Wells First In OSU's Class For 2006

Akron Garfield junior running back Chris Wells took note of the fact that Ohio State only signed one running back on Wednesday. Then, after a great experience at Junior Day on Saturday, Wells decided to end the suspense. Click here for more on Ohio's top junior prospect.

When Ohio State only got one running back (Maurice Wells) in its 2005 football recruiting class, the emphasis turned immediately to Akron Garfield junior standout Chris Wells.

The 6-1, 228-pound Wells told Bucknuts.com's Gary Housteau on Wednesday that he was already pondering offers between Ohio State, Michigan and Oklahoma for next year. He said he would likely go through the recruiting process.

But after Wells came down to Columbus for Saturday's Junior Day festivities at Ohio State, his mind was made up.

Wells, the state's top-ranked junior by Ohio High magazine, called the coaching staff earlier today to commit. He becomes the first member of OSU's 2006 recruiting class.

"I came down for Junior Day," Wells told Bucknuts.com. "People who don't know you come up to you and make you feel at home. I was ready to do it last night, but I waited until today.

"I never thought I would fall in love with a school like I fell in love with Ohio State.

"I'm 100 percent sure about Ohio State. I haven't called the other coaches, but I will call them tomorrow and let them know about my decision. I couldn't be happier and my mother couldn't be happier. I couldn't put into words how I am about this decision."

This fall, Maurice Wells will join returning sophomore Antonio Pittman and redshirt freshman Erik Haw as the only tailbacks on the OSU roster. OSU tried but failed to recruit New York standout Jason Gwaltney, who signed with West Virginia.

As a junior, Wells rushed for 1,939 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2004. He averaged 9.1 yards per carry and established himself as one of the top prospects in the nation.

"He had a great season for us," Garfield coach Bob Sax said. "I wouldn't say he exceeded expectations, because we expected him to have a great year. He's a special athlete."

Garfield finished 8-3, including a 27-21 loss to Copley in the first round of the Division II state playoffs. Wells erupted for 237 yards and two scores on 22 carries in his lone postseason game.

In speaking earlier this week, Wells said he is astute enough to know that he is now the object of attention from both fans and college coaching staffs in Ohio and around the country.

"That makes me feel kind of good," said Wells, who won't turn 17 years old until August. "There's no pressure on me at all, I just feel good about the whole situation with recruiting. I like it. I just look at it as positive publicity. I know most people say that it's a pain but I love it."

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