The Ohio North-South All-Star Game will feature five of the newest Buckeyes on its rosters including three-star defensive end Darryl Baldwin from Solon. The 6-7, 260-pound Baldwin and his teammates will take the field April 23 at Ohio Stadium – one day before the Buckeyes conduct their annual Scarlet & Gray Game.
"It's going to be crazy since I'm going to be playing there next year," Baldwin told BuckeyeSports.com while in Columbus for a press conference for the game. "It will be good getting to see everything in the stadium that I haven't seen."
Playing the game in April will also allow Ohio to send the state's top talent to Pennsylvania for the annual Big 33 game that pits the two states against each other. Baldwin is one player who will take part in both.
"It's right before you start college football so it should help me with the transition," he said. "It's just good to get the best competition that you can."
As a senior, Baldwin's competition frequently double- and triple-teamed him, but he finished the year with 25 tackles for loss and nine sacks. Baldwin was named The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer's defensive player of the year for his efforts.
Wednesday, OSU defensive coordinator Jim Heacock said he feels Baldwin is a player with plenty of upside once he devotes himself fully to football. He is in the midst of basketball season and also throws shot put and discus for Solon's track and field team.
"Basketball helps you with jumping and quickness and in track I throw shot and disc, which helps with my feet," he said. "They all combine to help me progress more in football."
As a senior, Baldwin said he weighed around 265 pounds during football season but is currently down to around 255 for basketball. The goal is to put on about 15 to 20 pounds once he gets to OSU, something Heacock said should not be an issue.
"Darryl is a good-sized young man," said Heacock, who also coaches the defensive line. "He's got a great frame on him. Every time I go up there it looks like he's gotten a little bit bigger and a little bit taller and rangier."
"Once I keep focusing just on football I won't lose all the weight because of the transition to basketball," Baldwin said. "I think I'll be able to do it."
Baldwin also lined up at tight end for the Comets and caught three touchdown passes as a senior. The expectation is that he will be solely a defender in college.
"They told me they joked around with it but I don't think I'll be playing any tight end, just defensive end," he said. "They told me I can be a great player for them in the years to come, so I'm really excited for that."
Next up will be preparing for his appearance in the North-South game once his basketball season is complete.
"It's pretty exciting," he said. "You get to play with a couple guys you're going to the same school as and some other Big Ten guys. It's nice to get to meet them and get to know them before you play against them.
"I might be rusty just because of all the weight loss and I'm not lifting as much as I did during football season but I think I'll be OK."