After failing to land a junior college offensive lineman in the 2014 class – which was something the staff coveted – they will look to do so in the 2015 class as they want to add an OL who they could plug-in immediately upon their arrival in Columbus.
They recently handed out an offer to Scranton (PA) Lackawanna C.C. offensive tackle Paris Palmer, who was both surprised and excited to receive an offer from Ohio State.
"My offensive line coach told me about the offer after he talked to the Ohio State coaches," Palmer told Land-Grant Holy Land on how he found out about the offer.
"I'm still in shock about the whole thing. It's still very hard to believe, even after reading all the articles and seeing it all all of the websites, it's still really hard to believe because just a couple of weeks ago I had no offers at all," Palmer said. "I didn't expect Ohio State to like me so much, but I'm glad they do and I'm very appreciative of the offer."
It hasn't been an easy road for the 6'9, 305-pound offensive tackle as he tore his ACL in his senior year of high school then took a year off of football, before resurfacing with Lackawanna Community College in 2012.
"In high school I was a pretty big recruit. I was probably the most recruited player on my team. I didn't have the grades, so I wasn't able to qualify. Then my senior year during basketball season, I was trying to stay in shape for whatever football I would be playing following high school and I tore my ACL doing it," he told Land-Grant Holy Land. "So I took a year off after graduated in 2011 and had to get a job, while I was rehabbing. A friend told me about Lackawanna and how they've had success developing offensive linemen, so I sent them my highlight tape and they offered me a scholarship. I redshirted when I first got here because my knee still needed to get a lot stronger before I could be effective on the field. So after my redshirt season last spring, I started to come into my own and get more of a feel for the game again. I started last fall and the rest is history (laughs)."
He received his first scholarship offer from Temple a few weeks ago and he was extremely excited to know he was wanted by colleges. Since Temple offered he has also gotten offers from Arizona State, East Carolina, and of course Ohio State.
"Temple was the first team to offer," he stated. "It felt great to know that somebody actually wants you to be a part of what they're a part of. Like they're extended a hand out to ask and asking to come join them and wanting you to be a part of their family. It feels great to be wanted."
Palmer really wants to get out to Columbus to see what Ohio State has to offered sometime in the near future. He even grew up watching Ohio State-Michigan games.
I would definitely like to visit Ohio State," the newly offered offensive lineman said. "As someone from the outside looking in, I can't say I know much about their history, but I did always used to watch the Michigan vs Ohio State rivalry game every year. I used to watch Ohio State a lot."
He's taking things slow right now and his more focused on his schoolwork and spring practice than recruiting. No teams stand out for him right now.
"No I wouldn't say there's a leader, nor would I rank my offers right now," he continued. "My main focus is on me graduating from Lackawanna, having a successful spring, and a successful season. I wouldn't say anyone is in the lead because my mind is more on what I have to finish here (at Lackawanna) and not what I'm about to start somewhere else."
Right now he would like to decide this summer or fall, depending on when he can take all of his visits. He plans on graduating from Lackawanna in December.
"I plan to graduate here in December," Palmer stated. "I plan on making most of my visits during this semester or in the summer. So anytime in between then or in the fall because I may have a visit in the fall during the bye week. I'm not sure exactly when because there are still a lot of things I have to wait and see about. Making a trip to Columbus, Ohio is definitely something I have high interest."
Buckeye fans might be familiar with Lackawanna community college because the Scarlet and Gray showed a lot of interest in now Texas A&M Aggie Jermaine Eluemunor in the 2014 cycle. Palmer is pretty close to his former teammate and knows he can turn to him for advice.
"I have a real good relationship with Jermaine or 'London' is what we call him because that's where he's from," Palmer said. "We played on the same side and when you play on the same side as somebody, you have to have a certain connection to where it's not that hard for them to look at you and see what they're thinking"
"As far as his impact on my recruiting process, I haven't really talked to him that much lately, but I know he's somebody I could just call and talk to because he's been through the process and he know what's going to happen and everything," Palmer stated. "He's somebody I know could give some good advice about the process."
When it comes to what will be the biggest factors in his decision, the standout tackle will be looking for a place he feels at home.
"The main factor in me deciding on my next place to play, will probably be which place feels like home," he told Land-Grant Holy Land. "When I go to the campus I'll be looking to see which place gives me the best feel, the atmosphere, how the coaches make me feel and how they care about my well being and my success in life. I really care about what they think about me not just in football and how they treat me as a person."
I'm interested to see where his recruitment goes from here. I know the staff would like to take a junior college offensive lineman in this class and Palmer is the first guy to receive an offer. I'll have a better read on his recruitment as more offers roll in and after he takes some visits.
If you haven't seen the massive offensive tackle in action, you can check out his highlights here.