Big Maryland OT Lands OSU Offer

The Ohio State coaching staff is looking eastward as it tries to assemble its 2010 recruiting class. Find out when the Buckeyes offered Arie Kouandjio, his thoughts on OSU and what he thinks about his recruitment as a whole.

When it comes to recruiting, there are few positions that polarize the Ohio State fan base more than the offensive line. This year, the Buckeyes entered late May having extended a total of four scholarship offers to offensive linemen.

Of those four, two had already made decisions: Andrew Norwell joined the class of 2010, while James Hurst committed to North Carolina instead. With a handful of Ohio linemen seemingly worthy of landing an offer from OSU, the coaching staff reached out May 26 and extended a new scholarship offer.

It went to Arie Kouandjio, a 6-5, 310-pound offensive tackle from Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha Catholic.

"Coach (Jim) Tressel called me," Kouandjio told "I looked at my phone, and to my surprise it was coach. He talked to me for a little bit and then he told me he had an offer coming in the mail for me from Ohio State."

The offer pushed Kouandjio's total to 32 and added OSU to a list that also includes Penn State, Connecticut, LSU, Alabama, California and Maryland. Kouandjio himself said he sensed the offer was coming because of a recent visit the OSU coaching staff paid to his school.

"They came to my school not too long ago," he said. "What they were waiting for was my highlight tape. They said they watched my highlight tape and said they liked what they saw."

OSU linebackers coach Luke Fickell and offensive line coach Jim Bollman made the trek to Dematha Catholic. Although they were not allowed to speak with Kouandjio, the player said he saw them walking through the hallways of his school.

In all, Kouandjio said he feels that the Buckeyes have been recruiting him "for probably the last two weeks." Despite their late appearance at the party, Kouandjio said OSU is evenly in the mix with the other schools recruiting him.

"There are other schools that have been recruiting me for a long time, but that doesn't hurt (the Buckeyes) because I haven't made a list or stuff like that," he said. "I'm really focused on next football season, so I haven't really started thinking about all the college stuff yet."

When he does start looking at colleges more closely, Kouandjio said his final decision will be "based off the education, my relationship with the coaching staff and early playing time." He plans to study either sports or business management or philosophy in college.

This summer, he is working out both at his school and with a trainer in an effort to get faster, stronger and quicker in preparation for his senior season.

Although the selection process will no doubt be stressful, Kouandjio prefers to look at it in a different light.

"It's very exciting and it's really a relief for me as well as my parents because I know I can just be focused on next year instead of getting offers," he said. "My parents don't have to worry about paying for college."

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