Rose Knew Ohio State Was Choice All Along

Although Robert Rose would never admit to it publically that Ohio State would be the school that he would eventually be signing a letter of intent with on national signing day 2006, he knew that he would be a Buckeye on the very day that Jim Tressel offered him a scholarship on national signing day 2005. Rose, who made his final decision official when he faxed his letter to the Ohio State coaching staff on Wednesday, was happy to be able to share such a rewarding experience with his family.

Although it was a mere formality when Robert Rose of Glenville High School officially signed his letter of intent on Wednesday morning, it was still a special occasion for the hulking defensive end whose stock has been on the rise since his All-American performance in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Jan. 7.

"This was definitely a cool thing," Rose said. "It was a new experience for me and I got a copy of (the letter of intent) so I'm going to frame it."

Rose, Ray Small and Bryant Browning each spent some time on the phone talking with Jim Tressel and members of the Ohio State coaching staff in the morning after they faxed in their letters.

"It was cool talking to Tress, I talk to him all of the time," Rose said. "(The coaches) all said congratulations and welcome aboard. And it's time to get after the quarterback."

Without question, Rose will begin his career as a pass-rushing defensive end at Ohio State. And based on his performance in the All-American game and during the week of practice prior to that, Rose's potential in that role is about as obvious as Ted Ginn Jr.'s was as kick returner after the show that he put on two year's ago in the same winter football classic held annually in San Antonio.

"Yeah I'm going to play defensive end and get after the quarterback," Rose said. "But I just want to keep my head on straight and go down there and do all of the right things. If do the right things then only good things can happen."

Although Rose always new that he would attend Ohio State from the very day that he got an offer from Tressel on national signing day a year earlier, it was difficult always trying to keep his decision to himself.

"It was real hard because people already assumed that I was going to Ohio State anyway," Rose said. "Just making up that lie, just to play with people's minds, was difficult. It was real hard to keep it a secret."

But in the end, the dream that was hatched back when Rose still considered himself to be a basketball player as a freshman at Cleveland Central Catholic, finally came to fruition.

"In the ninth grade I remember watching the national championship game and thinking about how good they were and how exciting it would be to be a part of that, and now I'm on the same level as they were and I'll have a chance to win me a national championship," Rose said. "I'm just blessed and I'm lucky and I just thank God that He put me in the position that I am now."

Rose's better days as a football player are clearly ahead of him even after he arguably had his finest game of his prep career in his final contest as a high school player at the All-American Bowl.

"It was such a great experience for me and, to be honest, I never dreamed of having that kind of success in a million years," Rose said. "I've got way more confidence now than I've ever had. I just played against some of the greatest players in the world (at the high school level) and if I can compete with them like I did, then who can stop me now.

But football is only half the story for Rose. His parents were with him on signing day and they participated in his signing of his letter of intent and that obviously meant more to Rose than any quarterback sack in some All-American football game.

"Just having the chance to go to school and seeing the look on my family's faces today is exciting," Rose said. "That's really what it's all about."

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