Fields Speaks Out

Painesville (Ohio) Harvey wide receiver Chris Fields achieved a goal of his when he accepted a scholarship offer from Ohio State on Feb. 19. However, that might not be enough to keep him from looking around a little bit more before all is said and done.

He is a Buckeye, but that might not be enough to prevent Chris Fields from continuing to look around.

After receiving interest from Ohio State during his junior season, the wide receiver out of Painesville (Ohio) Harvey saw a longstanding goal come to fruition when he received an offer from the Buckeyes on Feb. 19. On the spot, the 6-0, 180-pound target pulled the trigger and committed to OSU.

However, that has not stopped other schools from actively pursuing the seventh verbal member of the Buckeyes' class of 2009. As a result, Fields could see himself potentially taking at least one official visit to a school besides OSU.

Fields' coach, Devlin Culliver, has a history with OSU head coach Jim Tressel. While the Buckeyes' head man was manning the sidelines at Youngstown State, he was recruiting Culliver while he was playing prep ball at Youngstown Cardinal Mooney. Culliver wound up signing with Ohio University, but the relationship between the two helped lead the Buckeyes to offer Fields.

Culliver has advised Fields not to take any other visits now that he has committed to OSU. The top candidate for a potential visit appears to be USC.

"They've been coming after me," Fields said. "Coach might end up sending my tape out there. Coach doesn't recommend me going out and taking visits, but if I end up going (on visits) I might shoot out to USC just to take an official visit.

"My first thing was to take my five official visits next year and not make my decision until February, but in the back of my mind I was like, ‘Ohio State's my No. 1 pick anyway, so I might as well just go for it.' USC just started getting interested with me and Alabama. I got an offer from Kansas not too long ago and Illinois and Penn State just came in too."

Although Fields said he is initially from Alabama, he grew up rooting for the Buckeyes and cited Eddie George as a player he remembered watching as a child.

A regular at OSU's home games last season, Fields said the school's interest in him grew as his junior season progressed. He finished the year with 53 catches for 1,800 all-purpose yards and 21 touchdowns. A slot receiver who also returned kicks – he broke two kickoffs and one punt for scores – Fields said it was his tape that helped convince the Buckeyes to offer him. With a time of 4.43 seconds in the 40-yard dash, Fields said his coaches will give the ball to him on reverses to better take advantage of his speed.

During the spring, Fields plays center field and bats leadoff for Harvey on the baseball diamond.

"I like to lay the bunts down," he said with a laugh.

In addition to having seen Fields' highlight tape, one of the OSU coaches was apparently at one of his games during the season, Culliver told him.

"I'd been waiting for it for a while," he said of the offer. "They had been telling me to keep patient. I kept patient and I got the offer and committed on the spot. It takes a lot off my back because I'm not worrying any more about the offer any more and I just completed my dream. My dream was simply to play big college football and play for a team that I like in Ohio State. It's a blessing."

Whether that blessing is enough to dissuade Fields from taking other official visits remains to be seen, but for now he is a Buckeye.

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