- Dave Hooker, Reporter, RecruitingNation
Ohio State's relationship with Sam Mustipher continues to grow.
When he was just a freshman, the junior offensive guard from Olney (Md.) Good Counsel received one of his first scholarship offers from the Buckeyes, along with offers from Tulane, Illinois and North Carolina State.
"It was definitely humbling," Mustipher said of the early interest. "I knew going into this high school I would be surrounded by some talented guys."
Very true. Good Counsel regularly produces top talent for college recruiters. Mustipher figures to be one of the best. He already has 10 scholarship offers. While he said there is no early leader for his services, the Buckeyes figure to be around for a long time.
"Oh definitely," he said when asked if he expected Ohio State to be around for the long haul in his recruitment. "I definitely expect them to be one of my top schools."
Last weekend's visit only helped. When asked about the trip, he said a visit with co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Ed Warinner was a highlight. Yet there was certainly more for Mustipher, who spent much of the day on Friday watching the Buckeyes prepare.
"It was great," Mustipher said of the trip. "I had a good visit. I got to go to team meetings and see game preparation."
The preparation was spot on. Ohio State beat archival Michigan 26-21.
Another Big Ten team has also shown a strong connection with Mustipher. The ESPN Watch List prospect has visited Penn State twice this year.
To Mustipher, the job that head coach Tom O'Brien did with the Nittany Lions wasn't a great surprise. Mustipher saw a successful season coming despite all of the off-field issues Penn State has faced.
"I definitely was impressed," Mustipher said, recalling his thoughts of his summer trip to Happy Valley. "I knew the coaching staff pretty well. I spoke with Coach O'Brien twice when I went up there. I felt like he had those guys motivated."
Mustipher has taken other visits this fall, but mostly to local schools so he could focus on his team. He's been to West Virginia and Maryland.
He said he plans to visit Notre Dame, Clemson, North Carolina and Wisconsin, although he's not sure when just yet. The 6-foot-4, 280-pound prospect said he'll likely take a visit or two in the coming weeks then visit more schools this spring.
Mustipher has played all along Good Counsel's line. He's played left guard, nose guard, left tackle and defensive tackle. College recruiters see him as an offensive guard.
"It's where coaches are telling me," Mustipher said. "Honestly, I think I could play any position on the line, I feel. Any position to help a team win a championship."
Mustipher now has 10 scholarship offers. In addition to the four he picked up as a freshman, Rutgers, West Virginia, Penn State, Clemson, Hawaii and Maryland have extended invites. Alabama, Wisconsin and Virginia have expressed recent interest as well.
Notably, two of those schools have a connection to Mustipher via former teammates. Four-star linebacker Dorian O'Daniel is committed to sign with Clemson in February. Maryland has three former Good Counsel standouts on its roster.
When asked what he's looking for in a school, Mustipher said a strong incoming class with talent to win championships, strong academics and a stable program.
"I want to know the coaching staff is going to be there for my four or five years," Mustipher said.
As Mustipher's recruitment begins to speed up, he looks back at those first four offers as a freshman that drove him to more success.
"It just made me hungrier and made me want to get more offers," he said.
4dDan Murphy and Austin Ward