September 23, 2010

Decker high on Buckeyes

Growing up in Ohio, Taylor Decker always dreamed of playing football for the Ohio State Buckeye.

The 6-foot-8, 270-pound junior offensive tackle from Butler High School in Vandalia no longer sees that as just a dream, especially after accepting an invitation from the OSU coaches to attend last week's game against Ohio University.

"I've always been an Ohio State fan," Decker said. "I was excited to get an invite from them. I really like their facilities and obviously if I went there I'd have really talented people in front of me. I always wanted to go there as a kid."

Decker was impressed with almost everything he saw there. But, because the Bobcats never challenged the Buckeyes, except for maybe during pre-game when the Bobcats' mascot attempted to tackle Brutus Buckeye, the game atmosphere didn't quite meet Decker's expectations.

"I think I need to go to a game against a bigger team because they just blew OU out of the water," Decker said.

Decker hopes to get that opportunity later this season.

During his trip last weekend Decker had the chance to meet most of the Ohio State coaches.

"They were coming in and introducing themselves and even coach (Jim) Tressel was in there," Decker said. "I talked to the offensive line coach, coach (Jim) Bollman. I really liked him. He was a really easy guy to talk to."

Decker said all the coaches were down to earth and not at all what he'd expect from coaches at one of college football's top programs.

"They were not all up into themselves at all," he said. "They were all really nice and don't have big heads. They're just regular guys that know football really well."

Because Decker played his sophomore season at 245 pounds then worked his way up to 270 for his junior campaign most college coaches have indicated they wanted to see film from his first few games of the 2010 season.

"A lot of schools wanted to evaluate me as a junior because I was so thin last year," he said. "I was about 245 as a sophomore. I did a lot of lifting, about 5-6 days per week, and I was eating more. I probably ate four or five meals a day and was in the weight room a whole lot."

Most of Decker's recruiting interest has come from the Buckeyes, Notre Dame and Cincinnati. He's also heard from Michigan State, Michigan, West Virginia, Kentucky, Duke, Penn State, Texas A&M, Wisconsin, Nebraska, NC State, Iowa and Purdue.

Prior to visiting Ohio State, Decker checked out Notre Dame for the Irish's game against Michigan. This weekend he'll be in Cincinnati for the Bearcats' game against Oklahoma.

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