Ohio State commits sat surrounded by cement on Saturday and all they could talk about was concrete.
What they saw Saturday was a foundation for an Ohio State house they hope will be strong by the time they graduate.
With 13 of the 17 current members of the sixth-ranked 2013 recruiting class represented at the Buckeyes’ 26-21 win over Michigan, the future looked bright.
“I’m very glad they went 12-0,” said Jayme Thompson, who attended the game. “That will help us out with the preseason rankings. At the same time, it’s big shoes to fill. This year, Coach [Urban] Meyer and Coach [Everett] Withers got the most out of those guys. I’m excited to be a part of that next year.”
Thompson was on hand at the Horseshoe along with Jalin Marshall, Tyquan Lewis, Darron Lee, Johnny Townsend, Evan Lisle, J.T. Barrett, Cam Burrows, Tracy Sprinkle, Ezekiel Elliott, Eli Woodard, Billy Price and Michael Hill.
What the lucky 13 witnessed was something more than a victory. They talked about a team that was against the odds to start the season, one supposedly behind the proverbial 8-ball having gone 6-7 a year ago with basically the same squad back. What they saw was a team rebuilt.
That’s something they’ll use as a stepping stone for when they come to Columbus.
“It gives us nothing but confidence,” Townsend said. “A few of the guys are coming in early, so they’ll work with that team that went 12-0. They’ll learn to play the game the right way. They’ll be showing us the right things to do and how to go about things.”
One of those early commits headed to Columbus in January will be Sprinkle, who wrapped up his senior season with what will likely be a first-team All-Ohio selection when the list is announced Monday.
What Sprinkle envisions is a team already strong that should only get stronger with the 2013 class coming in.
That class emails, texts, tweets and calls each other all the time and it’s not only just about football. It’s about life and how everyone is doing.
“Just going to a program that excels like they did showed us something,” Sprinkle said. “Next year, we can get that sweep again and get that national championship. I’m looking forward to getting there and being a part of it beginning in January. We got to talk a little more Saturday about it. We’re connecting right now. When we get down there, we’ll do great things.”
For those taking in an Ohio State game for the first time such as Hill, Barrett, Lewis and Townsend, it was an eye-opener to the future.
It also was a calm reminder that the quartet will be in good hands far away from home.
“It made me feel like we could continue going and keep up another undefeated season and grab that national championship,” Lewis said. “I left feeling like I made the right decision. It was a great time.”