Cleveland Glenville defensive end Jonathan Newsome could become the latest highly regarded prospect to graduate from being a Tarblooder and become a Buckeye, but if he does so it will not be any time soon.
Newsome, a four-star prospect ranked as the No. 26 defensive end in the country by Scout.com, does not plan to make a final decision until sometime after his senior season is complete. For now, though, the Buckeyes remain the leader for Newsome's services.
"Ohio State's still my favorite school," he told BuckeyeSports.com. "Until I see other places, that's the way it's going to be."
The Glenville-to-Columbus pipeline is well-established, and it was at a young age that the Buckeyes first entered the picture for Newsome. As a sophomore, he began getting to know the OSU coaches as they made frequent visits to his high school.
Unsure as to whether or not he would be good enough to ever merit an offer from the Buckeyes, Newsome began thinking of other schools and preparing for a life without going to OSU.
But as soon as he completed his junior season, the Buckeyes began to show serious interest that was capped in early February.
"One day I was in the weight room lifting weights and Ohio State was there to talk to (Glenville head coach Ted) Ginn," Newsome said. "They sat in Ginn's office for a really long time looking at my film and when they came out they all shook my hand. Ginn told me then that they were going to offer me and (OSU cornerbacks) coach (Taver) Johnson told me to call him that night, so when I did he said ‘We want you to be a Buckeye.' It was exciting."
However, Johnson is not the only coach Newsome said he has grown close to. Through the recruiting process, Newsome said has developed relationships with Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi, Indiana offensive line coach Bobby Johnson and Michigan defensive line coach Bruce Tall.
But the relationship Newsome has developed with Johnson is different than the ones he has built with other coaches.
"We just keep in touch and see how things are going," he said. "Most of the time when you talk to recruiters all they'll talk about is recruiting but we have a relationship. It's like talking to a friend almost. We just say ‘What's up?' and see where each other is in life."
A defensive end at heart, Newsome will shift to linebacker this season to address a position of need for the Tarblooders. However, he will likely return to defensive end when he gets to college.
As the calendar turns to the summer months, Newsome said there are several schools trying to get him to take unofficial visits to check them out. He does not plan on taking part in many camps, but he will take a handful of unofficial visits, he said.
One trip that is on the itinerary will take him to Columbus.
"I haven't really planned it out but a lot of schools want me to visit," he said. "I know I'm going to the senior camp on the 20th at Ohio State. I'm going to look at Michigan and Michigan State and just look at other schools on unofficial visits. I don't think I'm going to go to many camps.
"I thought about taking official visits during the season, but I might wait until the end. I'm going to weigh all my options first because the only school I've really seen is Ohio State, so once I get to see other schools then I can compare everything and I'm pretty sure I'll make the right decision in the end."
What that decision might be remains a mystery. For now, though, it appears the Buckeyes are in the driver's seat for the 6-2½, 240-pound Newsome.