2005 season with a 9-3 record.

As a sophomore, he played fullback and several other positions as a reserve at Spring Valley High in Columbia, the same school where 2005 Auburn players Travis Williams and Leon Hart were stars.

Olson was not recruited by Auburn until recently, but once he was he notes that head coach Tommy Tuberville and the coaching staff proved to be a major reason for his interest in Auburn.

The Tigers were not planning to sign a fullback in the 2006 class, but running backs coach Eddie Gran decided to offer Olson after seeing a video he was sent by the Irmo senior.

Olson notes that he attracted little recruiting attention after his junior season and that trend continued after going to a series of summer football camps (Clemson, Maryland, Virginia Tech, North Carolina and hometown South Carolina) prior to his senior season. The lack of interest from colleges continued until near the end of the 2005 season, he adds.

"I sent out highlight tapes to smaller schools," he says. "Skip Holtz (East Carolina head coach) called back and offered me a scholarship.

"Then Ohio State got my film," he says. "They found out East Carolina offered and they said, ‘We like you, too. We want him up there.'

"I went up there for a visit and watched a game," Olson says. "After the Michigan game, Coach (Dick) Tressel, who is the running backs coach at Ohio State, called me and said, ‘They had success with the spread offense against Michigan that helped them to the win at the end of the game and they told me they weren't taking a fullback in the recruiting class. That just seemed like the end of the Ohio State connection.

"That happened right before I went to the East Carolina game," Olson says. "We were sitting there and Coach Gran called us in the middle of the game and said, ‘We want you to come down here.'

"We went down there after that game and I was home for about two days when Coach Gran called and said, ‘I stood on the table for you and so did the tight ends coach and the offensive line coach. We watched your tape and we can't pass you up.' That has how Auburn turned out."

Olson notes he planned to visit FSU this coming weekend, but committed prior to making that trip.

"Florida State happened about a week later," Olson says. "I hadn't gotten any mail from them or no calls. My tape just happened to make it there.

"Coach (Billy) Sexton, the running backs coach, called my house for the first time and he offered me right over the phone and now I have three offers on the board and then Ohio State comes back around. They say they are getting Chris Wells, the number one running back in the country, who is a power back, so why not go back to the traditional Ohio State football and get a power running game going so they offered me. Then I got my visit set up with them."

Olson took an official visit to check out the Buckeyes prior to visiting Auburn last weekend. He says he considered piggy-backing a trip to Auburn and Texas A&M, taking advantage of the Monday school holiday for the Martin Luther King Day.

"A few days after Christmas, Texas A&M gave me a ring and offered, too," Olson notes. "They wanted us to come right after Auburn, but we decided not to do that."

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