"We're actually driving down there right now," Blake Ayles told BuckeyeSports.com Tuesday afternoon. "I got the dates mixed up. We went to Wisconsin first and then Ohio. I thought it was the other way around."
Ayles said he was impressed with Wisconsin's campus, saying it was "a lot different" than what he was used to seeing out in California. While there, Ayles said he toured the campus and met with the team's coaching staff.
While he said the visit helped Wisconsin's chances for his services, Ayles said the only negative for the Badgers was the distance from his hometown of Orange, Calif.
The apparent difference in temperatures had no effect on his either.
"They said it wasn't that bad because when it gets cold, that's not really in-season or it's the last couple of games in the season and then right after that it would be track and everything is indoors," he said. "That isn't really a factor for me."
Despite being just a few hours away from Columbus, Ayles said he was unsure as to what his itinerary would consist of when he got there. His last contact with the Buckeyes came a few days earlier when he meant to call Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst but inadvertently called OSU recruiting coordinator and tight ends coach John Peterson.
The Buckeyes are aggressively pursuing Toledo Whitmer tight end Kevin Koger, who is expected to decide between OSU and Michigan sometime in July. In addition, they have a verbal commitment from Dublin (Ohio) Coffman tight end Jake Stoneburner, who is being projected as a wideout for the Buckeyes.
While in Columbus, Ayles will attempt to find out where he fits in that picture.
"I just know that they're looking at a couple of other guys also," he said.
As he was planning his trip through the Midwest, Ayles said he could see himself potentially committing on the spot if a school seemed like the right fit. Now, having seen Wisconsin, he said that is less likely.
"It all depends," he said. "It was tough going to Wisconsin; that's a different choice than USC and then I need to look at them all together and see what is my best choice."
Once he returns from Columbus, Ayles said he will narrow his list down and plan his official visits in the fall. Right now, he is planning on official visits to USC, Wisconsin, OSU and Arizona State, although California could also enter the picture.
A four-star prospect, Ayles earned all-state honors as a junior as he helped lead his team to a California Division II state championship. He recorded 43 catches for 616 yards and 3 touchdowns in what head coach Jim Kunau describes as a "balanced offense."
"He's very athletic," the Orange Lutheran coach said. "He has great hips and hands. He's got very good ball skills, and he's very physical as a blocker at the point of attack. He's the full package as a tight end, but he's athletic enough that if you want to flank him out or motion him out to try to create one-on-one mismatches with outside linebackers or smaller corners, you can do that with him as well."