Sledge Considering Buckeyes

Apopka, Fla. wide receiver Eric Sledge is about ready to hammer out a decision on where he will play in college. He is considering Ohio State, but the Buckeyes will have to battle four southern schools for his services. We caught up with Sledge for the latest.

Wide receiver Eric Sledge of Apopka, Fla., will make an official visit to Ohio State Jan. 21-23.

"I'm looking forward to going up there," Sledge said. "I'm excited to see what it's all about."

The 6-3, 200-pound Sledge was a two-way performer at Apopka Senior High School, but will likely concentrate on offense in college.

"I'll probably end up at wideout, because I'm real big and fast," Sledge said. "That's where most of the schools want me."

Sledge entered his senior season at 185 pounds, but has bulked up quite a bit.

"Just between Thanksgiving and Christmas break, during the whole period, I put on 10 pounds," he said.

Was that from his mother's leftover turkey, or was he just pumping some extra iron in the weight room?

"Nah, no turkey, just seafood. Everything I eat is seafood," he said. "But I put on that weight from being in the weight room. I've got a personal trainer. I've been training hard. It's muscle, not fat."

Wide receiver isn't a huge need for Ohio State, but the OSU coaches would like to land one more WR in this class. Sledge was asked if OSU has been with him all along, or if this is something that popped up recently.

"I've been interested in Ohio State all along," he said. "They've been with me since the beginning. The department stuck with me."

Sledge is also considering Louisville, South Carolina, Florida and N.C. State.

He visited Louisville last weekend and will visit South Carolina this weekend.

"I liked it up at Louisville," Sledge said. "It was a good time."

He will also visit Florida Jan. 28.

As for Ohio State's chances of landing Sledge, he says he is keeping all of his options open.

"I don't really know much about Ohio State now," he said. "But I know they won a national championship a couple years back, and they have a great coaching staff. Good people. That's about all I can tell you right now. I will get to learn a lot more about Ohio State on my visit. I've heard good things."

Will Sledge wait until signing day (Feb. 2) to make his decision?

"That I'm still debating on," he said. "I've seen some very nice facilities, but I haven't had that one that really knocked me off my feet and really give me that instinct. If Ohio State gives me a really good feeling on my visit, I'll commit."

Although Sledge is projected as a wide receiver, he was strictly a safety for his first three years of prep ball.

"I was a defensive player for four years," he said. "I only played offense my senior year. This was my only year high school-wise playing wide receiver.

"We were a running team. I had 15 catches out of 17 throws to me, for over 300 yards and five touchdowns.

"Defensively, had a great year. They cancelled three games due to the hurricanes, so instead of a 10-game season, we only had a seven-game regular season. But we went to the third round of the playoffs, so it ended up being like a regular 10-game season for us.

"I had between 75 and 80 tackles this year. I had four interceptions, two of which were taken back to the house. And I had four fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles."

It sounds like Sledge could be a good college safety with his size and speed (4.5 in the 40). Also, there would be plenty of "Sledge lays the hammer" quips.

"I just feel I can get on the field faster at wide receiver," Sledge said. "It's a little easier to learn than defense – especially at safety where you have to see the whole field and know the whole defense. You have to give all the calls to the DBs and everything. You have to know all the checks, know the coverages, what coverages to be in. It's a lot harder than offense, just go out there and you see the defense set up and you check your route and run your route. So, I feel I can get on the field way faster at wide receiver than I would probably at DB. I could get on the field with my talent-wise at DB, but I think wideout is best for me."

Sledge mentioned that the name "Ted Ginn" comes to mind when anyone mentions Ohio State.

"I watched him play last year in the (Army) All-American Bowl and he stood out there, and caught a few of Ohio State's games on TV this year and he stood out there," Sledge said. "He's a good ballplayer."

Sledge did not get a chance to see much of Ohio State's 33-7 win over Oklahoma State in the Alamo Bowl.

"I got to watch a little bit of it," he said. "I was working, so I was in the break room trying to check that."

Buckeye Sports Top Stories