Columbus (OH) safety Ron Tanner was a two-way force for Eastmoor high this year. That, however, did little to calm the sting of his team falling short of its collective goal a few weeks back.
"Offensively, I threw for 1200 yards and about 10 touchdowns passing. I had five rushing touchdowns. Defensively, I'm not exactly sure… almost 90 tackles, seven interceptions, a forced fumble and fumble recovery. Unfortunately we ended up losing in the first round of the playoffs. I don't know the score. 7 to 21 or 28, something like that."
With his junior campaign now behind him, Tanner now has even more time to focus on recruiting. He plans to hit the visit trail again this weekend, and he won't be doing so alone.
"I'm going to be (in Ann Arbor for the Michigan/ Ohio State game)," Tanner reported. "I went to the first game of the season versus Western Michigan so this will be my second (Michigan visit). I've been to a couple of Ohio State games. I went to go watch Cincinnati play. I went to watch West Virginia play. I've also seen Pittsburgh play and Northwestern too."
"(This weekend) I'm going with my family," he continued. "My little cousin, (Devon Edwards) he's on the football team now. He's not really little – he's about 6'4", 225. He's a freshman and he's coming also. He did pretty decent. He played more defensive end at the varsity level than anything. This last summer at the Michigan camp he won best hands for a tight end."
The Wolverines have done a good job of staying at the forefront of Tanner's mind this year. That was due in large part to his large part to reciprocal interest he has showed.
"I talked to the Coach Rodriguez a few times throughout the year," the Buckeye State star said. "I kept in contact with Michigan. If we talk on the phone or whatever, I have to call him. So I gave him a call."
Thus far in Tanner's recruitment the lines of communication haven't been quite as open with the team rumored to be the early favorite for his services, the Ohio State Buckeyes.
"I really haven't spoken with them too much," he said regarding the Wolverines arch rivals. "I heard it just because my coach talked to them this past week. I'm not exactly sure what they talked to him about. I haven't really spoken with them. I've been talking to Michigan, Bama… I actually called this dude back at Alabama, and Miami. North Carolina, I've been talking with a little more."
Add West Virginia, Pittsburgh, and Northwestern to that list… (the three schools that join Michigan on Tanner's offer list)… and you have the schools currently showing the greatest interest.
"I'm just going on whoever offers," said Tanner regarding the teams he looking upon most favorably. "If I was stuck today and these are the four offers that I got, it is still four good choices. I'm happy with whatever I can get. If I got to go with one of these four, I definitely wouldn't have a problem with it."
More surely will come the 6-1, 200-pounder's way, and for that reason he is in no rush to make a decision and doesn't yet have a definitive favorite.
"(Ohio State) is not really my number one," Tanner stated. "Part of the reason for that is that I haven't really talked to them a whole lot, plus other offers fly up. Obviously the schools that have offered me want me and I probably got the best chance of fitting in and actually playing."
That said, if and when Ohio State offers, the Scarlet & Gray will almost certainly move up in consideration. That, though, doesn't mean a decision will be imminent.
"That's also another rumor," Tanner explained. "I've never said that. If anything, I've said that if they do offer, I'm not going to just say, ‘yeah I'm a Buckeye.' I'm still waiting to see what is actually best for me instead of going with the school that I liked as a kid. I'm going to go with what's best for me in the future."
One of the major factors that will go into determining which program fits best is Tanner's relationship with his prospective coaches. That's a trait that he has gotten a better during his visits.
"When I went to West Virginia and Northwestern, I liked the coaching staff and how everybody is," he recalled. "They were all coming to me and talking to me and showing me a lot of love. That's something that I like because if they are showing me love when I get there and I can tell that I'm one of the main players that they really want. That must mean that I'm going to come in and play. That's one thing I like. Another thing will definitely be the atmosphere and the fans, the game. Are they real hype or they kind of just dull? How not just the defense but the offense too... how intense they are on the field. How the players reacting? What are different types of play calls that are being called?"
All of that is important information for a youngster with a desire to play early in his college career. While observing Michigan this season he has certainly noticed the opportunity that's available in Ann Arbor.
"This past week, I was watching and it seemed like they were kind of timid coming up and making plays or what like. I was thinking they need help on defense and I can go in and play. If I'm there, I'm going to in and make a play, so I'm thinking that is somewhere I would be able to play."
GoBlueWolverine will have more on Tanner in the coming days.