Gwaltney Faces Tough Decision

It turns out that running back Jason Gwaltney of North Babylon, N.Y. is still on his trip to Central Florida, but he was able to share some quick thoughts with Kyle Lamb a short time ago. Gwaltney faces a tough final choice and will be making his announcement at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Jason Gwaltney is a good football player. But, if multi-tasking is indicative of business skills, perhaps he should enter a career in the entrepreneur arena after he's finished with his football career.

Speaking from Orlando, Fla. on an official visit to Central Florida, Gwaltney updated Bucknuts early Sunday evening with the latest in what has become suddenly an interesting recruitment.

"It's been really fun so far," he said on his cell phone during his visit this evening. "We're just all hanging out right now and relaxing."

Gwaltney, a 5-11 235-pound bruising running back from North Babylon, N.Y. is currently committed to the West Virginia Mountaineers with his stepbrother, Scooter Berry. However, Gwaltney and Berry, a 2-star linebacker, have decided to look around a little further.

Faced with a lot of tough decisions coming up, Gwaltney has already visited Ohio State officially the last weekend in October, a visit that still weighs heavily on his mind.

"That was a real good visit," he recalled.

Ohio State is extremely thin at the running back position, and the Buckeyes have apparently made Gwaltney their focus for a powerful running back in a plan set into motion to recruit one speed back, and one strong back.

The Buckeyes' top quick back priority, Maurice Wells, will choose next month between Ohio State and Georgia Tech. Meanwhile, they continue to go after Gwaltney with all their might.

This past week, Darrell Hazell, the Ohio State wide receivers coach and man responsible for individually recruiting Gwaltney, paid him an in-home visit.

"That went real well," Gwaltney said. "He is really down to earth."

The process will only get tougher from here for Gwaltney, who rushed for 2,377 yards and 37 touchdowns this season for North Babylon this season. Two weeks from now, Gwaltney will take off to the west coast, where he will take an official visit to USC on December 17th.

Concluding his official visits, Gwaltney will take another look at West Virginia on January 8th, before announcing his final choice on national television at the U.S. Army High School All-American game in San Antonio, Tex. on January 15th.

Making a prompt, concise decision is tough for any seasoned businessman, but Gwaltney is just in high school.

"I'm telling you, it's going to be hard. It's going to be real hard," he said of his final decision. "I'm visiting some of the top teams in the nation. It's going to be a tough decision for me."

That decision was once a thing of finality for Gwaltney, when he and his brother, Berry, decided West Virginia was the place for them. But things have changed a bit for the pair that at one time, called themselves a package deal.

While Gwaltney will wrap up with visits to USC and West Virginia, Berry will check out Pittsburgh, Connecticut, and West Virginia.

Will the two still end up at West Virginia together?

"I don't know," Gwaltney said. "We're just trying to do what's best for each of us. We both want to see each other succeed in life and on the field."

What's best for Berry is unknown, but Gwaltney has an idea of what's best for him. He didn't hesitate to name the most important factor when it is time to cut his list to just one.

"My bond with the coaches," he said. "How I fit in with the coaches and the people and players around there."

The decision is likely to come down to West Virginia, Ohio State, and USC. Things are only likely to be even more complicated for Gwaltney after his visit to Los Angeles.

But what it is that has impressed Gwaltney the most about Ohio State?

"The coaching staff," he said. "Most definitely the coaching staff."

He's quite a balancing act with taking phone calls, making visits, and doing his school work, but in about a month there won't be any multi-tasking-Gwaltney will have to pick a school and only one school.

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