Glenville pipeline still flowing to OSU

Under Jim Tressel, it was hard not to trip over a Tarblooder.

Ohio State’s lineup was loaded with Glenville products under the former Buckeyes coach as he tried to keep a budding pipeline strong. During his stay, Tressel managed to get 16 Tarblooders to sign national letters of intent.

He had his hits with players such Troy Smith, Ted Ginn Jr. and Donte Whitner. He had his misses with Jonathan Newsome, Shawntell Rowell and Freddie Lenix.

But the one thing that remained strong was the connection Tressel and the Buckeyes had with the Tarblooders program.

When Urban Meyer took over, the two-time national champion made sure that direct line to Columbus stayed strong.

While Cardale Jones and De’Van Bogard technically weren’t initially recruited by Meyer, they did sign with the recruiting class of 2012 so they became his.

The Class of 2013 saw Christopher Worley sign with Ohio State, while 2014 already has Marcelys Jones as a commitment.

Quick math shows 20 Glenville athletes either signed or committed to the Buckeyes since 2002 and four under Meyer.

If there was any doubt as to the importance of Glenville under Meyer, he has squashed that notion early.

“Let’s put it this way,” Glenville coach Ted Ginn Sr. said. “If he needed blood, that blood would come from Glenville.

“The business is the business. If you’re working at Ford Motor Co. on eight-cylinder motors, you can’t have anything different because the motor won’t work. Why change the blueprint if the style works?”

That’s exactly what Meyer thinks, and he might not be done as Marshon Lattimore and Erick Smith have already been offered. Both juniors could be budding stars at the next level.

The Glenville mystique

What makes Glenville so important to college coaches is more than just the name. It’s almost hard to keep up with how many athletes Ginn has sent on to the next level. What’s not hard to see is why they’ve reached the college ranks.

“They’re stacked from the first guy to the last guy with talent,” St. Ignatius safety Dameon Willis Jr. said. “Every guy on that team has talent. Everyone comes in different shapes and sizes, but they all bring great skill and talent to the table.

“That’s what makes them appealing. You really have to prep and beat them with fundamentals. You might not be as athletic, but you have to stick with it as much as you can.”

Worley says the Tarblooders, with sophomores like Matthew Draper and Milen Golden, are ready to take the next step.

“We have young guys coming up as well,” Worley said. “It’s like a machine. Coach Meyer is the type of coach and recruiter that if you show skill, he’ll go after you. The Glenville kids fit right into the Ohio State scheme.”

What Meyer means

It’s not just Glenville that attracts Meyer. Meyer attracts Glenville, too.

When Meyer took the job, he made it a point to seek out the school. That went a long way with the Tarblooders.

“That means everything,” Ginn said. “Most of the kids from this area grow up with the dream of going to Ohio State.

“It means a lot, but the kids know what Ohio State means to them. For him to want them and for the kids to know what that means is important. Urban Meyer and Jim Tressel are different only in the fact they have different names.

“When you talk about how are they different, I don’t see a difference in either one of them. They’re the head coach at Ohio State, and you have to have a certain mindset to be there. When you’re the right fit for the school, it works.”

Meyer won over Worley by building a close relationship with the coveted linebacker.

"He just reminds me of my dad,” Worley said. “He gets after it. My dad has been in my life my whole football career so he’s like another dad away from my dad.

“Coach Ginn talks about keeping the family together and Ohio State showed me what I was looking for. With Coach Meyer, he’s a pretty straightforward cat. He cares and everyone knows it.”

A leak in the pipeline?

Don’t expect the Glenville-Ohio State connection to go away soon.

While Tarblooders will go elsewhere -- the Buckeyes can’t grab them all -- there’s no kink in the hose.

“Ohio State is a great program,” Worley said. “The transition from Tressel to Meyer -- I don’t want to say it was easy -- but if you’re looking for great kids, you come to Glenville.

“We already had that pipeline. It was just grabbing the baton. I think it’s going to get stronger. This year we have three kids with Ohio State offers and there are more coming.”

Even someone like Willis sees that. St. Ignatius and Glenville are hardly strangers on the football field. The schools see each other at camps and clinics and pay attention to each other on the recruiting front as well.

When Willis was asked about the Buckeyes’ bubble bursting on Glenville, the response came back without hesitation.

“It will slow down a bit and spread to the other schools, but it’s running pretty strong,” Willis said. “I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon.”