Worthington Set To Sign With OSU

Athol Springs (N.Y) defensive end Doug Worthington has been an OSU verbal commitment for months. But by continuing to take other visits, he has kept everyone on the edge of their seats. Worthington will make his official announcement on Feb. 2 and says he will sign with Ohio State.

Defensive end Doug Worthington of Athol Springs (N.Y.) will take one more visit this weekend, but says he will definitely commit to Ohio State next week.

"I am going to visit Boston College this weekend," Worthington said.

The 6-7, 257-pound Worthington has scheduled a press conference at his school on National Letter of Intent day – Feb. 2.

"Yeah, it's just to sign with Ohio State, that's about it," Worthington said.

Although he has been verbally committed for months, Ohio State's coaches have continued to call Worthington on a regular basis.

"They call a couple times a week – as much as they can," Worthington said. "We keep in contact with e-mails and leaving messages. We've kept in good contact."

Worthington is being recruited by quarterbacks coach Joe Daniels. No, Worthington doesn't have any dreams of throwing passes in Ohio Stadium. Daniels is the point man on all of Pennsylvania and western New York.

But Worthington also keeps in contact with OSU defensive line coach Jim Heacock and head coach Jim Tressel.

"Coach Daniels usually calls me the most," Worthington said. "Coach Heacock as well, and Coach Tressel will call once in a blue moon. But mostly Coach Daniels. I usually talk to him at least once a week."

The entire crew will be making an in-house visit with Worthington Wednesday.

"They're coming in tomorrow," Worthington said. "Coach Heacock, Coach Daniels and Coach Tressel are all coming.

"I'm looking forward to it. I feel like I know all those guys well, but it will be nice to have them here and just sit down and talk and get to know each other even better. Talk about being a Buckeye, the things they expect out of me, everything."

Although he says he's a solid commitment to OSU, Worthington still receives plenty of calls from other coaches.

"Yeah, they're calling quite a bit," he said. "Alabama called as much as they can. Florida does also. And Wisconsin. They all call occasionally."

What does Worthington tell them? Does he say there is still an outside shot he will sign with a school other than Ohio State?

"Not really," he said. "They're just still trying to sell me and you listen to what they have to say. But I came to the visits and I told some of them that I liked it, but they know that I'm solid with Ohio State and if nothing happens before Feb. 2, I'm going there."

Worthington will not graduate high school early, therefore he will not participate in OSU's spring practices. However, he does plan on moving to Columbus sometime early in the summer.

"Yeah, a little bit early," he said. "I'm probably going to stay with (OSU offensive lineman) Kyle Mitchum for a little bit. Me and him know each other because we played against each other last year. We kept in contact knowing he was going to Ohio State, so I'll probably stay down there, pay my little rent and work out with them and then go enroll in summer school."

Worthington is looking forward to making Columbus his home. And what's not to like when there is a Columbus suburb named Worthington?

"Yeah, you gotta like that," Worthington said. "When I came down to the Ohio State camp, I saw a sign that said: Worthington next right. I told the coaches they needed to give me directions so I could check it out. It's pretty neat. I had Worthington on the back of my jersey and some people were coming up to me and saying, ‘I live out there.' It's a nice little joke I guess."

And when Worthington's friends and family come to watch him play, he can tell them that they've already named a city after him.

"Yeah, I don't know if they'll believe me though," he said.

It's early to make an assessment on what position will be best for Worthington in college, but he was asked if he could possibly grow into a defensive tackle in a few years. Ohio State has more of a need for defensive ends, but Worthington's frame suggests that he might be better suited for the interior.

"Yeah, it's early to say that," he said. "I'm like 250-something right now, I've got a good frame. I think it's the kind where I could add a lot of weight on. But, I've never been through a winter without playing basketball. That's usually when I lose a lot of weight. So, who knows. I could end up at tackle, or end, but right now I look at myself as a big end."

Worthington – currently rated as the No. 3 defensive end prospect in the nation by Scout.com – had 72 tackles, four sacks and 21 quarterback pressures as a senior at St. Francis High School. As a junior, he had 72 tackles, seven sacks and 12 pressures.

"We went 8-2 and won our league championship this year," Worthington said. "We lost to St. Xavier and McDowell from Erie, Pennsylvania. We went No. 1 in western New York and we finished up fourth in the state, something like that."

But Worthington's team did not play for a state championship.

"The Catholic schools, and I go to a Catholic school, they don't allow us to go to state," he said.

Worthington is also one of the top prep basketball players in the Buffalo area.

"Basketball is going pretty well," he said. "We're 8-6, so we're doing better than we did last year."

Worthington leads his team with averages of 18 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks per game.

Sounds like a good backup for OSU's Terence Dials. The Buckeyes could use some muscle off the bench.

"Ha, I considered playing college basketball, but never all that seriously," Worthington said. "Early on, Ball State, Rider and a few other D-I schools were giving me some letters for basketball, but once I made it clear I was playing football, the basketball letters stopped."

With just a week left before signing day, most recruits will be happy to get all of this over with. But Worthington says the recruiting season hasn't been that bad for him. He has to endure the occasional call from nosey reporters, but other than that he's enjoyed it.

"No, it's been all right," he said. "Certain times there are days when everybody wants to call you, but it's not bad at all. I know the business end of it and it's kind of fun to participate."

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