Buckeyes in Early for Next St. Ignatius Star
By Michael Chung
The Buckeyes were late on a few of Ohio’s blue chip prospects in the class of 2013, but it looks like Urban Meyer is going to make sure that doesn’t happen again.
Trotwood-Madison linebacker Mike McCray II, whose father played at Ohio State, was offered months after he committed to Michigan. Current Massillon DB Gareon Conley also committed to Brady Hoke, but only recently has he been recruited heavily by the Buckeyes.
Conley may very well end up in Columbus, but this trend cannot continue and Meyer has clearly taken steps to rectify the situation. In a strong turn of events, the Buckeyes were the first school to offer LB Kyle Berger out of Cleveland’s famous St. Ignatius High School.
Before any school in Ohio, the MAC, or anywhere else offered a scholarship, Urban Meyer was the first coach to officially ask Berger to play for his team. If OSU loses this Ohio prospect, it will not be due to a late offer. Meyer himself told Berger over the phone that he would like Kyle to come to Ohio State. He took time to talk to the Ozone about his recruitment.
Ozone: Tell me about the way you found out about your Ohio State offer?
Berger: Coach (Mark) Pantoni told me over Facebook to call and that coach Meyer wanted to talk to me. When I called, I first talked to coach Luke Fickell for about 10 minutes then coach Meyer got on the phone. Coach Meyer said to me that he wants me to be a Buckeye, that Ohio State is short on linebackers, he can see me in Scarlet and Gray and that I would be a great fit at Ohio State.
Ozone: Is St. Ignatius an Ohio State school or Michigan? Which schools do the players on the team talk about most?
Berger: It is split right down the middle. You have Jake Ryan playing at Michigan and Blake Thomas at Ohio State. I think our team as a whole talks about Michigan more mainly due to Jake Ryan’s success up there.
Ozone: Do Anthony Gonzalez or LeCharles Bentley hang around St. Ignatius much?
Berger: Gonzalez, not so much, I have seen LeCharles Bentley more along with a lot of St. Iggy alums.
Ozone: What other schools indicated that they will offer?
Berger: No other schools, just OSU. I have not even talked MAC schools. Last night West Virginia messaged me and their linebackers coach told me he will be in touch.
Ozone: What school did you follow growing up?
Berger: I was never a fan of a specific school, but a lot of my friends were Ohio State fans growing up. I have always watched Ohio State and have always liked them but I am not die hard. I was more pro sports fan growing up and followed the Browns.
Ozone: When do you think you will commit?
Berger: I still have to talk to my parents and talk to other schools, I am not sure yet.
Ozone: Do alums Jake Ryan and Blake Thomas try to recruit you?
Berger: Blake always talks about how great OSU is. I do not really know Jake Ryan, so he does not try to recruit me to Michigan.
Ozone: Do you have a Top 5?
Berger: No top 5, but Michigan and Stanford watched me practice; those two schools would be awesome to have an offer from.
Quick Hitters with Kyle Berger:
Major? Pre-Med, I would like to be a medical doctor. I broke my femur in the 8th grade, had surgery and saw the Dr. 2-3 x a week. I became fascinated with it.
Feelings about LeBron James? I do not pay attention to NBA, I was bummed when he left, you have to do what you have to do and he won in Miami.
Tressel to the Browns? I do not know. I think we should stick with Shurmur for the rest of the year. I think we get rid of coaches too early and do not let them evolve or grow.
Something about Cleveland that only a native would know? The West side market is the coolest place ever, different types of foods and cultures, really sweet.
Favorite local Cleveland restaurant? Steak on a Stone, heat a rock and cook your own steak over it.
Football idol? Jake Ryan is an idol because he was at St. Iggy, he has worked hard and has achieved much.
*Thanks Kyle. We enjoyed gaining insight into your situation and look forward to see where you choose to got to school. I believe Ohio State had a player in John Frank who played in the NFL but eventually became a Dr. Wherever you go to school, hopefully your path can be similar.