January 28, 2009

Wilkins has eyes on OSU offer

For the past couple of weeks Washington (Pa.) Trinity high school linebacker Ken Wilkins knew the recruiting process was starting to heat up for him. On Monday it officially took off with three offers from Illinois, Cincinnati, and Minnesota.

He is still holding out for an offer from Ohio State.

"I have always had an interest in Ohio State because it is obviously a good program and I have a lot of family that lives in the Columbus area in Reynoldsburg," Wilkins said. "They are a good school and they are always up for championships and the Big Ten every year."

"I love Ohio State," Wilkins answered when asked of his interest in the program. "It would be at the top of the ranks with like Penn State and Illinois and I want to play football in the Big Ten, so why not play at Ohio State?"

Wilkins said he has a verbal offer from Penn State and expects a formal offer pretty soon, but added an offer from the Buckeyes would surely be appreciated.

Ohio State hasn't quite broached the topic of sending an offer his way, but if one came soon Wilkins wouldn't be surprised.

"I don't think it is premature to talk about an offer from Ohio State," Wilkins said. "I think they are really close to having an offer. I would mean a lot because Ohio State is a great university both academically and athletically. It would be just a great honor."

Despite being just a junior, the 6-foot-3, 222-pount linebacker has drawn interest from Ohio State, and it showed when Buckeye linebackers coach and co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell made a visit to his school a few weeks ago.

"Coach Fickell came in about two weeks ago and got film from me and I talked to him for like 15 or 20 minutes," Wilkins said. "It was pretty good. He seems like a real down to earth guy. I feel like he is a great person in trying to recruit me. We were talking abut where I would play at the next level, whether it would be defensive end or stand up linebacker. We also talked about visits and coming out for the spring game and stuff."

Aside from family in the Columbus area, Wilkins also has connections on the team in freshman linebacker Andrew Sweat and sophomore offensive lineman Andy Miller, who graduated from the same high school that Wilkins attend last year.

Sweat and Wilkins keep in regular contact, which is something Wilkins surely appreciates.

"We talk every other month about recruiting and he tells me about what's going on over there," Wilkins said. "It helps a lot because I know what he went through and I can see and learn from stuff. I want to make my decision early, but I want to take a lot of visits and see everything so I don't get set on one place."

Fickell has been the representative from Ohio State that has maintained contact with Wilkins, especially because the linebacker got to meet him last year when the coach came to the high school to recruit Sweat.

"He said we are going to be communicating and stuff," Wilkins said. "We just gave him film a few weeks ago, so I guess they are checking it out and I will hear from them shortly."

While Wilkins waits for an eventual offer to come from Ohio State, the linebacker affirmed how appreciative he is to have already receiver offers from other schools.

"It is good to finally have offers and I really appreciate it," Wilkins said. "It is a great feeling to know that I will have the opportunity to go to school for free."

Ari Wasserman is a staff writer for BuckeyeGrove.com. He can be reached at AriWasserman@gmail.com.



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