Future Buckeye: Eugene Clifford

Eugene Clifford was one of the most talked about Buckeye recruiting targets this year and deservedly so. When he signed with Ohio State, he became the highest ranked player in the 2007 recruiting class.

Eugene Clifford, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound athlete from Colerain High School in Cincinnati, Ohio is humbled to be accepting a scholarship to attend The Ohio State University.

"It really means a lot to me," Clifford said as he tried to formulate the words necessary to describe his emotion. "It is truly a blessing for me and my parents that I will be able to attend college and get an education."

"I am thinking that I will probably study something in business. I think maybe I would like to possibly get a degree in Business Management or something like that."

Clifford is rated by Scout.com as a five-star prospect, and carries the distinction of being the overall No. 2 player at the safety position.

Early in the process, he was rumored to favor the Michigan Wolverines, and late in the process, he was rumored to be hedging towards the Cincinnati Bearcats, but Clifford admits it was Ohio State from the beginning to the end.

"You know I have always been an Ohio State fan," Clifford said of his feeling on the situation.

"I was growing up as a fan of the Buckeyes, and always wanted to play for them. It will also give me the chance to stay at home and play where my family can see me."

"I had a lot of fun on my official visit," Clifford informed. "I got to hang with Andre Amos, and he showed me all around the campus. I really enjoyed the weight room and the Woody Hayes training facility."

Clifford was one of the 80 players selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Game. In the game, he showed his abilities to the entire country by pulling down two interceptions.

"It did feel good to get them picks," Clifford laughed. "I feel like I kind of got lucky on that second one, but it felt good."

"It was a fun experience. I got to bond with some of the other top players and compete in the game. San Antonio was a nice city. We spent most of the time practicing, but what I got to see was nice." Clifford, who reports he racked up 100 tackles and five interceptions to earn All-State, All-Conference, and All-Ohio honors, could play a number of different positions on the next level, but he maintains that he will get his first look on defensive side of the ball.

"I think that they are going to still be using me at corner," Clifford stated. "I have not really discussed a red shirt. I would like to come in, work hard, and earn some early playing time as a freshman."

Clifford will enroll in summer courses at Ohio State on June 18th and go through summer conditioning with the team.

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