Word of advice to those recruiting Dexter Larimore: don't get offensive. In other words, don't mention offense.
The 6-3, 260-pound defensive tackle from Merrillville, Ind. is in the middle of the playoffs but trying to think a little about his recruitment. But while he's facing constant double and triple teams from opposing teams, one thing remains the same:
He just wants to hit.
"I want to make sure I'm playing defense," Larimore said Sunday evening to Bucknuts, "like Purdue, they want me to play offense and I don't want to do that."
This fall, Larimore took unofficial visits to both Ohio State and Michigan. Every week, Larimore closely studies the teams he's considering by watching games he records on his TIVO.
"I'm looking very closely at the defense and the schemes and how the players react," Larimore explained of what he's watching in the replays. "I watch for the defensive linemen and how aggressive they are, and how they attack the football."
Larimore compared what he's seen out of the defenses of the Buckeyes and Wolverines so far in his hobby of watching games every weekend.
"Ohio's d-line is up and moving, and making things happen," Larimore said, "while Michigan's is more hit and just like see what's happening. They just kind of stand there more or less. Ohio State is more flying to the ball while Michigan is more like hit and read, kind of like that."
Ohio State and Michigan speak for themselves, as Larimore visited both over the past month or two. It's already down to three teams for Larimore.
"That's pretty much it and Indiana," he said of the teams he's considering.
Each will get their shot to impress Larimore one last time.
Larimore has schedule an official visit to Ann Arbor on November 11-13 when Michigan hosts Indiana so he can double-dip and watch both defenses in person. Meanwhile, Larimore will take an official visit to Ohio State on December 2-4.
Individually, Larimore broke down what he thought of each program…
"IU I really like the coaching staff, I like the school, I have a couple of friends that go to IU and a couple of people that I played with go to IU," he said. "Obviously I'd like to see the program stepped up a little in the next couple of years.
"Ohio, I like the defense, I like what they have going for them right now, I like the defensive scheme and pretty much everything about their defense I like," Larimore added of his initial thoughts on the Buckeyes. "I don't really know that I need to know any more about them, but I guess I just would like to be around the team a little more and see how I gel with those guys because I really haven't been able to talk to the team a whole lot."
"Michigan, I like their situation, I like their school and their tradition," he concluded of the comparisons. "Basically like Ohio, I don't really know their players or anything like that. Nobody that I know goes there or anything, so I really don't know about them."
Distance won't play a major factor according to Larimore, as Bloomington and Ann Arbor are both about three hours away from his home, while Columbus is slightly under five hours.
However, when he completes his visits he will likely make a decision sometime in December or January. When that happens, he said there are likely to be a couple of key factors in the final choice.
"I'll be looking for team chemistry, knowing the coaches, how well I'm going to be treated, and that I'm going to be playing defense," he said.
As mentioned, Larimore thrives on hitting. He said he would rather hit than be hit.
"That's exactly right," he laughed.