And the Leader Is...

Scout.com five-star offensive lineman Kristofer O'Dowd names top leaders. Plus another powerhouse may be getting involved...

Scout.com five-star offensive lineman Kristofer O'Dowd (6-4, 312, 5.0), from Salpointe Catholic High School in Tucson, said if he had to choose, just for today, between his two leading choices, Ohio State and USC, he would choose USC.

"You're not gonna ask me that question, are you?" O'Dowd said jokingly. "Well, if I had to say, and this would just be for now, it would be USC. That's because I've been there more, they have great tradition and a strong reputation for their offensive linemen.

"I like Ohio State because of their fan support. It's Big Ten football. And Columbus is a fun town. It's like a big circle there. It would be a fun place to be. The only problem with them might be the weather. Also, I have family from Pennsylvania, so I'm still considering Penn State too.

"Arizona would be behind Ohio State, because I know the most about Arizona.

"UCLA is also a possibility," he said. "They are a building program and they have a good quarterback (Chris Forcier) who is already committed to them for this class. The problem there is they are really deep in the offensive line already.

"Tennessee would also be in my top five."

O'Dowd reports a 3.1 core GPA and a 1410 SAT.

Penn State Enters Sweepstakes for O'Dowd

"[Penn State] called my coach [Monday] and he told me about it," O'Dowd said, referring to the initial contact made by the Nittany Lions. "When I heard about it, I was very much interested and I told my coach to tell them that. My coach gave them my number but I haven't heard from them yet."

While Penn State had not extended a written offer as of Tuesday night, O'Dowd remained interested in the Nittany Lions.

"Some people are just like, 'you're a West Coast kid.' But if I were a West Coast kid, I wouldn't be interested in schools like Ohio State," he said. "If Penn State offers, I'd take them into high consideration because it's full of tradition and it's Big Ten football. There's always great competition there."

O'Dowd also has some of his family's roots planted in the Keystone State. His grandparents arrived in the United States from Greece and originally settled in Pennsylvania.

"That's where my grandparents lived when they first came to this country and then they moved from Pennsylvania to Tuscon," O'Dowd said. "I have a couple cousins in Pennsylvania now, too."

Currently, schools are primarily looking at O'Dowd as a center, although he is versatile enough to play virtually every spot on the offensive line.

"I've been told that I can play any position except left tackle, because I'm not like 6-foot-8," he said. "Preferably, the schools want me at center. I talk to a lot of schools that like me at center or guard.

"I like center just because you're kind of like the quarterback of the line and you're making the calls," he added. "I like that being in control and knowing what's going on."

As far as a timeline for a commitment, O'Dowd is going to take his time.

"I will commit after my official visits," he said.

O'Dowd indicated that within the next week or so, he will be sitting down to plan his five official visits. With that in mind, there is likely a big question on the minds of Penn State fans. That is, if Penn State offers, would the Nittany Lions be in consideration for an official visit?

"Definitely," O'Dowd said.


24-7 Football Top Stories