Muldoon Not Feeling The Crunch

With the total number of scholarships rapidly dwindling, many high school football players interested in Ohio State might find themselves unable to issue a verbal commitment to the Buckeyes even if they want to do so. Cincinnati St. Xavier defensive end Pat Muldoon is weighing his options but not feeling the pressure.

As Ohio State sees its number of available scholarships for the class of 2009 continue to shrink, athletes from across the country are starting to feel the crunch.

While that pressure might lead to up to five more kids committing before the week is up, pushing the number of verbal commitments to 22, that does not mean every kid under consideration is moving up his timetable in order to ensure that he gets on board with the Buckeyes. Some, like Cleveland Glenville offensive lineman Marcus Hall and Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro defensive tackle Corey Adams, have been told there will be spots ready for them when they make a final decision.

However, that offer is obviously not on the offer for all players. Such is the case for Cincinnati St. Xavier defensive end Pat Muldoon, who finds himself pressed in more ways than one concerning OSU recruiting.

In addition to the dwindling number of overall scholarships, the Buckeyes already have three verbal commitments from defensive linemen. But after securing one from Aurora, Ohio's Adam Bellamy, the OSU coaching staff made an effort to show Muldoon they are still envisioning him as a part of their class of 2009.

"They actually called my coach and said they'd get in touch with me," Muldoon told "They wanted to inform me a little bit about what was going on. They told me he committed and they were planning on taking four or five defensive linemen in the class and they are going to tell me when they're filled up."

The fact that the class is filling up will not pressure the 6-4, 255-pound Muldoon to rush his decision. The Buckeyes are one of his top 10 schools – he declined to name the other nine – and he is hoping to trim that down to five schools or less before his senior season begins.

To do so, he is in the process of taking several unofficial visits. Last weekend saw Muldoon take one to Notre Dame, and he will spend Monday and Tuesday at Boston College. Before the month is finished, Muldoon plans on checking out both Virginia and Virginia Tech.

Finding time to take trips has been difficult, Muldoon said, because it distracts him from helping prepare his team to defend a state championship.

"It is getting kind of tough because I'm trying to work out and do the running and be doing everything with the team," he said Monday. "I haven't missed any of those. I've been making sure to schedule around them. I just came from lifting and now I'm at the airport waiting to go to Boston College and then I get home tomorrow night (June 17) so I can go to Wednesday (June 18) lifting. It makes it tough, scheduling around all that."

As he does so, the hope is that OSU will still have an open spot when Muldoon gets around to making a final decision. If that is not the case, it will be time to move on, he said.

"If they do run out, it makes my choice a little bit easier," he said. "I'm going to try to go where I feel comfortable with my decision. I would rather have it not fill up and still have that option, but if it does it's just one less place I could commit."

Despite the relative lack of spots remaining, Muldoon said the OSU coaches have actually spent more time recruiting him since Bellamy committed than they had been prior to the decision.

"It's good to know that they're still interested, definitely," he said. "It's keeping another option open."

How long that option remains one remains to be seen, however.

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