Troutman Weighing His Options

Browns Mills (N.J.) defensive lineman Johnnie Troutman has a scholarship offer on the table from Ohio State and says the Buckeyes are in his top five. Troutman suffered a torn ACL three games into his high school season, but is still considered one of the top defensive prospects in the east. We caught up with Troutman for more on his situation.

Defensive lineman Johnnie Troutman from Pemberton Township High School in Browns Mills (N.J.) is another player from the east on Ohio State's radar.

"They're in my top five," Troutman said of the Buckeyes. "I also like Penn State, Maryland, Virginia and Boston College. All of them have offered."

Troutman (6-5, 280, 4.9) says he does not have a leader at this point.

"They're all pretty equal," he said.

The New Jersey prospect has not scheduled any official visits at this time.

"I will visit Ohio State, I'm just not sure when," he said. "I'm going to set up all my visits through our coaching staff. I haven't taken any visits yet."

Troutman is ranked as the No. 51 defensive lineman in the country by He was all set to enjoy a big senior season, but he suffered a torn ACL in week three and will miss the rest of the season.

"I was doing good until I got hurt," he said. "My team is 3-2 right now. I'm out for the year, but I should be fine in a few months and I'll definitely be ready to go for next college season."

Believe it or not, Troutman was not an interior player in high school. He is athletic for a big man and was used off the edge.

"Yeah, I played defensive end in high school, but I can play both (end and tackle) probably in college," he said.

Here is's scouting report on Troutman: "Troutman is a very powerful, but raw prospect. He relies a lot on his strength. He is very athletic for his size and pursues well. Troutman is very intense and has tremendous upside."

Troutman was asked if that's an accurate assessment of his game.

"Yeah, that sounds about right," he said.

Fans should not expect a decision from Troutman anytime soon. Even with his injury, he likely won't take any visits until after the season. Therefore, he probably won't decide until January at the earliest.

"Probably pretty close to signing day," he said. "After I get done taking all my visits."

Troutman is being recruited to OSU by wide receivers coach Darrell Hazell – someone who knows the New Jersey area well from his time coaching at Rutgers.

"He's nice. He's a good guy to talk to," Troutman said.

Troutman was asked what stands out about Ohio State for a kid from Jersey.

"Good coaching staff," he said. "Win a lot of games. Always in the hunt for a national championship."

Troutman seems to be in good shape academically.

"I think all I have to do is register with the clearinghouse," he said. "I got a 10-something on my SAT and I'm going to take it again. And I think my GPA is around a 3.0."

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