Texas A&M added its fourth ESPN Junior 300 commitment to its 2023 recruiting class Wednesday with Theodor Ohrstrom, the No. 2-ranked tight end in the class despite him never having played football in the United States.
The 6-foot-6, 250-pound Ohrstrom, who is ranked No. 86 overall by ESPN, attends RIG Football Academy in Stockholm.
Ohrstrom has only played football for four years and has yet to play a game for RIG Football Academy in two years. He played last season for the club team Tyresö Royal Crowns and will play for the Täby Flyers this season.
"It was a shortened season because of the pandemic, but I think we played six or seven games last season," Ohrstrom said. "RIG can't play against other Swedish teams, because they accept the 10 best players from all around Sweden every year, so we can only play against other teams in Europe. So since I've been at RIG Academy, we've had trouble playing teams because of the pandemic."
The pandemic has made recruiting a difficult process to navigate in the United States, too. From March 2020 to June 2021, recruits were not allowed to visit campuses and could only have communication with college coaches over the phone, video calls and social media to try to build relationships.
That made it even more difficult for Ohrstrom, who had little film to show coaches and had not received any scholarship offers until this past June.
Brandon Collier is the founder of PPI Recruits, an international American football placement organization that has helped European players receive scholarship offers to play college football. Collier brought Ohrstrom over to the United States for the first time in June to participate in college camps and take a tour of campuses, but because of the travel restrictions, Ohrstrom had to take a winding path to get to his final destination in Atlanta.
"In April, I didn't really know if I was I going to be able to go on the tour or not, so I remember being really stressed about that," Ohrstrom said. "In order for me to be able to get into the United States, I had to go to Costa Rica and quarantine for two weeks at my godmother's house. Then I flew to Atlanta from there, because I couldn't get into the U.S. directly."
Collier has worked with Ohrstrom and has seen quick progression. His time in the 40 has improved from 5.0 seconds to 4.65 seconds.
"The turning point for him was we had a megacamp in America where he got four or five offers in June, but the next day I took him to Alabama to see what Alabama thought," Collier said. "They never saw any film on him, so I took him there and Coach [Nick] Saban saw three routes from him and offered him a scholarship. The next day we went to Ohio State and Ryan Day saw four or five routes and came up to me and said he had seen enough, and it really took off from there."
Ohrstrom went to Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State, LSU, Texas A&M and Oklahoma among others on that tour and saw his scholarship offer list continue to grow.
After visiting Texas A&M twice, Ohrstrom felt as though he had enough information to make a decision and picked the Aggies as his college destination. It was a process that spanned only 2½ months, but he's confident he has made the right choice.
"I just felt like the relationship I've created with Coach Coley and Coach [Jimbo] Fisher and the staff at Texas A&M ... I'm going to be embraced very well by the whole culture that they have there," Ohrstrom said. "I know moving across the Atlantic Ocean, there's going to be a lot of new things and I'll have a support staff around me that fits me very well."