Patience! If there is one Golden Rule that Javon Ringer of Dayton Chaminade-Julienne High School is trying to live by this recruiting season, it's patience.
"Things are going real well. I'm just not really trying to rush into anything right now. I'm still kind of like taking my time," Ringer said. "I'm not impatient; I'm a very patient person, that's probably why I haven't really made my decision yet. I'm just kind of being patient and taking everything just one step at a time."
His latest scholarship offer just recently came from the University of Florida, but he's patiently waiting to see if other schools like Ohio State will follow through and make him an offer or not.
"Ohio State hasn't offered me yet; I'm still kind of waiting on Ohio State to offer," Ringer said. "Of course, I've always liked Ohio State; that's one of the reasons why I'm just kind of waiting on an offer to go there. And my parents think it would be nice for me to go somewhere close. Ohio State has always been my number one since I've been little. I really do like Ohio State."
Ohio State was the only camp, other than the Nike camp at OSU, that Ringer attended this summer. Ringer, measured at 5-9 ½ and 197 pounds at Ohio State's camp, benched pressed 225 pounds 13 times, ran a 4.38 40-yard dash, broad jumped 10' 5" and had a 36-inch vertical jump.
"I felt like I did real well at the Ohio State camp," Ringer said. "I was in a little better shape than I was when I went to the Nike camp because I got a little bit of lifting and running in. I did all of the drills and showed my explosiveness and footwork and everything seemed to be going real well. I heard nothing but encouraging words. Coach (Jim) Tressel did say, ‘We're going to keep in touch with you, so don't lose hope in us.' So that makes me feel good, of course."
With Ohio State sitting on the sidelines, Ringer is left to mull over scholarship offers from schools like Iowa, Michigan State, Kentucky, Cincinnati, Miami of Ohio and the Gators.
"I don't have like a top pick. Everybody is kind of equal because I don't want to show no real favoritism to any one right now," he said, "But Ohio State is right up there, if not at the top."
For some schools, Ringer's size or his uncertain academic status could be reasons that might be keeping them from pulling the trigger on offering last year's runner-up in the state's Mr. Football award.
"I don't think my size is really a problem," Ringer said. "For me, I don't want to be a real tall running back because if you're a real tall running back, you have more of your body exposed for people to hit you. I feel that my height is perfect; with my cleats on, I'm like 5-10. And my weight, I don't feel that there is any problem with my weight. Right now I'm 202 pounds."
Ringer might have lost a few of those pounds this past spring while he was working hard to shore up his academic status. He skipped track season and more than a few workouts in order to concentrate on his academic situation.
"This past year, I took off track and I wanted to focus more on my grades," Ringer said. "Me and my mom had a talk and she reminded me that I'm trying to get a football scholarship and not a track scholarship. So I took off track and I was getting tutored and everything was going real well. Once the tutors started explaining to me in a way that I could learn more, then everything started coming together. That's how I got a good score on the ACT, a 21, because I was getting help with that. And all of my grades started to come up so everything was going great.
Over the summer, Ringer completed an English course he was taking and received an ‘A.' According to Ringer, his GPA should be somewhere near the 2.5 mark now
"I know I can't slack off in school because I know that I can't play football without my schoolwork," Ringer said. "All football players should know that you can't put football before grades because without the grades you can't play football."
So Ringer is not offended in the least by any school for taking a wait-and-see approach before extending him an offer. Academics have actually become a motivating factor for him.
"It doesn't turn me off because with me, like I said, I'm very patient," he said. "And now that everything is going well, grades are not a problem for me."
As far as Ohio State goes, Ringer is not discouraged that the Buckeyes haven't made him an offer yet.
"Ohio State is a school that I can really see myself at," he said. "If things work out, I'd like to be Buckeye."
A strong senior season to go along with his improved academic situation just might be the ticket.
"I want to get 3,000 yards this year," Ringer said. "I got 2,000 my sophomore and 2,000 my junior year and I want to get 3,000 my senior year. I want to try something different and get 3,000 this year. I want us to go undefeated, I want us to win the GCL and the state title and I want to get straight ‘A's.' I know that's going to be hard, but I want to get straight ‘A's.' I'm not saying that I'm going to get it but that's what I'm shooting for."
On the gridiron, a very confident Ringer is looking forward to playing Louisville (Ky.) Trinity and Cincinnati Elder this coming season.
"I want to get over 260 yards against Trinity and 300 yards on Elder," he said. "Those are exciting games and I love to play in a big game. We're not intimidated by none of them at all. And I want to win Mr. Football, and I feel that there is no reason why I shouldn't get it. I feel that I can get Mr. Football and I really think we can go undefeated."
At some point in the future, Ringer will have to make his college decision.
"I'm very excited about it. Football has always been a big part of my life ever since I was a little kid and I was playing peewees," he said. "Now I'm going to end up going to college and playing for a Big Ten school or somebody like that and it's really something."
So while Ringer waits patiently to see what Ohio State is going to do before he makes his final decision, he offered some encouraging words to Buckeye fans who are trying to be as patient as he is.
"Don't worry about grades! I feel that my grades will not be a problem," Ringer said. "And don't worry because Ohio State is still one of my number one schools that I would like to go to."