Mobley Clears The Air

He's the most recent verbal member of Ohio State's class of 2008, but rumors have surfaced that Willie Mobley is not 100 percent sold on the Buckeyes. Find out what he thinks about that and when -- if at all -- he plans on taking an official visit to Tennessee.

As an old Yogi Berra saying goes, ‘It ain't over ‘till it's over.'

Such appeared to be the case for Eden Prairie, Minn., defensive end Willie Mobley. After issuing a verbal commitment to Ohio State and becoming the 15th member of the team's class of 2008, the four-star athlete found one school still attempting to recruit him.

But after he was quoted as saying he might take an official visit to Tennessee, it appears the chances for that trip actually taking place are small.

"Right now it's a no, definitely," he told "I talked to the coaching staff at Ohio State and Tennessee and I told them it was disrespectful. I'm probably not going to go."

After committing to OSU on Nov. 30, Mobley talked about how it was a "gut feeling" that he had picked the right school. He had spoken several times during his recruitment about how he felt at home with the Buckeyes, so his recruitment was viewed as an open-and-shut case.

But shortly afterward, UT head coach Phil Fulmer got in contact with Mobley.

"I said ‘no' the first time, but they were just like, ‘Well, do you mind if we stop by your school and talk to you and talk Tennessee football?' " he said. "They came and I told them I'm 100 percent committed and thanks for the opportunity, but they came and still visited my school. They were just like, ‘Ohio State's a perfect school and we congratulate you on that but this is what's going on in the SEC. At Tennessee we don't have a lot of D-ends left.'

"I was like, ‘Well, thanks for the opportunity, I need some time to focus on some other things in my recruiting.' I really don't believe I should take the visit."

The Vols' interest in Mobley is not a recent thing, he said.

"They had been recruiting me for a while, Coach Fulmer and (offensive line) coach (Greg) Atkins the O-line coach," Mobley said. "They knew that I was probably going to commit to Ohio State and they told me that if I picked Ohio State, congratulations, but what position would you be in? How many people are leaving for the NFL? Things like that. Who's ahead of you? When would you play?'

"He was saying, ‘You could start right away in the SEC if you perform well. We know with our coaching that you can play.' He was explaining my position at Tennessee and asking if I'd give it a chance, but I'm 100 percent committed to OSU."

Rumors of Mobley's interest in UT caught the ear of OSU head coach Jim Tressel, who phoned Mobley to find out what was going on.

"It's pretty funny," he said. "Coach Tressel called me and was like, ‘What's going on? I've been getting calls saying that Willie Mobley is looking at Tennessee now. I just explained everything that Coach Fulmer told me and their coaching staff. I just told him I didn't want to disrespect (UT).

It appears, then, that Mobley remains firmly committed to the Buckeyes. Asked if he could foresee anything happening between now and National Signing Day that would cause him to waver on OSU, he said, "No, not at all. (I'm) 110 percent (committed)."

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