It's unusual to see Ohio State take a commitment from a player before he plays a down of football as a junior, but it's evident that Josh Perry is not the typical high school junior.
"I did commit to Ohio State, and I couldn't be happier," Perry began. "I went there to meet with Coach Tressel, with my mom and dad, and my head coach, Ed Terwilliger. We just talked about what this type of commitment will mean to both Ohio State, and to me personally."
"Coach Tressel said that from this point forward, I'm a reflection of Ohio State University, and I represent their program," Perry continued. "He said I'm now part of the family, and he said I need to keep working hard, doing all the right things. He also said that Ohio State will embrace my entire family, not just me as a football player. That meant a lot to all of us."
Although Perry is still a very young man, he appears to be wise beyond his years, and he explained why he made his commitment to Ohio State so early.
"I had a list of schools in mind, and I have taken visits already," he stressed. "I narrowed it down to a top-three, and Ohio State was number one. They are my dream school, so I felt if I was fortunate to get the opportunity to be a part of Ohio State, I would grab it. They have everything I want in a school, both academically and athletically."
"When you add in the type of person Coach Tressel is, it became a very easy decision for me to make," he stated. "He is a great coach, but he's a great man also. He develops people, not just football players, and that means a lot to me. When the opportunity came to me, I was ready for it, and there was no need to wait."
Perry received his offer last weekend, following an impressive two-day camp performance at Ohio State, where he wowed the Buckeye coaching staff with his athleticism.
"Last Saturday, after I had left camp, (assistant coach) Luke Fickell called my coach and extended the offer," he explained. "My coach tracked me down and gave me the news. Once I talked it over with my parents, we decided to set up a meeting with Coach Tressel and get this taken care of."
"I felt good about how I performed, and Coach Fickell was very happy with how I did," he continued. "Marcus Freeman worked with me, and he also told me he thought they might be offering me, so I was hopeful. I had a pretty good idea they were going to offer, but I never dreamed it would be this soon. I'm very blessed to be in this position."
When asked if he was feeling more joy and happiness, or more relief that recruiting was over, Perry paused before answering.
"Now that's a good question, and I have to think about that one," he said, before pausing. "I believe it's a lot of joy, and I say that because I can't believe something so great has actually happened for me and my family. There is also some relief involved, because now I can just play football and be a high school student, without the pressure of recruiting. I'm just really happy right now, and I can't get over what's happened."
Perry is not sure what position he will end up playing at Ohio State, because so much depends upon how much he grows over the next few years.
"It's really up in the air right now, Coach Fickell said I could end up at several different spots, depending on how big I get," Perry stated. "I could get bigger and play defensive end or tight end, or if I don't put on too much more weight, stay at linebacker. It doesn't matter to me at all. We have to see what happens, but right now we're all thinking it will be linebacker."
As he looked back on his early years of playing football, Perry never dreamed he would one day be in this position.
"When I first started playing in the fourth grade, I really didn't want to play, but my dad encouraged me to go out," he stressed. "He wanted me to try it, and once I got out there, I loved it. I started getting better at all sports, but I never thought football would be my sport of choice. It's kind of hard to believe that football will be the sport I play in college, but I couldn't be happier, because I've come to love the game."
Perry is not only a great athlete, but he's one of the top students at Olentangy, and he takes the academic side of his life very seriously.
"My parents instilled that in me at an early age," Perry explained. "Both of my parents were good students in school, and they expected a lot from me in the classroom. I've always been interested in learning more than most of my friends, and I found that the harder I work in school, the easier it gets to get good grades. I really enjoy learning new things, and I'm just naturally a studious person, so that makes me want to learn."
"I want to study business in college, and I'm very interested in real estate," he said. "I've always been interested in selling properties, and learning how that business works, so I could see myself owning my own company some day. My father works in sales, and he's been with the same company for many years. Before he started with his company, he worked in real estate, so maybe that's where I get that. My mother works in the elementary school, so I've learned about hard work from my parents, and I've seen how successful they are."
As a committed player, Perry is aware that his opponents are going to challenge him, because of his reputation, and he is ready for that.
"I know that my commitment isn't the end, but rather just the beginning," he explained. "I know I have a target on me now, and I need to work harder, and be a student of the game, to be able to live up to the standards of an Ohio State football player. I'm ready to take that next step."