Anyone that even vaguely follows Ohio State coach Urban Meyer's positional recruiting tendencies can immediately notice a strong emphasis on the offensive and defensive line positions. One of the most highly sought after offensive line prospects in the nation in the 2014 class is 4-star, 6-4 285-pound Sam Mustipher, who holds an Ohio State offer and is strongly considering the Buckeyes.
Mustipher hails from high school powerhouse Good Counsel in Olney, Maryland, and was very impressive to speak with. According to 247Sports' Composite ranking, Sam grades out a 91 overall, is ranked the 225th best overall player in the country, the 13th best offensive guard in the country, and the 7th best overall player in his home state of Maryland. Mustipher and I spoke at length in which we discussed Ohio State, his recruiting process, and much more:
How'd your junior season at Good Counsel go?
It went great. We advanced to the WCAC championship and fortunately won it all again. That's always the goal every year. Individually, I was a leader on the offensive line and my teammates looked up to me. We did what we set out to do and ended up averaging over 250 yards per game offensively. Not many high schools can say that.
What's your favorite part about playing defensive tackle? What's your favorite part about playing offensive guard?
I just love to hit people. On offense, it requires a lot more thinking. There are many techniques, and you have to use different techniques in different situations. I have to base my move off my man on defense's move.
What is your biggest strength? What part of your game do you need to work on the most?
My leverage and quickness off the football are my biggest strengths. I actually just met with my coaches today. I want to work on my flexibility and make progress in that area.
Let's get into your recruitment now. What are the main schools recruiting you currently? Which coaching staffs do you have the best relationships with?
Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and North Carolina are the main schools recruiting me. Coach [Zach] Smith and coach Mark [Pantoni] are the coaches I speak with at Ohio State. I also have a good relationship with the Notre Dame coaches. I also speak with Clemson on a weekly basis. West Virginia as well.
What do you like about Ohio State?
I love the tradition of the program. You think about putting on that silver helmet when you think about playing at Ohio State. I love Coach [Urban] Meyer and his entire coaching staff. He's a really good guy, and he'll be there for years to come. It's cool how he talks about Ohio State like it's his dream job.
Who is the main coach from Ohio State recruiting you? How often do you speak, and who else do you speak with from Ohio State?
Coach Zach Smith is the main coach recruiting me. He actually came to my school the other day, but I wasn't able to speak with him because I couldn't get pulled out of class. I talk to Coach Mark about every other day. Additionally, I talk to Coach [Ed] Warinner. I call Coach Meyer about once a month.
What do you and the coaching staff talk about?
We talk about my recruitment and football in general. They talk to me about getting me up there on campus.
Is Ohio State recruiting you for defensive or offensive line?
What have been your best college visits so far?
Ohio State vs. Michigan was one of the best. I mean, there's really nothing better than that. My Penn State visit was also really fun. Notre Dame this past weekend was great speaking with all the coaches. I also visited West Virginia for a Big 12 game; that was great.
Do you plan on visiting Ohio State again or attending one of their camps?
I'll be visiting sometime in the spring.
Do you have an idea of when you want to announce your decision?
During the Fall of my senior season, probably in December.
How do you deal with the pressure of the recruiting process and being such a highly touted recruit?
I try not to let it get to me. I enjoy being a kid and hanging with my friends. Going to Good Counsel, coaches were in and out of my high school every day. Now, as a junior, that's not anything to me. I like being a normal teenager and hanging with my boys. I'm actually with my teammates right now. I try to be calm and collected, as well as stay humble.
Do you speak with any other top recruits in the 2014 class? Do you try to recruit anyone to go play with you in college?
Jimmy [Byrne] from Notre Dame talks to me a lot and tries to recruit me to come play with him at Notre Dame. This off-season, I'll be attending some camps, and hopefully The Opening in Oregon. There, I'll be able to meet some other recruits and talk about playing with each other in college.
Did you get a chance to watch the Buckeyes this past season? Which players did you like watching the best?
Oh yeah. Defensive lineman #53 [Garrett Goebel] was really aggressive. Watching Braxton [Miller] was very exciting. Also, Jake Stoneburner. I thought he was going to be a big factor in the Michigan game.
Who's the best high school player you've played against or with?
Last year we played a running back from Bishop Gorman named Nathan Starks. He was really impressive.
Do you plan on attending any Ohio State games in this upcoming season?
I'm not sure exactly when yet, but yes for sure. When I get up there this spring, I'll talk to Coach Mark and see what works out with my bye week and their schedule.
Role Models: My dad. He was a nose guard at West Virginia. He had no father growing up and worked hard all on his own. I just want to give back to him and my mom and have them not worry about vacations, finances, taxes and things like that.
Best Subject in School: Math.
Hobbies: Basketball. I used to play on Terrell Suggs' AAU team. I want to play one last season with my friends this year.
Movies: Friday Night Lights. Also, I just watched this documentary called Undefeated.
TV Shows: Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Favorite Sports Teams: For the NBA, the Miami Heat. For the NFL, the Atlanta Falcons. And for the NHL, the Caps. I don't really know for baseball.
Watch what Sam would bring to the Buckeyes here:
Thanks again to Sam for a great interview and taking the time to give Buckeye Nation a chance to get to know you. Good luck in the recruiting process and your senior season.