Quarterback Rob Schoenhoft returned from his official visit to Ohio State Sunday.
"It was unbelievable," Schoenhoft said. "It was a really good time and it opened my eyes to all the fun I'm going to have with all the guys. The guys they have right now and the class I'm going to be in."
The 6-5, 235-pound Schoenhoft spent time with several current and future Buckeyes on his visit.
"I hung out a lot with Rory Nicol, Chad (Hoobler) the linebacker, Steve Rehring, those were the three main guys," he said. "And then the incoming guys, people in my class, were, James (Laurinaitis) the linebacker from Minnesota, who, committed, probably. And Austin Spitler and Todd Denlinger. We all hung out a lot."
Laurinaitis will be a member of the 2005 class?
"Yeah, I'm pretty sure James is in," Schoenhoft said. "His dad was a professional wrestler for WCW."
Schoenhoft had been to OSU several times, but was still able to take away some new things from his official visit. He especially enjoying spending time with starting quarterback Troy Smith.
"I really got some good insight from the players," Schoenhoft said. "There were little things where the players would talk to us, without the coaches. I learned a lot from Troy, just listening to him and how well spoken he is. I just kind of learned that I'm going to have to grow a lot and I'm lucky enough to have a great quarterback and a great guy like Troy to learn under. So, I just picked up some stuff on what it's going to be like."
It's interesting to hear Schoenhoft talk about Smith in those terms. Entering the 2004 season, Justin Zwick was OSU's starter and Smith was just battling for time. Now, Smith is the man and everyone knows it.
Schoenhoft watched OSU's quarterback situation from afar this season, wondering how things would turn out between Smith and Zwick.
"You know, from the beginning, you could tell that there was stuff going on in Troy's head," Schoenhoft said. "You know, like he said before, he thought he should get a chance. But, I think some people wrote a little bit too much about what he said and took it to a different level.
"Justin is a great guy. I met him too. You can tell he's a leader, and so is Troy. I've always seen that with Troy, just the leadership ability. Even when he wasn't playing, he just had this look on his face and he was so focused. He gives 100 percent in everything that he does. He just seems like a really great guy and I'm just really excited to learn under him and get better because of him. That game he had against Michigan, that was something else."
Schoenhoft was in Ohio Stadium for the first half of OSU's 37-21 victory over UM.
"Yeah, I was just there for a half," he said. "I had to get back for a basketball scrimmage that night. I listened to the game on the radio on the way back. Even when I left and the score was whatever it was at halftime (20-14), I thought Ohio State was going to win. They pretty much dominated the game in the first half, so I had a pretty good idea they were going to win walking out of that place. I expected a run from Michigan and they made a little run, but give it to Ohio State's defense for stopping Braylon Edwards who is one of the best receivers in the nation.
"But when I heard Teddy Ginn's punt return, I definitely thought that was it. I knew Ohio State had it."
Like Zwick three years ago, Schoenhoft often calls OSU recruits to try and persuade them into signing with the Buckeyes.
"I call Rico McCoy, James McKinney and Maurice Wells," he said. "Those are the three main guys I call. I've slowed down a little bit on James McKinney because I think he's pretty sure he's going somewhere else. But I think we've got a really, really good chance of getting Rico McCoy and Maurice Wells. So, those two right there are my big projects, and I'm pretty sure we'll land both of them."