As the final installment of the "Making of the Brew Crew," Garrett Goebel is yet another player who can be described as a typical "Tressel recruit." Goebel is another member of the Ohio State 2008 recruiting class that succeeds not only on the field, but in the classroom and in society.
Goebel, out of Montini Catholic in Lombard, Illinois, chose the Buckeyes after receiving scholarship offers from many of the top programs in the Mid-West. His commitment was huge for Ohio State in their effort to add talent on the defensive line.
"I first became interested in Ohio State through one of my wrestling teammates in high school," Goebel began, about his initial interest in Ohio State. "Through him I got to know Coach [Luke] Fickell. Ohio State had seen my junior tape and liked what they saw. That was the beginning of them starting to recruit me. My friend was a huge Buckeye fan and I became interested in Ohio State because of him in the beginning. Then Ohio State started contacting me regularly and it kind of took off from there. I had always liked watching them on television and admired their style of play under Coach [Jim] Tressel. Once they offered me they really became a school I was very serious about getting to know more about."
As with most of the members of the 2008 Buckeye recruiting class, Goebel started forming a relationship with the Ohio State staff during his junior year of high school. He talked about the early stages of his recruitment.
"As I said, I already liked Ohio State before they ever contacted me," he continued. "I visited there at the end of March of my junior year for the first time. I was in Columbus for a spring practice and I was totally impressed with the way they did things. I spent a lot of time with "Doc" Tressel and Coach [Jim] Heacock. I loved the "Hoot and Holler" drill. After watching the way Coach Heacock coached his defense I started to see myself fitting in there. I loved the way he coached his players and I admired his coaching philosophy. I sat in on a defensive meeting after practice ended. I watched film with the team and saw how they ran their defensive scheme. Everything was extremely positive about Ohio State for my first impression."
Goebel also talked about getting to know his future head coach, Jim Tressel. His first meeting was also a positive experience.
"I didn't really know much about Coach Tressel before I got there," Goebel explained. "You see him on television and you kind of get an impression of who he is, but I hadn't really spent any time with him at that point. After meeting him and talking with him, I came away so impressed with how much he cares about his players. I was impressed with how he teaches more than just football. He wants Ohio State to prepare you for life, not just to play football. I couldn't have been more impressed by Jim Tressel as a man and it's obvious what a great coach he is."
If you are beginning to get the impression that Garrett Goebel is a highly intelligent human being who really put a lot of thought into his recruiting, you would be entirely correct. It was easy to understand why Jim Tressel and the Buckeyes recruited Goebel so intensely, and also easy to see why Ohio State's main rival was recruiting Goebel just as hard. Goebel talked about his initial interest in Lloyd Carr and the Michigan Wolverines.
"Michigan was clearly one of my favorite schools throughout the recruiting process," Goebel stated. "I also was interested in Illinois, so it was really just three schools at the end. Michigan started recruiting me pretty early and they made a good impression on me. All three were great schools but Ohio State was the best place for me. I've had no second thoughts at all regarding my decision and I have no problem going to school out of state. Distance was never much of a concern at all to me. I just wanted to make sure I found the right school for me."
Goebel also has developed friendships with some other members of the "Brew Crew." He talked about some of his future teammates.
"Like everybody else, I know Michael Brewster pretty well," Goebel said of his future teammate. "We talk a lot on FaceBook and we call each other every once in a while just to see what's going on. Brewster is a good guy and a great player. I also know Jake Stoneburner, Mike Adams and Andrew Sweat also. They're all really good guys and I'm looking forward to getting out on the field with all of them."
As one of the more recent Buckeye commits, Goebel has noticed the strong bond between all the members of the "Brew Crew." He admits that the chemistry between the teammates can only help the Buckeyes on and off the football field.
"Once I committed, everyone just started calling me and congratulating me," Goebel recalled. "They all welcomed me into the family and made me feel great. It was awesome feeling to have that happen from these guys. It meant a lot to me. It definitely helps me coming from out of state to know that I already have friends here in Columbus. It won't be like going away to school and having to make new friends all over again. I think great chemistry is important to winning football games. My high school team is really close this year and it shows on the field. We play for each other and try to do everything we can to help each other on the field. I think that plays a big part in why we've been so successful this year and it helps in trying to achieve what we've set out to do. We are ranked number two in our division and we beat the number one ranked team last Friday night to stay unbeaten. I'm used to playing on winning teams and that's a big attraction for coming to Ohio State. I like to win in everything I do, be it football or wrestling. We've made the playoffs 14 consecutive years in football. Our goal is to win a state title and I think we have a great chance at getting that done this year."
