Ball Not Wavering With OSU Commitment

Ohio State holds seven verbal commitments who now have to decide if losing head coach Jim Tressel is enough to convince them to reconsider their decisions. BSB caught up with four-star running back prospect Warren Ball for his take on the situation.

In the aftermath of Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel's resignation, verbal commitment Warren Ball received a phone call from safeties coach Paul Haynes. The OSU assistant who has also been serving as Ball's recruiter delivered a message to the four-star running back prospect.

"He told me, ‘Ohio State is still Ohio State and it's still the school you want to go to,' " Ball told BSB on Monday afternoon. "It's still a great place. As far as me, nothing's changed.

"Ohio State is my dream school that I want to go to and I don't see anything that could change that."

Ball, rated the nation's No. 8 running back prospect, issued his verbal commitment to the Buckeyes on Sept. 1, 2010. He was the second recruit to pledge for the class of 2012.

A central Ohio native, Ball preps at Columbus DeSales. Losing the head coach is not enough to make him consider switching his verbal commitment, he said.

"I'm surprised and very shocked but Ohio State is my dream school that I've always wanted to go to," he said, "so as far as a commitment standpoint nothing has changed. I'm still committed to Ohio State."

Luke Fickell will take over for Tressel on an interim basis for the season, after which a search is expected to take place that will include both internal and external candidates. Fickell is an alumnus of DeSales and Ball said he already has a natural comfort level with the coach.

Ball pointed out that his reason for picking the Buckeyes had little to do with who was in charge.

"You look back at the tradition that Ohio State has and what it's been able to produce, from not only athletes but people in general," he said. "It sets you up for a very successful future. Ohio State is a very great place to go."

Still, Ball said he was taken aback when the news began scrolling on ESPN as he watched this morning.

"It was pretty shocking," he said. "I know Tressel is a very great guy and a very high-character guy with great tradition. I was very surprised but what can you do about it?"

Listed at 6-2, 200 pounds, Ball also held scholarship offers from Iowa, Notre Dame and Wisconsin, among others.

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