Ballard Has 'Awesome' Time On Official Visit

On Ohio State's biggest recruiting weekend to date, Jake Ballard was happy just to meet some of the Ohio State players and spend time with some of the other recruits who were there on their official visit. He's already been impressed enough to know that Ohio State is the right school for him and he even tried to help convince a couple of the uncommitted recruits that were there, that Ohio State was the right place for them as well.

It was quite the busy weekend for Jake Ballard of Springboro High School who officially visited Ohio State on Friday and Saturday, and then played in his first high school basketball game of the season on Sunday.

Fortunately for Ballard, who verbally committed to Ohio State over the summer, he deemed his official recruiting visit to OSU over the weekend a huge success and his hoop team opened their campaign 1-0 after getting a victory in their season opener.

"I'm always impressed with Ohio State every time I go there," said Ballard as he began to talk about his weekend in Columbus. "It was an awesome visit. I really enjoyed spending time with the coaches and the players, the Blackwell is one of the nicest hotels I've ever been in, the scheduling for the whole weekend was perfect - everything was on time, and the food was amazing. Eating dinner in the press box on Saturday was really nice."

Along with meeting some of the guys already on the team at Ohio State, Ballard spent some quality time with some of the other recruits on hand over the weekend. Tyler Moeller, Joe Thomas and Dexter Larimore were three of the guys he got to spend a lot of time with. Moeller is already verbally committed to Ohio State, Larimore could be on the verge of committing to OSU while Thomas reportedly has held firm to his verbal commitment that he gave to Pittsburgh.

"We all gave him a hard time about that over the weekend," said Ballard who admitted that he was somewhat under the impression that there was a really good chance that Thomas just might indeed come to Ohio State after getting to know him over the weekend. "We called him ‘Pitt' and ‘Big East' all weekend and had a lot of fun with it. He said he would call me later in the week and let me know what he was going to do. And (Larimore) was pretty quiet at first but he loosened up and we got to know him a lot more. I think we have a real good shot at getting him."

But meeting players like Alex Boone, Rory Nicol, James Laurinaitis and Bobby Carpenter was certainly one of the bigger highlights of the weekend for Ballard.

"It was pretty sweet to meet all of those guys," Ballard said.. "To see the same guys that you watch on TV treat you like you're one of them is pretty cool."

Nicol was Ballard's host for the weekend and he enjoyed spending time with his future fellow position player.

"There was no talk about me playing on the offensive line at all in the future," said Ballard who is pretty agile for his size. "Even when I get bigger and put on more weight I'll probably still play tight end."

On Sunday, Ballard helped Springboro beat Alter 52-49 to open their basketball season. Ballard plays the four or five positions on the hardwood for the Panthers.

"I'm pretty quick on my feet for a big man," said Ballard who clicked for 15 and 10 in the victory. "I can play a strong game or a finesse game."

As far as his future at Ohio State is concerned, Ballard is not planning to enroll in either the winter or spring quarter but he may get a jump on the summer conditioning program by enrolling then.

"It all depends on if I'm picked to play in the Big 33 game or not," he said. "If I don't play in the Big 33 game (held in June this year) then I'll probably enroll in the summer."

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