Goebel also discussed what he hopes to accomplish in his college career at Ohio State. He seems to be a driven individual who relishes the thought of competing with, and against, some of the best players in the country.
"I really don't dwell on college too much to be honest," Goebel stated."I try to give my high school team everything I've got right now. I worked really hard in the off season to try to win that state championship. I'm also going to be trying to win another heavyweight wrestling championship. I'm a goal oriented person and that will carry over to Ohio State. I'm really concentrating on finishing my senior year in a positive manner and doing things the right way."
Ohio State has to be thrilled at the thought of adding another championship wrestler to its defensive line. Current Buckeye defensive tackle Dexter Larimore was a high school wrestling standout and Buckeye linebacker coach Luke Fickell had a legendary wrestling career before starring at defensive tackle for the Buckeyes. Goebel believes his wrestling training will help prepare him for his play on the defensive line at Ohio State.
"I don't think I'd be headed to play football in college if it wasn't for wrestling," Goebel believes. "I didn't really start playing football until I was a freshman. Wrestling was my first love, but I like football better now. I know it won't be possible to wrestle and play football at Ohio State, so wrestling will end soon. That's why I'm so intent on trying to win another wrestling title."
As a very modest and humble athlete, Goebel was hesitant to discuss his strengths on the football field, but he did mention some of the qualities that led a lot of great college programs to recruit him.
"I think they see that I'm a player with a high motor and I'm the type of player that never gives up on a play," he said reluctantly. "I think schools see that I have a lot of potential to get better. I like to think I'm a physical football player who plays the game very hard. I will be someone who will work hard to get better all the time."
Goebel discussed what he will attempt to work on before heading to Ohio State, in order to become a better football player. This is a young man that is driven to be a success, a common trait for the entire 2008 Ohio State recruiting class.
"I feel I can get better technique-wise and I need to get stronger to compete at that level," he stressed. "I intend to get bigger and faster. I will continue to work on my moves at tackle. I even learned a lot last summer going to the different combines and seeing how great players do things."
Although Goebel plays on both sides of the football at Montini Catholic, he will play defensive tackle at Ohio State. He was good enough to be recruited as an offensive lineman by some schools.
"I play offensive tackle also right now, but Ohio State recruited me to play defensive tackle," he stated. "Iowa recruited me as an offensive lineman, while Illinois and Michigan said I could play on either side of the ball. A lot of school said they would recruit me to play on either side of the ball. Ohio State was one of the only schools that wanted me strictly for defense. I prefer to play defensive tackle anyway, so that worked out great for me."
Goebal was quick to credit others for his success as an athlete. He said he knows he has received a lot of help and advice during his development as an athlete.
"I have to thank my dad first and also my uncle," Goebel said humbly. "They have been so supportive and have helped me so much. I also need to credit my high school coaches as well. I've received great coaching both in football and in wrestling and I owe all of them a lot."
Finally, Garrett Goebel discussed why he decided to continue his football career at Ohio State, rather than at any of the other top programs that recruited him.
"I'd have to say the coaches and players at Ohio State made the difference for me," he said emphatically. "The Ohio State coaches seemed like they cared so much about their players as individuals. I could tell that Jim Tressel was the kind of coach I wanted to play for. The players at Ohio State all had great things to say about the coaches as well. That meant a lot to me, to hear what people who are playing there right now feel about Ohio State. Everything about Ohio State was just so positive, that it was the right place for me. I have no doubt about that at all."
Garrett Goebel is rated as the number four defensive tackle in the country by Scout.com, so his talent is clearly evident. After speaking extensively with this young man, it's also clear that he's exactly the kind of person you want in your football program. Ohio State, under Jim Tressel, has shown that a winning program is more than just collecting great players. It's also about bringing in high quality human beings and Garrett Goebel, like his future teammates, will fit into Tressel's program just fine. The common theme of the "Brew Crew" is that these 11 recruits are not only special talents on the football field, but great young men off the field.
This was the final individual installment of the "Making of the Brew Crew." Tomorrow, we will take another look at the entire class and present some tidbits not yet revealed about the 2008 Ohio State recruiting class. We hope you've been able to learn more about each individual throughout this series. Join us tomorrow as we take the final look at the "Making of the Brew Crew."