Hearns says OSU is in the picture.

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Last updated: 10/09/2012 8:10 AM
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Football Recruiting
Meyer Chomping Down on Another Gator Commit?
By Michael Chung

The-Ozone recently interviewed Daniel McMillian, a current commit for the Florida Gator, and it was revealed that Ohio State is the only school McMillian would consider at this point other than UF. Now, Urban Meyer is trying to flip another Florida commit.

One thing is certain: Urban Meyer leaves no stone unturned in recruiting. Trying to predict where he will go next is like trying to predict the stock market. If you follow Meyer long enough, there will inevitably be a new big name that pops up on the recruiting trail.

Right now, that name is James Hearns.

Recently, The-Ozone’s Brandon Castel and myself debated the state of Ohio State’s linebacking core in year one of the Meyer era. My argument was that the Buckeyes were in good shape while Brandon’s position posed more concern. It seems like Urban agrees with Brandon’s view, as Hearns revealed to the- Ozone that Ohio State is recruiting him hard.

Do the Buckeyes have a chance? What are the odds Hearns de-commits from his home state and comes up north? He took some time to talk to The-Ozone after a game in which he had three interceptions (one was negated by a penalty), one of which he took all the way for a touchdown.

If that game is any indication of the type of talent James “The Hitman”* Hearns is, then it is no surprise why the OSU coaches are desperately trying to flip this star linebacker out of Tallahassee, Fla.

Ozone: It is reported that you will make 2 trips to Columbus, is this true?

Hearns: Yes, I am trying to make an unofficial visit for the Michigan game and an official visit after the football season.

Ozone: Are you still committed to Florida?

Hearns: Yes I am, but I am taking visits to OSU because I want to see the game atmosphere and want to visit after season. If you make an official visit on game weekend, it is hard to see everything. There is definitely a chance for me to go to Ohio State. It will take a lot for me to flip my commitment from Florida, but I will not rule it out and I want hear what Ohio State has to offer.

Ozone: How hard is Urban Meyer recruiting you?

Hearns: He is recruiting very hard; they call a lot, almost every other day. I am not just talking to coach Meyer, but to coach (Luke) Fickell, and coach (Tim) Hinton. They are calling all the time. I believe coach Hinton has Florida as a recruiting area. I talk to Mark Pantoni almost every other day as well.

Ozone: Are there other schools you are listening to or just Ohio State?

Hearns: I am listening to other schools like Louisville and UCLA but there is no interest. The only reason I listened is because they have called. I am not de-committing from Florida, but I am open to Ohio State. The only school that I would consider outside of Florida is Ohio State.

Ozone: What do the Florida coaches think?

Hearns: I have told them and they are aware, I do not want to keep anything from them. They tell me to remember why I chose UF. They have been with me the whole time; I originally committed because they have openings at LB, but when I tore my ACL and my meniscus, schools pulled back and some did not offer or pulled their offer. Florida did pull back their offer as well but they stayed in contact. They saw film and gave the offer back. Some other coaches would not pick up the phone after I got hurt, but Florida did.

Ozone: Odds of de-committing from Florida?

Hearns: It is about 70% to 30% Florida to Ohio State, but I have no background info on Ohio State. They have a good program. A degree from Ohio State would be a really good one. They are both excellent schools.

Ozone Quick Hitters with James Hearns:
Favorite TV Show? Sportscenter
Favorite Restaurant? Zaxbys
Favorite Movie? Friday
Favorite Subject in School? History
College Major? Real Estate and Business Management

*Thank you so much James for taking time after your game to talk to Ozone. We wish you the best as you make your final college choice and hope to talk to you again after you have made your Ohio State visits.

* This is a reference to the famous boxer Thomas The Hitman Hearns who was the first boxer to win world titles in four different weight classes. He had famous bouts with Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler, and Roberto Duran. James is no relation to Thomas.

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