The Ohio State football recruiting effort has received a huge addition as defensive lineman Doug Worthington of Athol Springs (N.Y.) St. Francis High School has made a verbal commitment to the Buckeyes.
"I did a big thing today," Worthington said. "I committed to Ohio State. I did it about three hours ago.
"I talked to Coach Tressel about 6:30. I spoke to him for about a half hour, then I spoke to Coach Daniels later on."
Worthington (6-7, 257) was originally planning to take official visits, but he chose to commit to the Buckeyes instead. Dozens of colleges offered Worthington a scholarship, including Penn State, Tennessee, Wisconsin, LSU, and Florida. When asked about favorites in August, Worthington said, "I would say right now it is Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Maryland, and Pittsburgh."
What made him pull the trigger on a commitment now?
"I know there's no better decision I could have made," Worthington said. "I was hesitating, but every time I thought about it, I always came back to the one school that filled all my needs, and that's Ohio State."
Size and athleticism are two of Worthington's outstanding traits as a player. He boasts great speed for a big man (4.7 40) and also plays basketball, where he averaged 17 points and 14 rebounds per game. In 2003, Worthington was named second-team all-state as he had 72 tackles, 7 sacks, and 12 pressures. He also bench presses well over 300 pounds and squats 400.
"I hope to come down to Michigan for my official visit, but we play games on Saturdays," he said. "If I can't make it for Michigan, I will come down for early December."
When Worthington camped at Ohio State, it planted the seeds for his commitment. Not only did he like what he saw, but he got to know his future teammates.
"I got to know Alex Boone and Jim Cordle and Todd Denlinger when I was down there," he said. "I'm really excited about the class."
Worthington is rated as the No. 4 defensive end prospect nationally and is rated as the No. 51 overall prospect in America by theInsiders.com. Fans in Ohio will have a chance to catch Worthington live in action this year as St. Francis travels to Cleveland to play St. Ignatius on September 25 and also has a game scheduled at Cincinnati St. Xavier on October 23.
Worthington ended the conversation with one thing to say:
Personal evaluation: Doug Worthington is the best defensive end I've seen this year. He could play either end or grow into a tackle. With his frame, he could go to 280 or so and still be an end. He plays the run as well as the pass, that's what impressed me about him.
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