A Price-less Portrait
By Michael Chung
In this age of press conferences, hat selections, and even cable media coverage of high school athletes making college choices, it is nice to see young men just commit to a school and move on..
Such is the case for Billy Price.
No hats were worn, no media came and there were no all-star game intermissions as Price made a commitment with little to no fanfare and then went on living. Since then, the third member of the 2013 class behind Cameron Burrows and Jalin Marshall has flown under the radar.
Urban Meyer’s motto is if the defensive line is not good, your team is not good. Hence, it should come as no surprise Meyer’s recruiting has been heavy along the defensive front. After a plethora of top D-linemen in the 2012 class, Billy Price was the first defensive line commit of 2013.
A young man possessing maturity beyond his years, had he held out and waited, his recruiting coverage would have skyrocketed and the media would have made him a big celebrity. But Price did not want to draw attention to himself, stating that the recruiting process was stressful, time consuming, and he desired to focus on his family, last year of high school football, and classes for his senior season.
“I wanted to get the decision out of the way and not mess around,” said Price, a 6-4, 280-pound defensive tackle out of Austintown Fitch.
“I did not want all the attention and time that I would have to spend talking to coaches, visiting schools, and dealing with media. I wanted to focus on my season, family, friends, and my studies during my senior year.”
This young man recognized that time was a precious commodity and the longer he continued in the process, though foregoing media attention, the more time he would not have towards other things outside of football.
“Coaches will stop by your school and pull you out of class,” Price said, “there is tons of mail that comes to your house. Coaches are constantly Facebooking and tweeting you, it is an aspect of time. I did not want to take so much of my time on making a college choice; I want time with things other than football.”
Because of his 100 percent commitment and strong support system, his high school coach and principal knew not to pull him out of class when a college coach came to visit his school. His time is now his own, with the burden of selecting a university alleviated.
This young man is solid and knows that successful players do what they need to do and do what the coaches tell them to do. His teammates see that and respect him.
“It is very straightforward, you have a job and you do your job,” Price says of his high school football.
“We depend on each other, my high school teammates look up to me as a solid player who does his job on the field and does what the coaches ask me.”
His parents gave him the freedom to choose wherever he wanted. Though they are Buckeye fans, pressure to attend Ohio State was never thrust upon his shoulders.
Price had a sense of independence early on. Though his family was financially stable, he felt the need to start paying his “own way” as part of growing up. Desirous of relieving his mother of his personal spending money, Billy even works a part-time job on top of playing football.
“I try to work a job to earn money so I do not burden my family with any needs I may have,” he said.
“My two younger siblings are also involved in athletics and I want to be part of their life while I am here.”
With Price committing so early, other schools came at him. Being a 4-star prospect – and top flight defensive and offensive line prospect – made him a hot commodity. Early on, Michigan and Michigan State were hot on his trail before the Buckeyes ever offered.
“Ohio State did not recruit me hard until Coach Meyer took over,” Price told The-Ozone.
“Oregon and Alabama also recruited me.”
Rather than playing the recruiting game, Price stayed loyal. He could have listened to Oregon, Alabama and even that school up north. He could have increased his personal visibility but Price knew where his priorities were, and he was more focused on his family and other non-football related entities than building his personal brand.
Even though he is one of the top defensive linemen in the country, Price would be open to move to the offensive side of the ball if needed.
“They said I am playing defense, but if they need me at O-line, I am available,” Price said.
“I will go in and work hard to be the best d-lineman I can be and get playing time there because that is where I feel I am best.”
Price could have gone to a lower division school and probably received instant playing time but he knows Ohio State will bring out the best in him as he competes against the best on a daily basis. He knows nothing will be handed to him in Columbus; the task ahead will require hard work and sacrifice, something he is not foreign too.
In this day, where media will spend great amounts of time covering a young high school football player’s choice of college, where the hoopla and glamour of the spotlight can shine on 16-18 year olds, it is refreshing to see young man who realizes there is more to life than himself.
Ohio State has that type of person in Billy Price.
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