Baldwin's Decision A Family Affair

Ohio State landed another top-15 player from within Ohio when Solon's Darryl Baldwin issued his verbal commitment Sunday evening. Solon head coach Jim McQuaide offers some insight into Baldwin's decision in this update.

Darryl Baldwin made sure his current teammates were present as he declared who his future teammates would be.

The three-star defensive end from Solon, Ohio, made the call to play his college football at Ohio State during the evening of July 19th. When he dialed OSU head coach Jim Tressel, he was not alone.

"We had a bunch of his teammates at one of the guys' houses and he did it with all them around him," Solon head coach Jim McQuaide told "That's when he made the call to (OSU head) coach (Jim) Tressel. He wanted it that way."

With nearly a dozen teammates, a handful of friends and his mother and grandmother in attendance, the scene resembled a party as well as an unofficial end-of-summer bash. After Baldwin's announcement, the kids in attendance went swimming and enjoyed a cookout as well.

In all, it was a pretty good way for the No. 14 prospect in Ohio to make his college decision public.

"He didn't want any press conference or anything like that," McQuaide said.

Baldwin's decision came one day before the Comets kick off practice for his senior season. The 6-6, 245-pound athlete had targeted July 19th as his decision date and informed his five final schools – OSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame and Penn State – of that fact.

However, it was OSU all along that led for Baldwin's services thanks to the fact that they got in early, McQuaide said.

"All five schools, he investigated everything very thoroughly and he had been to Ohio State the most," the coach said. "They had been on him the longest. I think he really had a good relationship with (cornerbacks) coach Taver Johnson, who recruits our area. He's known him the longest of any of the coaches, and then Coach Tressel. Those two coaches really had a great influence on his decision.

"It seems like he was the most comfortable with everyone there, the players, the coaches, the whole program."

As a result, McQuaide said Sunday did not mark the day Baldwin decided on OSU. Rather, it was simply the day he issued his verbal commitment.

"I think he kind of new and was just making sure of everything," McQuaide said. "From going over things, it seemed like a lot of things pointed to Ohio State but ultimately it was his decision to say this was where he was going."

Baldwin took his final unofficial visit to OSU on June 25th. From there, he sat back and examined his options before picking the Buckeyes.

"I think he did a tremendous job of evaluating everything," McQuaide said. "He had schools all over the country that wanted to be in the mix and he came down to those five schools. Him and his mom went to every one of them. They met with coaches, they met with players, checked out the athletic facilities, met with academic people, engineering people. He was extremely thorough since last spring, getting ready for this decision."

A two-way player for Solon, Baldwin is being recruited by the Buckeyes as a defensive end. Scout ranks him as the No. 46 defensive end in the country. His commitment gives OSU verbal pledges from five of the top 15 players within the state. The others are Cincinnati Anderson offensive lineman Andrew Norwell (No. 1), Youngstown Ursuline defensive end Jamel Turner (3), Cleveland St. Ignatius outside linebacker Scott McVey (11) and Youngstown Boardman weak-side linebacker/defensive end J.T. Moore (13).

Now the focus immediately shifts to Baldwin's senior season.

"He's got a lot he wants to accomplish here, so now he can relax because his future is taken care of and he can do everything he can to have a tremendous senior year," McQuaide said.

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