Monday, November 26, 2012
Urban Meyer pushing for Clifton Garrett
By Jared Shanker
Standing on the sideline before the game, ESPN Watch List inside linebacker Clifton Garrett (Plainfeld, Ill./Plainfield South) was watching Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier warm up when the Michigan players came out onto the field. Shazier had some comments for the Wolverines, which even fired Garrett up.
"The Michigan players started coming out and as soon as that happened Shazier got in Denard Robinson's face," Garrett said. "That was getting me all pumped up.
"Watching that game, I was thinking, 'I just want to go out and play.' "
Garrett has an Ohio State offer, so he could be playing for the Buckeyes beginning in 2014. During the game, Garrett talked with fellow Watch List prospects Drew Barker and Raekwon McMillan about playing together in college. McMillan has the Buckeyes as his favorite and Barker, though he does not have an Ohio State offer, has visited Columbus five times now.
"We want to win championships and we feel like we'd be able to help get a team to a championship contender," Garrett said. "We'd like to go to the same school."
Once a Buckeyes lean before backing off as more offers came in, Garrett spoke with Urban Meyer at length while on his visit Saturday. The 6-foot-2, 218-pound Garrett has nine offers, but few programs are recruiting him as hard as the Buckeyes are.
"He wants to get this train rolling, making it clear he wants me to come down and be a Buckeye," Garrett said. "He said I'm not going to be on the bench, I'm going to be playing. He likes me a lot and likes my family and wants me to play freshman year."
While Garrett is not concerned about early playing time -- he is ready to earn a spot in practice -- the Buckeyes did make a big impression on him Saturday.
The fans did as well. Garrett was surprised at how many people were around town and tailgating before the game. He even was asked to pose for a few pictures with fans, estimating he took as many as 15 pictures.
"I felt like a celebrity" he said laughing.
Garrett plans to make a decision by January 2014. Ohio State was his last game visit but he hopes to see some SEC programs this winter and spring. Ohio State assistant Mike Vrabel will visit Garrett's school this week.