Is Emilien Back In The Buckeye Picture?

One of the strangest stories in this recruiting class has been the on-again, off-again, recruitment of Plantation, Fla. safety Vlad Emilien. Once considered a Buckeye lock after a spring game visit, things had cooled by both parties in the past few months to where Vlad was not even considering OSU. Has anything changed? Bill Greene has the latest on this situation.

Plantation, Florida safety Vlad Emilien is a player who blew up in recruiting circles after a strong spring combine tour. Emilien visited Ohio State unofficially for the spring game, and instantly fell in love with Ohio State.

Emilien, 6-foot-1 and 195-pounds, was considered a near lock to be a Buckeye commit, but things changed between the two parties over the summer to where there was little or no interest by either party. Now it appears there has been a rekindling of the flame and there is communication going once again.

"Right now I have two visits set and I've narrowed my list down once again," Emilien stated. "I have a visit scheduled to Michigan on October 24th. I'm going to Wisconsin on October 10th. I also have a visit scheduled to Stanford in November, but I'm not sure if I will be making that trip or not."

Emilien discussed what he liked about each of the schools that he is interested in.

"Michigan has been recruiting me pretty hard since the beginning," he said. "They have been very honest with me when we talk. I had a long talk with Rich Rodriguez on the phone and we get along very well. Coach Rodriguez told me I can help get his defense a little closer to where they want to be. I don't have any problem with their record right now, because I know that coaching staff is going to get them built back up in a short time."

"Wisconsin is a place that I'm beginning to get a real good feel for," he continued. "Coach [Charles] Partridge and I have developed a real friendship, and I know he cares about me as a person, not just as a football player. He graduated from the same high school I attend, and he knows how much I want to escape this environment, and become a success. He can relate to that, and I can relate to how he's made himself into a success. I like Wisconsin a lot."

Recently, things have started to heat up between Emilien and Ohio State. A Thursday night phone call from Buckeye assistant Luke Fickell has Emilien thinking about Ohio State once again.

"Ohio State called me last night to say they're still interested in me," Emilien reported. "Coach Fickell and I had a long talk on the phone and we agreed to get together again next week to talk a little further about this situation. I was glad to hear from them again, because I've always liked Ohio State, but the fact is that they went about two months without contacting me at all. I had removed them from my list, but now I've got to put them back up there again."

"Originally I kind of felt like I was an odd-ball to them because they stopped recruiting me," he continued. "But he called me last night to say they still want me and I have to admit I'm still interested in Ohio State. The phone call from Ohio State kind of caught me off guard, because I thought there was no interest at all. When I look at everything that will go into my decision, including academics and what goes on the football field, I need to take another look at Ohio State. It did turn my head to hear that they're still interested in me. I'm not sure I would have to visit Ohio State again. I was there already, and I know everything about the school and the football program. I just need to decide if I should stick with the schools that have been with me all along. Now that Ohio State might have to drop a recruit, or a recruit is changing his mind about Ohio State, it seems they're coming back after me again. It's like I'm the second choice, not the guy they really wanted. I need to think more about this, and I'll be ready to discuss it further with Ohio State when we talk next week."

Emilien does have a date set to announce his decision. He is not playing football this year because of a knee injury suffered prior to the season.

"I will be making my decision on November 23rd," Emilien said. "That's my birthday, and it seems like a great time to announce. Right now my top five schools are Michigan, South Florida, Wisconsin, Wake Forest and Ohio State."

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