After getting a chance to work with defensive line coach Larry Johnson at Ohio State's Friday Night Lights Camp, Corey Malone-Hatcher, a 6-foot-3, 230-pound defensive end who is only entering his sophomore season at St. Josephs High, was offered by the Buckeyes according to his father Orlando Malone.
"He said he been waiting to see him flip his hips and was watching and saw him do it and said it was what he wanted to see," his father said. "Then he said it's crazy to think about offering a 2017 kid but he has that 'it.' He actually said that two or three times.
"Then he started saying, 'this doesn't mean that you should stop working hard. You need to keep going, don't be satisfied where you are and again, it's crazy to talk about offering a '17 kid but you're a heck of a player and you're going to get a lot bigger and lot stronger.'"
For Malone-Hatcher, who has traversed the country in hopes of improving and getting his name on the recruiting radar, that was a big moment.
"Today is his 16th birthday so one of the goals that we had set for him is, he wanted to have his first offer by his sophomore year and we've been constantly on the grind.
"We've been to a lot of events and working to try to get better. We went to Core 6, Elite Big Man Camp, NFTC in Chicago, Rivals in Detroit, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Sound Mind, Sound Body and couple that with workouts with Jason Raynor and we put the time in. He busted his butt, went through a lot of sweat and hard work and after strong camp performances, they're not looking at him like a young kid. It's great."
While other schools are interested, Malone says his son will heavily consider the Buckeyes and they have appreciated how Johnson has approached his recruitment of Corey.
"I have to give a lot of credit to Coach Johnson. We did our initial visit in June and after we did that, he told us we had to bring him down there so he could work with him. He saw him at Sound Mind, Sound Body and talked to my wife again and said you have to bring him down so I can take a look at him. When we were there, he thanked my wife for bringing him down. That was confirmation that he recognized me without a name tag and recognized his Mom, spotted us out of the crowd at Friday Night Lights and waved to me and waved to her, so that let us know that he's dead serious about Corey."
He added, "We canceled several trips. He said this is the one I want to take. He likes Coach Johnson and that's why we went out there again."