Worthington Reflects On OSU Visit

Athol Springs (N.Y.) St. Francis defensive end Doug Worthington made his official visit to Ohio State this weekend. What is his status now and will he make visits elsewhere as a result of this trip? Click here for the skinny.

Doug Worthington says he's firmly committed to Ohio State, but still intends to take visits to other schools.

The 6-7, 260-pound defensive end took his official visit to OSU last weekend and enjoyed the experience.

"It was phenomenal," Worthington said. "It was great. It was the best experience of my life. Going down there and having fun with the kids and bonding with the players, it felt so close.

"It felt like family – like I had played with these guys for a few years. And then I realized, when I sat back, that these guys are my future teammates and that was real fun. So, I had a good time. I chilled with Alex (Boone) a lot. I was down there with Andre Mathis, I was down there with Rico (McCoy) from Washington D.C and we just all chilled and had a great time."

Worthington's host was sophomore defensive end Jay Richardson.

"He's a great player," Worthington said. "He's a great player, but he's an upfront guy. He tells me how it goes down, what are the real things that happen at Ohio State. He just told me about (OSU defensive line coach Jim) Heacock and a couple stories that he had. He told me nothing but good things. He was real honest and I believe what he said. There was no bull about it.

"But I just went down and had a little fun going to their house and playing video games, and then we went to a couple parties and stuff. It was real fun. It was real interesting and a good couple of days. I wish I could have stayed longer."

Worthington – the No. 4 defensive end prospect in the nation, according to Scout.com – has his sights set on early playing time at OSU. But he understands college football and knows a lot of good players redshirt.

"They do need somebody to come in and help, they're hurting a little bit at the (defensive end) spot, but they do have good players there," Worthington said. "But the simple fact is that wherever I go I want to be able to compete and if they think that I'm ready to come in there as a freshman and get a good amount of playing time, then I'm ready. If not, I'll redshirt and do what they want to do. But, they're going to pay for my tuition, so I'm going to do what they tell me. If they tell me to go to quarterback because they want to see me hold a clipboard for four years, that's fine with me.

"But the simple fact is that Coach Heacock has a beautiful scheme and beautiful plans for me. He always tells me the things that he thinks I'm athletic enough to do. He says we can do some of the same things that Will Smith used to do. But, I'm ready to do it and step in as quick as I can, but if I'm not ready then I know I'm going to take that backseat and let these players play. Because they do have a couple good guys in there and they've put their dues in. So, when I come down there, I'm just going to compete and start working my butt off, and if I can get in that condition for Division I ball then I'll definitely play some."

Worthington is sold on the Buckeyes. But since the recruiting experience is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, he has decided to take a few other visits.

"I'm going to take visits," he said. "The experience I had at Ohio State was great – it couldn't have gone better – but I still want to look at the other schools a little bit. I'm doing it most for my father. He used to play basketball for Colorado in the late 70's. His name is also Doug Worthington, but I'm not a junior, we have different middle names. He just told me that he had a fun time with his visits and things like that.

"He committed like I committed and still went to that school, but took a few other visits just to have fun. He just said that it's a unique experience to see other things and see what other schools have to offer. So, when you're done and you look back, you can say that was the right thing that you wanted to do. So, I'm definitely going to take a couple other visits.

"I'm going to Wisconsin Dec. 17, Florida Jan. 7, Boston College Jan. 21 and that's probably it. Those are some schools that I like and I want to visit, but I'm a solid commitment with Ohio State.

"I love Alex Boone and Rob (Schoenhoft) and (Todd) Denlinger. We just have a great recruiting class and I'm just looking forward to it a lot.

"I'm hoping nothing happens with the Maurice Clarett incident, but if something does happen I'm going to look back and see what I have to do. But I feel that Ohio State is the place for me. Just looking at how much they have going into that program and all the people, the good people that they have, is just … how can you say no to it?"

Worthington is a starter on the basketball team at St. Francis High School in Athol Springs, N.Y. He says he can dunk on his father with ease, but doesn't want to play him in H-O-R-S-E.

"My hops are there," he said. "I can get up on him. His legs aren't there anymore. But he can shoot my lights out. We actually just started basketball season, but we lost our first game."

Worthington does not play any sports other than football and basketball.

"I work out with the track team just to improve my speed," he said. "I'm going to try to do it a lot more this year; I'm going to do a lot of speed training that will help with football and a lot of working out."

Worthington won't graduate high school early, but intends to get to Ohio State sometime in early summer.

"I'm going to get there early as possible," he said. "I'm not going to be able to do what Boone's doing and get there early because my school doesn't allow it and they've never had that happen before. But I think I can come in a little bit earlier than some people because we do graduate in the second week of May.

"So, I might get to Columbus about a month and a half ahead of time and just stay with (OSU offensive lineman) Kyle Mitchum, who's a good friend of mine. He persuaded me a little bit in the first place to come down to Ohio State and one of the reasons I committed was because he told me how good it was. So, I'll probably be staying down there, give him a little rent money and buy my meals and stay down there for a couple months until camp starts."

Worthington says his grades and test scores are squared away.

"I've got a GPA of 2.7 and a 980 SAT and I think I'm done with the (NCAA) clearinghouse," he said. "All my core classes are good. I just want to finish out my senior year strong.

"I'm going to probably major in marketing or communications, but I know when I go to college I'll see other things I want to look at also."

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