Offers Pouring in for Sir Joseph

Sir Joseph Welch, a Columbus, Ohio native, will likely become a Buckeye if the opportunity presents itself. If not, many Big Ten schools are lining up to woo the safety prospect, including Wisconsin.

Sir Joseph Welch, a 5-11, 180-pound defensive back from Columbus, Ohio, is the early favorite for the best name of the 2003-04 recruiting season.

While Welch might be mistaken for royalty, he said "Sir Joseph" resulted from so many people getting his name wrong.

"Everybody gets my name mixed up," Welch said. "My first name is Sirjo, and my middle name is Seph, so people put my first and middle name together. It's not supposed to be like that."

Welch said he doesn't mind people calling him Sir Joseph. In fact, most people have called him "Sir" for years.

In fact, Welch doesn't even care enough to get the true story behind the meaning of his name.

"I asked my mom, `What was in your head when you named me that?' But we never really sat down and got into it. We've never really gotten into the name thing. I don't know why she named me that," Welch said.

Welch will likely be barraged with questions about his name over the next few years, as he heads into big-time college football. The Columbus-native is a life-long Ohio State fan that is hoping the Buckeyes will extend an offer.

If there isn't a spot for him with the defending national champions, there will be plenty of other takers. Wisconsin has offered Welch a scholarship, recruiting him at safety, as has Boston College, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa and Indiana.

"Ohio State is my favorite. I don't know what it is about it. I live in Columbus and I grew up watching them. I just got hooked on them," Welch said. "Michigan State and Indiana are close."

Welch said if OSU offers, he will not commit right away. And while Wisconsin is not amongst his top schools right now, he said that could change over the summer. He said he will be partial towards Big Ten schools, and he wants to see more of them over the next few months.

Welch will forego AAU basketball this summer for the first time in many years to focus on his football career.

"Any Big Ten school I can get into, I'm going to give a chance," Welch said. "I'm trying to take visits to these schools this summer, tour as many campuses as I can…I'm not just looking at Ohio State. It's not guaranteed that I'm going to go there. So I've got to keep my options open."

Welch, who says he ran a 4.3 40-yard dash the last time he timed himself (as a sophomore), said some schools are recruiting him as a safety, while others are recruiting him as a cornerback. Despite his speed, Welch hasn't played much offense in high school.

"There are too many plays on offense. I have played a little bit of offense, but I mostly like defense. I just want to play defense. I'm a contact person, and I like to hit a lot," Welch said.

Welch said aside from a one-day appearance at Ohio State's camp this summer, he has no plans to attend other camps this year.

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