When A.J. Edds of Greenwood Community High School and Greenwood, IN left Ohio State after participating in their one-day senior camp last Saturday, he felt pretty good about both his performance there and his possible chances to get offered a football scholarship.
On Monday evening, Edds got in contact with the OSU coaching staff.
"They did not offer me a scholarship. I had felt like they might offer but I wasn't sure and as it turns out they did not," Edds said by telephone on Monday evening. "It does not totally remove Ohio State from my list but obviously they won't be one of my top schools. Right now all of the schools on my short list have all offered me a scholarship."
Currently Edds boasts offers from Boston College, Stanford, Kentucky, Louisville, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Illinois, Purdue and Iowa. Out of those nine offers on the table, Iowa, Purdue and Georgia Tech are the three schools that are on his short list at this.
Edds came to Ohio State's camp with high expectations and he gave it his best effort but, at least for now, it didn't work out.
"My mind set going in was to go out there and hustle through every drill and make sure you finish through the line and do the little things that kind of catch the coaches eye," he said. "And then knowing it was going to be a long day, with the huge number of kids at the kids at the camp, I wanted to make sure I upheld that effort at the end when guys are dogging it a little bit. I just tried to do anything I could to try to catch the coaches eye and try to spark the level of interest there.
"I think I pretty much fulfilled everything that I told myself that I wanted to do. I performed pretty well in the drills and I tried to be really coachable and grasp what they would tell me and try to implement that the next time I would go through the same drill. So I think I did pretty well all in all. I think I performed just as well at Ohio State as I did at some of the other places."
Notre Dame, a school that Edds hasn't camped at, is conspicuously absent from his list right now. Being from Indiana, Edds admittedly was very high on the Irish program at one point.
"Growing up, I think that every kid is a Notre Dame fan because of the heritage and the history and the tradition that goes along with it," Edds said. "Initially, heading into my junior year before Coach Willingham was fired they were recruiting me as hard as anybody at that point. And then as the new staff came in they sort of wiped the slated clean and started anew. I was obviously still being recruited but I never felt that the level of recruitment from Notre Dame was ever quite the same as an Ohio State or a Purdue or an Iowa or some of the schools that are pretty serious about me or some of the schools that offered me."
But Edds hasn't officially eliminated Notre Dame from consideration at this point.
"I would say if anything would happen and there would be an offer, then there might be a spark of interest," he said. "But a really important thing for me is being in the right fit and having the right feel for everything, and under the new staff at Notre Dame they've never expressed a big interest in me and I just felt like the recruitment was not quite there.
"So I wouldn't say the door is totally closed (with ND) but the likelihood that they'll be in the top four of five real quick is not real good if there would not be an immediate offer. By the start of football season I want to have it down to two or three and if somebody comes in and offers late like that, I don't see there being a great possibility for them to get on to my short list."
Wherever he does go, Edds knows that he'll have to add some bulk to his rangy 6-4, 217 pound frame before he's likely to earn some major playing time.
"All the schools that I have on my list all have great players and they're all going to have great players. I realize, especially at linebacker, you can't come in and play as a freshman unless you're just one of the best in the country, one of thee best, especially physically," he said. "You just can't come in and physically be ready to play as a linebacker in your freshman year unless you pack on the pounds a little bit and get a little stronger. I realize that I'm not going to be able to play real early anywhere I go at the linebacker position."
A three-year starter in high school already, Edds started out on the outside at linebacker and eventually moved into the middle on defense.
"My whole freshman year I played outside linebacker and half of my sophomore year I played outside," Edds said. "Our inside guy went down with a bad knee about half way through that season and they moved me to inside. I really didn't have any idea what I was doing initially, I just kind of flew to the ball. And in my junior year I played all inside and I had a better awareness and a better feeling of how to play the position last year."
And at the college level, the versatile Edds, who also plays varsity basketball and competes in both of the hurdle events and runs in the 4X100 and 4X400 in track, thinks he'll eventually grow into a Mike linebacker but he may just have to start out on the outside at the Sam linebacker position, if he indeed plays on the defensive side of the ball.
"Some schools are recruiting me as a tight end because of the way they use their tight ends and split them out almost like a slot guy and I catch the ball pretty well. For my size and my speed, I catch the ball and get up the field pretty well," said Edds who caught 29 passes for 550 yards last season. "But I'm going to be an outside backer, I'll be a Sam linebacker at the next level, if I go to a school that is recruiting me as a linebacker. Eventually I'll get up to 230 and pack the strength on and, from what they're telling me, inside backer is definitely in my future. And some people have even said that I might grow into a defensive end. So I'll start on the outside at linebacker and see where the speed and the power and the strength take me from there."
And to add to his overall appeal, Edds has been a long-snapper since the very beginning of his freshman year.
"Being a long-snapper has definitely boosted my recruitment, a lot of coaches don't even realize that when I talk to them on the phone," Edds said. "When I tell them I also long-snap that kind of catches a few of them off guard."
But Edds tells all those same recruiters the same thing when they ask him at what position he projects himself to play in.
"I'll play whatever they would be needing me to play, in the class that I would be recruited in," he said. "But it'll probably be on defense at linebacker."
Edds, who would like to have his decision made by the middle of the season, has a 3.8 GPA and scored 1190 on the old SAT.