Could Worthy Be Next In Line?

The connection is there for Jerel Worthy and The Ohio State University to connect during the recruiting process. As one of Ohio's top defensive prospects, Worthy has seen several programs take enough interest to make official offers. But one thing Worthy knows is there's a strong connection between Huber Heights Wayne and The Ohio State Buckeyes.

"There are several guys who came from here and played at Ohio State," Said the ever polite Worthy. Right now we have Marcus Freeman and Donnie Evege there and Will Allen and John Hollins also played there. Coach (Jay) Minton has also coached players in Florida that went to OSU and did well."

With former and current players being one area of connection, Worthy knows he's also got another person with OSU ties in his corner helping him with possibly earning an Ohio State scholarship.

"Our strength and conditioning Coach Jay Hooten is a former strength coach at Ohio State and I know he's talked with the coaches about how I'm doing. He tells me they still have interest in me and feel I had a very good camp when I was there. It's really a matter of where I fit into their recruiting as to if I'll receive an offer or not."

While Worthy understands not everyone can receive an offer from Ohio State, even being considered shows how much work he's done over the course of his high school career.

"When I was younger I dreamed about playing college football, now I'm working to play college football. There is a big difference in the two and I fully understand the work I need to do on and off the field to achieve the goals I've set."

While the Buckeyes have not offered, a couple of other Big Ten programs have or will get a chance to take a harder look at the 6-foot-3 defensive line prospect.

"I camped at Michigan State recently and they said they liked what I did when I was there. They want to see my film but lost it when they moved to their new offices. So Coach Minton is sending out another one. I'm going to Purdue on Sunday for camp and hope to show them I'm capable of playing there. The coach that's recruiting me also recruited one of my coaches when he was a player here. Our team is also going to a 7-on-7 Saturday at Miami, and since I've not had a chance to visit there I think I'm going down with a couple of my teammates to take a look."

With offers in hand from Cincinnati, Nebraska, Ohio, Akron, Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan and Marshall, Worthy has read several stories and gotten feedback from coaches about what was written.

"I had a couple of coaches ask me about stuff that was in a couple of stories. I just want to set the record straight. I don't have a favorite right now or a leader to talk about. I'm taking my time and looking at each program to see what is the best fit for me as a player. Some schools look at me as a defensive guy while others talk about me playing offense. I feel I can play defense at the next level and have to look hard at the programs looking for me to play offense. It's not that I won't consider playing offensive line because I've been told by a couple of my coaches how the NFL is looking for players my size to play along the offensive line. But I know from talking with the coaches they got word that in a couple of stories I was favoring a certain school. The fact is the reporter asked me if this school was high on my list of offers and I said yes. Right now all the schools that have offered are high on my list."

Jerel has learned he may get an early taste for the offensive line before he heads off to college.

"There is a chance I may play some offensive line this year for our team. I'm working now learning the things I need to do, if it will help our team win, I'll be happy to do it."

Jerel and his teammates are leaving no stone unturned in their work for a successful season. Using yoga and martial arts during the offseason has helped him lose several pounds and increase his flexibility in the process. The martial arts are also helping Jerel with his technique by providing a better understanding of how to use his hands and feet to gain an advantage.

While the Buckeyes recruiting efforts are still working on a few defensive line prospects, Worthy knows things could change if some would give commitments to other programs. But just in case, he knows he must continue to work hard to ensure those who've already offered don't lose interest in him.

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