Strobel Becoming Center Of Attention

Tom Strobel has worked himself into a position where others have to take account of him both on and off of the field. As opposing teams began to plan for his whereabouts, college coaches began sending scholarship offers to the defensive end. BuckeyeSports.com has more.

Tom Strobel has landed one of the highest compliments that can be given out by an opposing offensive attack. As a junior, the four-star defensive end from Mentor, Ohio, found himself being increasingly taken out of the opposing team's plans.

"Sometimes I was getting triple-teamed," he told BuckeyeSports.com. "I'd come out and get the tight end and the tackle and the fullback would come down to protect the quarterback. Sometimes the offensive guard would drop back too."

So it goes for the lineman. As a junior, his 37 tackles marked a drop from the 47 he put up as a sophomore. Accordingly, his sack total dropped from seven to two and his tackles for a loss from 10 to five. But when he looks back on the year, Mentor head coach Steve Trivisonno said Strobel's play had nothing to do with the decreased production.

Rather, it helped cause it.

"That's part of the thing he's got to learn to deal with," the coach said. "Obviously when he's on that side the ball's going the other way. He's going to get the best guy and he's going to get double-teamed."

Trivisonno said the coaches have pointed out other ways in which Strobel can be effective to take his mind off the lack of production on the stat sheet.

"All kids are that way: ‘Oh, I'm not getting all these sacks.' No, you're not. It's going the other way and they're bringing that extra guy to block, which takes a guy away," the coach said. "That's part of the maturing process that he's got to learn and understand.

"That's why some people think, ‘Oh, he didn't play great.' Well he did – he was just getting blocked by two guys on every play and they have to game plan for him. He might not have some of the stats that other people have."

It has not been enough to stop some of the region's top colleges from offering scholarships to Strobel. The lineman holds from nearly every school in the Big Ten and landed one from Ohio State in late February. This week, Trivisonno said 20 coaches including OSU defensive coordinator Jim Heacock have visited the school.

Although college coaches are not allowed to contact players while at school right now, Strobel said his coach has kept him in the loop as to who has been through the doors.

"It gets crazy but it's fun," Trivisonno said. "He's handled it very well."

After playing at around 235 pounds last season, Strobel is currently up to around 255, his coach said. Trivisonno added that the lineman has a 3.8 grade-point average and has scored a 25 on the ACT.

Scout.com rates Strobel the No. 15 overall prospect from Ohio and the No. 24 overall prospect at his position. Landing an offer from the Buckeyes was a big deal for the lineman, who said he grew up naturally inclined to like the program.

As such, he told a reporter following a spring visit to Michigan that he almost felt guilty for enjoying his trip to see the Wolverines.

"I think that everybody around him makes him feel that way," Trivisonno said. "He really enjoyed it up there and he enjoyed Michigan State and he's enjoyed all the places he's gone to. Everybody looks good right now. That's part of the process and he should enjoy it. Not many kids get to do that."

Asked if he feels pressure to sign with the Buckeyes, Strobel said, "You have no idea. I have relatives, I have this and that. Everyone around here is a Buckeye fan, (but) once you really start to see other schools out there you start to notice that there are schools that are just as good as OSU. I started looking at my options and I know it's my decision. It's not what other people want, it's what I want and what's going to be best for me."

Trivisonno said he does not feel pending NCAA sanctions against OSU and suspensions to five players as well as head coach Jim Tressel will have an impact on Strobel's decision.

"He really hasn't said anything about it so I don't know that he's paid – I'm not sure kids pay as much attention to that as people watching TV do," the coach said. "He doesn't spend much time watching who's in trouble."

Strobel had to return to a weightlifting session before he could be asked about the situation.

"For any Ohio boy who gets an offer from Ohio State, that's exciting," Trivisonno said. "I think he's smart enough to take his time and look around and see where he wants to go. I think he's doing that. Obviously Ohio boys are raised to be Buckeyes so we'll see how it works out."


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