There's a plethora of really good offensive linemen in the 2006 recruiting class in Ohio, and Ryan Palmer of Canton GlenOak High School is one of them. He was very busy making the rounds at the various junior days throughout the month of February hoping to make a favorable impression on someone.
"Everything is going real good. I'm getting recruited by a lot of Big Ten schools," said Palmer about his recruiting experience thus far. "I'm getting recruited by Ohio State, Michigan, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Boston College, and a bunch of other schools. I'm having a lot of fun going to junior days and seeing a part of the tradition that other schools have."
Palmer attended the junior days of Ohio State, Michigan, Purdue and Notre Dame.
"They were all about the same for me," he said. "I think they all have great facilities, great locker rooms and great coaches."
Include Pittsburgh with that group of four and you have Palmer's top five schools at this early stage of the recruiting season.
"I'm going down to a spring practice at Pittsburgh on the 19th," he said. "I couldn't go to their junior day because I was at Purdue at the time."
Like his Golden Eagle teammate, Mike Hartline, Ohio State is a school that Palmer is very interested in.
"Of course, I love the coaching at Ohio State and the great tradition they have," Palmer said. "I love Jim Bollman, the offensive line coach, he talks with me like he's my best friend. He's a great guy."
The Buckeyes, however, have already extended scholarship offers to three offensive linemen in Ohio for next season and Palmer isn't one of them.
"That doesn't really bother me right now," Palmer said. "I know there's a lot of kids out there and there's a lot of competition, and I have a lot of schools looking at me."
Standing at 6' 7" tall and weighing 280 pounds, Palmer started on the offensive line for the first time last season at guard, and he'll likely play there again in his senior season. But that might not necessarily where he'll play at on the next level.
"I've been told many times that I'll be a tackle since I have great feet and I'm quick, and I have long arms and I can get to those defensive guys that blitz off the end," said Palmer who will play on both sides of the ball this coming year on offense at left guard, and he'll be a regular for the first time on defense at end as well. "But I've been told that I'll probably be a tackle in college."
He certainly looks the part when you seen him perform on the gridiron, but Palmer knows that he is still a work in progress.
"I have good size of course, and I run pretty well," he said. "The only thing I have to work on is probably my strength; that's probably my only weakness. I'm alright with that, but I'll probably get a lot stronger along the way."
He intends to be a regular on the camp tour this spring and summer.
"I'm going to the Nike camp in April at Penn State and I'm going to the Adidas camp in Pittsburgh," Palmer said. "And I'm going to a lot of senior camps at places like Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame and Pittsburgh."
Last year at Ohio State's summer camp, Palmer ran a 5.2 second 40-yard dash, and he knows that he'll improve on that number this year.
"I've gotten a lot quicker since then," said Palmer who played center on his school's basketball team this winter. "My goal is to run a 4.9 this year."
Palmer thinks his team has the talent this year to go even deeper into the playoffs last season. GlenOak has been turning out some top Division I talent on a regular basis over the recent years and this team, led by Hartline under center, could possibly be their best one yet.
"I can't wait. We're going to be really good, I think, with me and Mike getting recruited for Division I," he said. "And our senior class is really good and we're really athletic. I just can't wait."
Although Palmer would love to go to Ohio State if things would work out that way, he knows that he has to be patient and perform to the best of his ability and let the chips fall where they may.
"I always wanted to be a Buckeye and that's my dream, so I'll just wait and see. That's probably my top school out of my top four or top five," he said. "But if it don't work out that way, I'll just move on to different schools and see what else is going on."
In the mean time, he's really looking forward to playing with Hartline in his senior season.
"Mike is definitely a top-five quarterback, I think. He's amazing," he said. "He has a great arm and he runs well, and he's lifting weights too, so he's going to be a lot stronger than last year."
Up to this time, Palmer has no scholarship offers to report. He carries and 3.2 core GPA and has yet to take either of the two entrance exams.