One year after that, Buckeye fans might get to see him catching a pass or two from another athlete with a famous NFL bloodline. OSU has offered Nick Montana, a signal-caller from Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian who is the son of NFL hall of fame quarterback Joe Montana.
The Buckeyes are high on the 6-3, 185-pound member of the class of 2010, and he will be in Columbus for an unofficial visit Feb. 16-17.
"I have a week break from school so I'm trying to get out there and see some of the colleges pretty quick," he told BuckeyeSports.com. "I know I'll be taking another visit out there, but I just wanted to meet with the coaches and get a feel for the campus."
After checking out the OSU campus, Montana said he will also take an unofficial visit to Texas. Both schools are high on his list, he said, but he does not claim a leader for his services at this point.
On Feb. 4, Montana landed a scholarship offer from the Buckeyes. As it turns out, he had been in frequent contact with OSU quarterbacks coach Joe Daniels for some time before landing the offer.
"I had been talking to Coach Daniels for about a month or two before (they offered)," he said. "A week or two ago they had me call them up and got me on the phone with (head) coach (Jim) Tressel and he offered me."
"It's Ohio State," he said. "It's a great program. The football is always good. They've got a storied history. It's hard for them to have a bad year and Coach Tressel, he's an amazing coach."
While on his unofficial visits, Montana said he is not sure if his father will be able to accompany him. His mother will be there, but Nick said he thinks his father will at least be able to join them for his OSU visit. Nick has also unofficially visited Tennessee with his mother, he said.
Although his dad is an alumnus of Notre Dame and his older brother is a quarterback for the Fighting Irish, Nick laughed when asked if any sort of family rivalry might come into play should he pick a school like OSU.
"No, not at all," he said. "I get asked that pretty often. My dad, he doesn't really care. He just wants to make sure I find the best spot for me, whether it be Notre Dame, USC, Ohio State or wherever it is."
The Buckeyes will have three quarterbacks on scholarship this fall. Sophomore Terrelle Pryor is the returning starter, while sophomore Joe Bauserman and freshman Kenneth Guiton round out the depth chart.
As such, the OSU coaches are looking to add one quarterback in this class and have told Montana that he's their man.
"They told me I was going to be pretty much their guy until I tell them that I'm not interested or unless I tell them otherwise," he said. "Until that, they won't be looking for another quarterback.
"It's definitely a huge plus because when I'm looking for a school I'm also looking for a place that really wants you and is not looking to bring you in to be a backup or they're not really sold on you being the guy. So when a school tells you something like that, it's pretty much you're the guy they want. It's a huge plus."
After transferring to Oaks Christian for his junior season, Montana led his team to a 14-0 record and a state championship. Along the way, he threw for 2,500 yards and 33 touchdowns against seven interceptions.
While on his unofficial visits, Montana said he will try to get a feel for the different campus environments as well as the coaching staffs. After that, he is hoping to make a final decision before his senior season if possible.
"That's what I'm aiming to do," he said. "I can't really put a time line on it. It's tough. That's why I'm trying to get some of these visits done, trying to see which place I like the best. I'd like to get it done before senior year, but who knows – I could have my decision done after this next week or maybe in a couple months, I'm not sure."