Will Eric Magnacca be a Buckeye?

Massillon Perry running back Eric Magnacca had an outstanding high school career. He is being recruited by all of the Mid-American Conference schools, but currently has no D-I offers. Is there a chance he could end up walking on at Ohio State? Bill Greene has the inside on Magnacca.

Massilon Perry's Eric Magnacca recently completed his outstanding high school career by once again topping the 1,100 yard mark. Magnacca, 5' 11" and 192 pounds, is a speedster who has run a 10.9 hundred meters in track and has consistently run 40 yard dash times under 4.45. Why is he currently holding no Division-I scholarship offers and is he still being recruited?

"Right now I have no Division-I scholarship offers," Magnacca said. "I'm being recruited by a lot of the MAC schools, but right now nobody has offered. I just sent out my highlight tape to 25 schools last weekend and I'm still hopeful something could still happen at the D-I level. I'm getting a lot of Division-2 and Division-3 interest but I don't think that's what I'm looking for."

Magnacca has been recruited by Ohio State since he was a sophomore, but the Buckeyes made it clear this fall they would not be offering a scholarship. Magnacca, who was invited to several Buckeye games as a sophomore and junior, camped at Ohio State the past two summers and developed a close relationship with the Buckeye staff. Would he consider joining the Ohio State team as a preferred walk-on?

"It's definitely something I'm thinking about," Magnacca explained. "My dad talked with {assistant coach] Jim Bollman two weeks ago about the possibility of me walking on at Ohio State. Coach Bollman called my high school coach last week and he said Ohio State was interested in me coming there if I was really serious about it. Coach Bollman said for me to call him if I decided to do it and he understood if I got a D-I offer that I would take it. He said Ohio State would be a good backup plan for me. We know each other really well. I've been down there a lot for camps, games and junior days."

Magnacca, who excels in the classroom at Perry, is clearly desiring to play college football at the highest level. If no scholarship offer materializes he will have to decide if he will walk on at a school like Ohio State, or try to prove himself at a MAC school where he would have a better chance of playing.

"I want to play football on scholarship at a D-I school," he said. "I have to be realistic that if that doesn't come through in the next few months, I need to have to make the decision of where I want to walk on. I know I could probably play at a school like Akron. Coach J. D. Brookhart has a history of putting walk-on players on scholarship if they prove themselves. That might be an option. At Ohio State I probably wouldn't have as good a chance of playing, but Ohio State is such a great place. I love the coaches there. We get along well and I loved being there for camp and at games. Coach [Jim] Tressel is the best. Just being a part of that program with all the tradition would be pretty awesome. Being able to practice every day with the best players in the country might be the best thing for me. I just have to decide what I want to do. If I get a D-I offer, I'm going to take it and go there and be the best player I can be. I'm hopeful when coaches see my tape that they will be impressed. I know I want to be part of a great program and be a contributor, whatever that role will be. I will see where things are after signing day and go from there."

The best part of Eric Magnacca's game is the intensity he brings to every play. He is also a player who played his best in big games, as his showings against Canton McKinley and Massillon will attest. Magnacca is a player who will be a positive asset to any program he chooses to be a part of. We will continue to follow his progress to see if he ends up in Columbus playing for the Buckeyes.

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