Hart says OSU visit a "10"

OL Leon Hart stands as one of the top overall targets in this recruiting season for Ohio State. OSU drew his first official visit this weekend, and Hart came away happy with what he saw.

It's safe to say that Leon Hart of Spring Valley High School in Columbia S.C. had a very good visit to Ohio State over the weekend. Hart, a top-rated offensive line prospect, is listed as the second overall OL prospect in America by theinsiders.com.

"I went up to Ohio State this weekend and I really enjoyed everything I did," Hart said. "I had already known a lot about the academics at Ohio State and the football program, and I was just trying to come up there and enjoy myself and see how I would fit in in Ohio, and I enjoyed myself."

Hart said that he couldn't really name just one thing in particular that stood out.

"Well, I would probably say the things that stood out are the campus, the stadium and the overall atmosphere as far as the people go," he said. "I was glad to be a part of it. I think I made good friends with Rob Sims, the guy that was hosting me. I got to know him as a person. He took me by his house and I got a chance to meet his girlfriend and things like that and I basically just hung out with him."

Looking back on it, Hart said he couldn't have been happier to take the trip.

"If I was going to rank it out of 10 points I would probably say it's a 10 out of 10," he said. "This was my first time going to Ohio State. I would probably say that the very first thing that lured me to Ohio State was a chance to compete for a starting job early because of the amount of offensive linemen that they're losing next year."

And his impression after taking the visit?

"There still are decent players backing up the seniors that are leaving and then there is some other guys that can really step in and play well," Hart said. "I thought they all looked pretty good but I guess Coach (Jim) Bollman sees something in me where I can come in and compete early. It feels good but I still know that I'm going to have to perform."

So where does Ohio State stand with Hart now?

"I think when I go on a lot of visits, since this was my first one, I'll probably look and see how they stack up against Ohio State," he said. "This will be my benchmark from now on."

Hart goes to Auburn on Dec. 9, Georgia on Dec. 12, South Carolina on Dec. 16 and on Dec. 23 he goes to Virginia.

"I don't really want to say that Ohio State is going to be hard to beat but I'm sure, that out of the other schools, it probably will be hard to beat," he said. "Academic-wise, Ohio State beats out the rest of the schools except for Auburn as far as computer and electrical engineering. But as far as football and academics it probably does beat out the rest of the schools and that might play a little role in it. But if I decide to go to another school it will probably be because I felt more comfortable there."

But despite his obviously strong feelings that he has for Ohio State after his visit, Hart says that he's still wide open.

"I'm still going to say that I'm wide open because I'm going to give all of the other colleges on my visits a chance," said Hart, who admitted he made some really strong connections at OSU that will keep them in the forefront. "But it was very exciting at Ohio State."

Hart, 6-4, 285, graded out at an average of 93 percent this past season and finished with 90 knockdowns. He's run a 5.1 second 40-yard dash and he's bench pressed 355 before. A 3.6 grade-point average and 990 score on the SAT make him a qualifier already.

"I just think the overall experience will stick with me because I really did enjoy it and it might carry on throughout," he said.

And Hart said he would indeed be honored to be a part of what is potentially shaping up to be a top recruiting class.

"This is going to be a good recruiting class for Ohio State," he said. "I've had a chance to go on the Internet and look at some of the guys (being recruited) and I think they'll have a top-notch recruiting class."

That and the fact that he also thinks highly of the OSU coaching staff bodes well for the Buckeyes in landing his services.

"I really like the offensive line coach, Coach Bollman, and I also got a chance to meet Coach Tressel for the first time and I really enjoyed it," Hart said. "They've already offered me a scholarship but I'm taking all of my visits and they told me that Ohio State tends to fill up; but they feel comfortable that even if it was a last minute thing, and I decided to go there, that I would have a chance to be able to go there."

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