Wells Officially Selects OSU Over Georgia Tech

Maurice Wells didn't have much of an impact in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl game on Saturday, getting only two carries, but what he did as the game got underway certainly impacted the 2005 recruiting class of Ohio State as he officially chose to attend OSU over Georgia Tech in front of nationally televised audience.

The U.S. Army All-American Bowl game couldn't have started in a better way then it did for Ohio State fans who were tuning in to watch the all-star contest on NBC.

Maurice Wells from Sandalwood High School in Jacksonville, Florida was the first of many players performing in the game who would announce their verbal commitment to the school of their choice at some point during the game.

At the very outset of the game in front of a nationally televised audience, Wells put his hand in the bag sitting on the table and pulled out a hat with OSU's logo on it.

"Actually I've been committed to Ohio State for a long time now, since November around Thanksgiving time," Wells said. "I found on my official visit that it was the right place for me. It seemed like a good fit and I didn't want to pass up an opportunity like that."

For the longest time, Wells has publicly stated that he would choose between Ohio State and Georgia Tech and would list positive attributes about both schools when questioned. But Ohio State was the school that was after him the longest and most aggressive of them all.

"Ohio State showed me the most love. It seemed that they wanted me the most," Wells said. "Coach Tressel came to my house and he was one of the first head coaches to come. They came to my school a lot and they called me often but they didn't bug me too much. They seemed like they really showed interest me and showed me that they really wanted me."

And Wells was more than interested in the Buckeyes when they first came calling.

"I've always liked Ohio State, they're always a good team," he said. "They just came off the national championship when they first started recruiting me so I was definitely up on them. I didn't know that I was going to end up there but I've been liking the school for a long time."

Despite being one of the top-rated running backs in not only his home state but in the entire country as well, it wasn't actually very hard for him to leave the Sunshine state since the Florida schools were relatively late coming to the table.

"I was kind of thinking about them at first until I started to go on my visits and I realized that Ohio State was the place for me," Well said. "So I decided to stick with that."

Although Georgia Tech would have kept him closer to home in Florida, Ohio State makes him feel more like he's at home between the two schools.

"Leaving Florida is like leaving for home because I my family is in Columbus," Wells said. "It's more like if I go to Columbus I'm more like I'm coming home. But I never looked at it like that."

Early playing time is also another consideration that Wells viewed favorably when selecting Ohio State.

"They're only coming back with two running backs and they want to get two this year so that leaves it open for me," Wells said. "I think it's a great opportunity that I really couldn't pass up."

After getting the game off to such an auspicious start for the 5-10, 185 running back by committing to Ohio State, the rest of the All-American game didn't fare so well for Wells. He had just a couple of carries in the entire ball game and wasn't really happy about it afterwards

"We threw the ball a lot and I didn't get many opportunities to come in and run the ball," Wells said. "Since I've been here I don't think I was shown the love that I think I deserve. I worked hard in practice all week and come in and get two carries in the whole game."

But he was excited to be a part of the week in general, despite the not-so-pleasant outcome in the game.

"It was definitely fun playing with these great players to see how you measure up with the rest of the country," Wells said. "These are the top prospects in all of America and I definitely had fun with that."

And Wells is looking forward to having many more fun times at Ohio State now that he's officially committed to being a Buckeye.

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