Monday, April 8, 2013
Ohio State nabs commitment No. 7
By Brad Bournival
Apparently Ohio State likes do things in pairs when it comes to linebackers.
In January, the Buckeyes scored ESPN 150 seniors from the 2013 class on consecutive days.
Kyle Berger became the second linebacker in Ohio State's 2014 class, committing Monday.
On Monday, Kyle Berger (Cleveland/St. Ignatius) became commitment No. 7 for Ohio State just three days after fellow outside linebacker Sam Hubbard (Cincinnati/Moeller) did the same with the Buckeyes.
The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Berger had made several visits to Ohio State -- two in three weeks in March -- and wanted to take his spring break to look inward before coming up with a college choice.
That choice seemed likely to come in May after possible trips to Michigan State and UCLA. He’d been to Michigan several times as well and was going to take some time off from both schools, who were believed to be running neck and neck for Berger.
Ohio State's rich history at linebacker was a factor in his commitment.
"It's unbelievable," Berger said. "It's incredible to think Coach [Luke] Fickell thinks I can play just like guys like A.J. Hawk, Bobby Carpenter, Anthony Schlegel and James Laurinaitis. It's awesome to know that I can play on the same field and wear the same jersey as those guys. Having the Ohio State jersey across my chest is going to be incredible."
Apparently a short break from talking about recruiting was all he needed as he first went to his Twitter account to announce his decision.
"I got to sit down and really think about everything I saw at every school and really weigh my options," Berger said. "It was nice to not get pressured by any coach. I saw that Ohio State was genuine and they really wanted me.
"I felt that I could really fit in there and play possibly early for them and excel there. I felt I could reach my potential there."
Berger had offers from Arkansas, Boston College, Cincinnati, Duke, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, South Florida, Tennessee, UCLA and West Virginia.
There was also interest from Iowa, Notre Dame, Stanford and Vanderbilt.
Berger becomes the second linebacker taken in the Class of 2014 and is the fourth defensive player to give a commitment to the Buckeyes, who have made it a point to fill that side of the ball early.
As a junior, he finished with 90 tackles -- 39 for loss -- and registered 8½ sacks.
Interestingly, championships are big in the Class of 2014 as well, as Berger’s Wildcats won a state title in 2011.
Hubbard won a state title last season with Moeller, as did running back Parris Campbell Jr. (Akron, Ohio/St. Vincent-St. Mary), defensive end Dylan Thompson (Lombard, Ill./Montini Catholic) and ESPN Watch List cornerback Damon Webb (Detroit/Cass Tech).
"That's sweet," Berger said. "That's exactly what Coach [Urban] Meyer wants. He wants a program like that. They're going to win championships and you do that with the best coaches and the best players. That was a huge factor in my decision as well."
In January, the Buckeyes scored ESPN 150 seniors from the 2013 class on consecutive days when Trey Johnson (Lawrenceville, Ga./Central Gwinnett) and Mike Mitchell (Plano, Texas/Prestonwood Christian) committed.