- Jared Shanker, ESPN Staff Writer
Wherever junior defensive end prospect Taco Charlton (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington Central) goes, a great game with an exasperating ending seems to follow.
First, Charlton traveled to Ann Arbor, Mich., to watch Michigan complete an improbable comeback against Notre Dame with a last-minute touchdown drive. And on Saturday, Charlton essentially watched the same thing unfold except a couple hundred miles south in Columbus, Ohio, for the Wisconsin-Ohio State game.
“It was crazy,” Charlton said. “I was there with a lot of my friends in the front row. We thought it was over for a minute.
“… It was loud. Everyone from the players to the recruits to everybody, I was just amazed at how crazy the game was.”
It was a much wilder scene than the one Charlton took in a month ago, when the Buckeyes hosted Colorado.
Charlton arrived to the stadium late and didn’t get to talk with the coaches, but he said he was able to do that at the Colorado game and during the summer when he went a couple of camps.
“I’m very familiar with the school,” he said. “I got a chance [to talk to the staff] when I went down for the Colorado game. I talked with linebackers coach [Mike] Vrabel and coach [Luke] Fickell a little bit.”
Charlton has offers from Cincinnati, Michigan, Purdue, Syracuse and UCLA. An Ohio State fan, Charlton said it would be special to play for Ohio State, but that doesn’t mean the Buckeyes are his favorite.
“Recruiting wise we sat down and said we've got to do what’s best for me and who can make me better and possibly take me to the next level after college,” Charlton said. “But [an offer] would mean a lot because I grew up a fan.”
Where do the Buckeyes and Charlton stand when it comes to an offer?
“Right now, I don’t know,” Charlton said. “It may come, it may not come. I haven’t had a chance to talk with them.”
After an 0-2 start, Pickerington Central finished the season with seven straight wins and earned the No. 2 seed in its region. It will host Dublin Coffman in the first round of the regional playoffs Saturday.
Charlton hopes his next several Saturdays are busy, because that would mean Pickerington Central is still in the playoffs. As a result, he doesn’t have more visits planned. If Central gets knocked out of the playoffs early, though, he said he will likely visit Michigan for its game against Ohio State on Nov. 26.
515dTom Luginbill and Craig Haubert