Worthington Remains Committed to OSU

Defensive end prospect Doug Worthington continues to make Ohio State fans nervous by taking other visits, but he assures Bucknuts.com that he is a solid commitment to the Buckeyes. Here is the latest.

Defensive end Doug Worthington of Athol Springs, NY, says he is still a solid verbal commitment to Ohio State, but intends to visit other schools in the coming weeks.

The 6-7, 252-pound Worthington didn't see much of the Buckeyes' 33-7 victory over Oklahoma State in the Alamo Bowl.

"I just watched the fourth quarter," Worthington said. "I had a basketball game that day, so I came and watched the end of it. The defense just looked phenomenal and I heard it was even better the rest of the game. I wish I could get a tape. I might just ask for a tape of the game. I wanted to see the whole game, but I didn't get a chance to. But it was awesome to win like that."

Oklahoma State was actually favored to win the game. Was Worthington surprised to arrive home and see Ohio State winning by so much?

"Nah, not surprised, just happy," he said. "I'm happy that they've proven they can do it. A lot of people thought they weren't going to do it because (Troy) Smith was out, but (Justin) Zwick came up and he played ball. That's Ohio State football. I knew they were going to pound them. I didn't know they were going to beat them that bad, but I knew they were going to come out with a victory. But, it was a great win for the program. A great Alamo Bowl."

Ohio State's defensive line had its best game of the season against the Cowboys and Worthington looks forward to joining the group.

"Coach (Jim) Heacock has a great defensive line," Worthington said. "I met all the defensive linemen and they're a family. They have a goal and they set it and I guess they went out and did it that game. So, anytime you can do that to a team – make them one-dimensional – you're going to obviously win the game if your offense is doing what they have to do. But, Ohio State is known for defense with the linebackers and all that. So, it will be great when I get down there. Keep all the tradition and things like that."

Ohio State's coaches did not get a chance to call Worthington from San Antonio. "They sent letters," Worthington said. "I didn't get no calls, they were down there in their little zone. And if I did get a call, I probably didn't catch it because I was out and about being out of school and stuff."

Ohio State's coaches keep in close contact with their prize DE recruit.

"They usually call me once a week," Worthington said. "They called just before they went down to the bowl game. I think they'll call me either (Sunday) or (Monday). They usually call me early in the week just to see how I'm doing, and I try and get back with them throughout the week just to see how things are going, and check in, almost."

Worthington has two visits scheduled that he will definitely take: Alabama Jan. 7, and Florida Jan. 14-15.

He also has a visit scheduled to Boston College Jan. 21, but isn't sure if he will make it. "Yeah, I might," Worthington said. "It depends on how I feel. I want to make trips, and I don't. But, it's something that I told my dad I will do."

So, does Worthington really consider himself a solid verbal to OSU even though he's taking visits?

"I know everything is saying I'm a soft (verbal) because I guess you have to when I take visits," he said. "But, I'm solid to Ohio State. As long as nothing happens before Feb. 2, I'm there."

Worthington gave his verbal commitment to OSU months ago over the phone.

"Yeah, I verbally committed at a dinner with my (high school) coaches and stuff, because I told them I was ready," he said. "So, they had a little dinner and stuff at this big restaurant around here. So, I called them and told them and all that good stuff.

"I talked to Coach Tressel directly and told him. And then about an hour later (OSU quarterbacks coach Joe) Daniels called me for the weekly checkup, and he didn't know I just committed. I told him and it was a big shock to him."

So, Tressel didn't call Daniels right away and tell him Worthington had committed?

"I think what happened was it happened so quickly and he didn't get a chance," Worthington said.

Tressel is known as a cool customer, but he was excited when Worthington announced his intentions.

"He was, he was," Worthington said. "And I told him I was very interested in the program from day one since I got a scholarship (offer) and I wanted to be a Buckeye. He was happy and he just told me to keep going. He told me everything I needed to hear, so that's why I did it."

Worthington says he hopes to play at 265 pounds as a freshman. However, that means a lot of time in the weight room, and a lot of eating.

"Basketball is slimming me down a little bit," Worthington said. "I've lost about 13 pounds. I was up to about 265."

Ohio State has a lot of talent returning on the defensive line. But there could still be plenty of opportunities for Worthington to see the field if he does in fact join the Buckeyes. However, Worthington says he is in no hurry. He is even willing to redshirt if that is what is best.

"I look at it as the coaching staff has been there so long that they'll tell me what I have to do," Worthington said. "They know what I have to do, and they've got a plan for me already before I even come there.

"What I'm going to do is work hard before I get there. As soon as basketball is over, I'm going to get back into everything that I used to do as far as football training. I'm going to do that twice as hard. Just be ready for if I do have to come up and step up and play a lot, or play a little bit, or just be someone to give someone a rest, I'll be able to do that my true freshman year.

"Or, if not, I'll redshirt. I would love to redshirt, but it's something that I see more and more that I'm not going to be able to do that with a program I go to, because I am pretty big. I do got good size and speed. So, whatever they've got for me, I'm ready to do it and I'm blessed to be in the situation I am in."

Worthington has developed a good relationship with OSU's coaches and says he does not think they are concerned that he continues to take visits.

"No, they know. They know how I go," Worthington said. "Actually, Coach Tressel said, ‘Do what your father says.' My father is the one that told me to take my visits and look at other schools and enjoy the whole recruiting process. And Coach Tressel wasn't mad at it at all. He joked, ‘Just don't visit too many Big Ten schools,' and that's why I cut out a lot of them. I visited Wisconsin, but other than that, I'm just doing it for my father. And I'm doing it, too, just in case something does happen to Ohio State, God forbid, that I'm not stuck out in the cold with everything."

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