Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel, athletics director Gene Smith and the rest of the Buckeyes had to wait to learn that fact.
The four-star running back prospect from Fort Wayne (Ind.) Paul Harding told BuckeyeSports.com that he knew he would be issuing a verbal commitment before he made the trip to Columbus. Once he was there, that feeling was reassured.
"I was with the head coach and the AD and I told them I figured it was time to commit," Smith said.
"They were shocked. I didn't tell them when I was coming down that I was going to commit. Now I know I get to play for a big, great college program."
His goals for the day were twofold: to spend time with the coaches and get a feel for the players on the team. In addition to time spent with Tressel and Gene Smith, the running back prospect hung out with running back Dan Herron and quarterback Terrelle Pryor for about two hours.
"Just the coaches are great," he said about OSU. "Me and the coaches have a great chemistry together. They're easy to talk to. I got a chance to hang out with the players and that was all I needed. That about sealed it."
As for spending time with Pryor, Smith said, "He's cool. It's cool knowing that he's a big-time college player. I'm glad I'll get a chance to play with him."
Smith's final choice came down to the Buckeyes and Michigan State. Despite speculation that he still has work to do academically, Smith told BuckeyeSports.com that he will have no problems gaining admission to Ohio State. "I just felt I wanted to get it over with so I have something that I don't have to worry about," he said. "I don't have to worry about that anymore."