Why Linsley Became A Buckeye

Ohio State got a player young on experience but long on potential when Corey Linsley offered a verbal commitment to the Buckeyes in late April. Find out what that could mean for the future of the four-star prospect, where he might fit in at the next level and why he eventually chose the Buckeyes.

Ohio State might be getting more than it bargained for when it accepted a verbal commitment from Corey Linsley.

As a four-star offensive line prospect out of Youngstown (Ohio) Boardman, Linsley stands 6-4, 280 pounds heading into his senior season. However, he will not turn 17 years old until mid-July, meaning he could still yet be growing.

Factor in the fact that his father is 6-8, and there is plenty of potential for Linsley to grow.

"He's only 16," Boardman head coach D.J. Ogilvie told BuckeyeSports.com. "He should be a sophomore (right now), so who knows how tall he's going to be."

That can only come as good news to OSU head coach Jim Tressel, who found himself accepting his second verbal commitment from an offensive lineman for his class of 2009 when Linsley got in touch with him April 28.

In Linsley, Ogilvie said the Buckeyes are getting a tough, physical kid who is stronger than all other players on the field. An offensive tackle in high school, Linsley will likely play guard when he gets to OSU.

It did not take him long to decide upon the Buckeyes, apparently – and for that, Tressel has his Youngstown roots to thank.

"Coach Tressel has a lot of ties around Youngstown and a lot of people around here have a lot of great things to say about him," Ogilvie said. "I told him, ‘Corey, if I have a son that ever has the honor to be a big-time recruit, there'd be no question: He'd be the guy I'd put him towards playing for.'

"The character of him stands above the rest, and all the success (offensive line) coach (Jim) Bollman has had with coaching the offensive line … he's going to be taught by one of the best offensive line coaches in America."

Together, Ogilvie and Linsley made a list of the pros and cons of the schools recruiting him. Other schools on the list included Notre Dame and Stanford.

When they compared all the schools, the answer became obvious, Ogilvie said.

"Obviously being raised in Ohio, he was always a fan of Ohio State," he said. "A huge factor was Coach Bollman and Coach Tressel. There's other great coaches recruiting him, but those two are unparalleled in that profession."

Part of the reason Linsley made his decision when he did is that other parts of his life were starting to slip as he endured the recruiting process. An accomplished shot-put thrower – Ogilvie said he has the second-best throw in Ohio this year – Linsley was seeing his production in that arena decrease.

"He wasn't as focused as he should have been on track and he wasn't throwing as consistent or as well as he should have been," the coach said. "His grades went down a little bit for him with all the people coming to see him and all the phone calls. He just wasn't focused on what got him to this point. He wasn't waiting on any other scholarship offer.

"It wasn't like he really wanted to go play at USC or something. He had the offers that he wanted, so he wanted to get it over with so he could get focused on his other stuff."

And despite being young for his class, Ogilvie said his star lineman does not act it.

"He's got a pretty level head on his shoulders," he said.


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