Worley Keeps Pipeline Flowing
By Michael Chung
Cleveland’s Christopher Worley did not waste anytime in becoming the 22nd member of the Ohio State 2013 recruiting class, at least by Glenville’s standards.
Worley had barely made it to Ohio State campus by the time he committed to be a part of the school’s 2013 recruiting class. And what OSU class would be complete without someone from Cleveland Glenville in it? Since 2002, Jim Tressel’s first full class at Ohio State, 18 Tarblooders have signed National Letters of Intent to play for the Buckeyes.
That group includes one Heisman Trophy winner – quarterback Troy Smith – and a trio of NFL players: Smith, Ted Ginn Jr. and Donte Whitner, who has easily been the best pro of the group. Ohio State has signed at least one Tarblooder in its recruiting class every year since 2002, with the exception of 2011 when quarterback Cardale Jones committed to the Buckeyes but was asked to spend a year at prep school to create some separation between him and Braxton Miller.
Jones would eventually end up in Columbus, where is currently the No. 3 quarterback for the Buckeyes, so in reality, it has been every year since 2002 that a Cleveland Glenville player has signed with Ohio State. Worley ensures that the streak continues.
Worley was primarily at linebacker this season for coach Ted Ginn Sr. but he projects more as a safety or nickel back at the next level. Rivals, Scout, and ESPN all rate him as a 3-star prospect but 247 Sports has Worley at 4 stars.
John McCallister, an Ohio scouting expert and O-zone contributor had this to say about Worley:
“Chris Worley is a really good athlete. He's going to get bigger and stronger. He's got really good closing speed. He's a football player. I don't know exactly where he's gonna play. He can do a lot of things. I'd probably play him at strong safety, until he outgrows it. He's got good hips. He's a strong run stopper. I think he's a lot like Jermale Hines, but I really like Jermale. He probably runs better and has better hips than Jermale, but Jermale was a heck of a football player. He's not Jermale Hines yet.”
If Worley can be the next Jermale Hines, Ohio State will be in really good shape.
Like Hines, Worley was a do-everything type player for Glenville’s defense this season. He finished with 89 tackles, nine sacks and five interceptions to go with five forced fumbles and a number of defensive touchdowns.
He had 13 sacks, eight picks and seven forced fumbles during his high school career. These are pretty impressive stats and show that Worley can be a playmaker and game changer on defense, following in the footsteps of guys like Whitner, Hines, Christian Bryant and De’van Bogard.
“Worley, 6 feet 2, 195 pounds, could play strong safety at OSU, but he also could grow into outside linebacker size before he’s done,” writes Tim May of the Columbus Dispatch (citing Coach Ginn).
“They are getting a quality guy and a very intelligent athlete. He is a guy who will come in and contribute, and understand the philosophy of Ohio State.”
Worley told Joe Maxse of the Cleveland Plain Dealer that he will likely be used as a safety at Ohio State, and he grew up watching Troy Smith win the Heisman Trophy while leading the Buckeyes to the BCS championship game back in 2006-07.
“It's always been one of my favorite schools,” Worley told the Plain Dealer, “it's a huge load off my shoulders.”
All along it seemed like Worley was destined to be a Buckeye. Most players at Glenville have OSU aspirations, and only three times in the last 11 years has a Glenville athlete spurned an Ohio State offer to sign elsewhere. The first real big one came back in 2008 when wideout Cordale Scott opted to sign with Illinois instead of Ohio State.
Scott later transferred to Toledo, but other Tarblooders who blazed their own trail include safety Latwan Anderson, who may or may not have had a committable OSU offer, and Shane Wynn, who was in a similar situation when he opted to sign with Indiana back in 2011.
Wynn is actually the only one who has really come back to haunt the Buckeyes, but offensive lineman Aundrey Walker was probably the biggest loss when he chose the USC Trojans over the Buckeyes in 2011. Walker just happens to be related to 2014 OL/DL commits Marcelys Jones and Donavan Munger, so the odds of an athlete from Cleveland-Glenville with an Ohio State offer playing at OSU is high.
With Worley committed for 2013 and Marcelys Jones committed for 2014, do not be surprised if 2014 ATH Marshon Lattimore follows Jones and Worley down I-71 to Columbus. Jones told Ozone that he, Worley and Lattimore would like to stay together, which is big because Lattimore is considered to be one of the premier players in Ohio for 2014.
It was a great start to another important recruiting weekend for the Buckeyes. Be sure to check back throughout the weekend because something tells me Urban Meyer is not done yet.