Worthington's 'Unofficial' Future Starts Saturday

This Athol Springs, NY product and OSU verbal will be just one of the many big-name recruits in Ohio Stadium on Saturday to take in one of the best rivalries in all of college football.

With a victory over St. Ignatius being just one shining highlight of his 8-2 senior campaign, Doug Worthington of St. Francis Preparatory School in Athol Springs, NY, closed out his prep career in fine fashion with his team winning their league's championship for the second year in-a-row.

"I think the season went real well for us," Worthington said. "We lost a couple of games but all of the games we lost were to out of state teams that were in their state playoffs."

Individually, Worthing finished the year with 85 tackles that included 7.5 sacks and a lot of quarterback pressures. As a member of a Catholic Association in New York, his school isn't eligible to go to their state's tournament.

"As a whole I think I had a wonderful season despite being double and triple-teamed and being run away from all season," he said. "But it was a great season. We went as far as we can go and finished number one in western New York and like number 5 in the state."

In addition to playing St. Ignatius in front of Jim Tressel at Byers Field in Ohio, Worthington and his teammates also traveled to Cincinnati during the year to take on Rob Schoenhoft and the Bombers of St. Xavier and they played host to Youngstown Chaney.

"Just to go into Ohio and play in that kind of atmosphere and in front of their crowds was a great experience. It's good to know that those are the kind of fans that are going to be supporting you next year," Worthington said. "We won one of those games and lost the other one, and we won against Chaney. Chaney was an awesome team and they played very hard knowing that if they lost they weren't going to be in the playoffs.

"It's great football in Ohio. I just love the fans and I love the atmosphere and I had a great experience."

Although he pledged his allegiance to Ohio State, Worthington said he does intend to visit other schools before he signs with the Buckeyes.

"I want to visit other places just to go look at other schools," he said. "I'm as solid as I can be for Ohio State. I love the school, I love the coaching staff and the program and there's no way that I can be talked out of it or go to any other school.

"So I'm going to look at some other schools with my father, he wants me to do that for him. It's something he didn't do and he wishes he would have did it. But I feel that Ohio State is the school for me and that's the school that I'm going to go to."

However there's no official visits set for Worthington as of yet, including one with Ohio State.

"I'm going to go take a couple of official visits, not too many, but I'll still take my official visit at Ohio State and I'm solid with Ohio State," he said. "I'm a blessed kid with the situation and the opportunity that I've been put in to. So I'm just going to go look at these other schools for my dad's sake and for my sake as well to be honest with you.

"Ohio State is going through a couple of problems but I know they going to weather the storm and be clean for the next couple of years and be able to win some Bowl games with me and some other players. We've got a great recruiting class coming in and I'm just looking forward to the whole situation and the whole opportunity at Ohio State."

The Maurice Clarett accusations first came to light for Worthington while he was preparing for his championship game. During a local media session prior to the contest, Worthington actually had to ask the reporter what he was referring to when the reporter asked him what his thoughts were at that time about Ohio State in light of the Clarett revelations that particular day.

"I'm not too concerned about it because I know everything that happened has already been investigated," said Worthington as he touched on the Clarett situation. "I don't know why Maurice Clarett did what he did, maybe he tried to get back at the school for not catering to his needs, but I'm not really worried about it at all."

And the 6-4 record this year at Ohio State doesn't concern him neither.

"Ohio State has a great program and they're going to be over .500 each year," Worthington said. "Jim Tressel can't do it every year and then they year that he doesn't do it everybody looks at it like ‘wow he's not having a huge year and he might get fired or something.' But I know he's a great coach with a great program and he's going to build it back up and do whatever he has to do.

"I'm very excited to come and play for the man because I know he's an honest man and he's a hard working guy who's going to help take me where I need to be. So I do want to come in and make a big difference and do what I have to do to be able to help us win some BCS Bowls and even another national championship."

And from all indications, Worthington, who played tight end on offense this past year, will have his first chance to make a difference for the Buckeyes on the defensive side of the ball.

"Most definitely it'll be on defense," he said. "I've got stone hands so I know they're not about to put me at tight end. But maybe, I'm growing still - I'm probably like 6-7 ½, I might grow into a left tackle or right tackle on offense but other than that I don't feel that I'll play any place else."

Worthington doesn't have any school on Friday and so he'll make his way to Columbus that day for an unofficial visit to the Ohio State-Michigan game.

"I want to hook up with big (Alex) Boone and big Rob (Schoenhoft) and see when they're going to take their official visit so I can take it with them," he said. "So I'll be coming down for the game now and then take an official visit later on."

In the meantime, Worthington is playing basketball for his school and he's working out with a personal trainer.

"It's hard. I've got some long and hectic days but it's going to pay off in the long run," Worthington said. "Plus I want to win a championship in basketball for my team because it hasn't happened in a long time. So I owe it not just to myself but also my teammates."

After hearing the dirty words and accusations pouring out from the Clarett camp and ESPN over the past week and half, it's really refreshing to hear Worthington acknowledge a perceived debt to his teammates instead of thinking about himself.

"Have a blessed day," he said as the interview ended. "Go Bucks!"

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