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Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Oxley talks offers, Notre Dame ties

By Jared Shanker

Offers tend to come in bunches, and that is what is going on for Avon Lake (Ohio) junior two-way lineman Ben Oxley.

After getting his first offer from Bowling Green recently, Illinois and Toledo came with offers within 24 hours of each other. The Illini are the most recent offer for Oxley.

“Coach [Steve] Clinkscale came in a couple of times, got all of our info, so [the offer] came as a surprise -- a very pleasant one,” Oxley said. “I kept in contact with Coach Clinkscale, but it definitely caught me by surprise.”

Oxley was told to call Clinkscale last week to get the news directly from the Illini staff instead of his head coach. When Clinkscale last visited Avon Lake, he picked up Oxley’s film. He watched it and gave his stamp of approval. He then passed it along to both the offensive and defensive line coaches, who did the same. Finally, head coach Tim Beckman gave the OK on an offer.

Later this month, Oxley will unofficially visit Illinois. It won’t be on a junior day, so Oxley expects to spend a lot of time with the staff.

“I didn’t know much, but I did a lot of research and really like the way they look,” Oxley said.

Of the schools to offer, Oxley is not sure which position they want him. He just knows they want him. He prefers to be on offense, though.

“I love offense and defense both,” he said, “but I personally see myself as more of an offensive tackle.”

The 6-foot-6, 260-pound Oxley is also hearing from Duke, Maryland, Michigan State, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Pittsburgh and West Virginia. He was hearing from Butch Jones’ staff when he was at Cincinnati, so he hopes to hear from him now that he is at Tennessee.

One program Oxley is definitely hoping to hear from is Notre Dame, where his father graduated and brother, Sean, played.

Although Oxley is a “die-hard Notre Dame fan,” he said that will not cloud his judgment when it comes to picking a school.

“Don’t get me wrong, Notre Dame will always have a place in my heart, but I really like Northwestern, starting to like Illinois and Duke is another program I’m very interested in.”