February 18, 2009

Ontko would love OSU offer

Growing up in Ohio, Cuyahoga Falls (Ohio) Walsh Jesuit athlete Cameron Ontko admitted he grew up as an Ohio State fan dreaming of one day gaining the opportunity to suit up in Scarlet and Gray.

Now it looks like the opportunity could be as close as ever.

"Ever since I was little I dreamed of being a Buckeye," Ontko said. "Hopefully in the next couple of years I will be a Buckeye."

Building a strong relationship with Ohio State offensive coordinator Jim Bollman, Ontko has had the opportunity to scope out things in Columbus and hopes that gaining an offer is in his future.

"It has been going great. I have been in pretty close contact with Coach Bollman," Ontko said. "He just recently picked up my films, my game films, from my school. We have been in contact, and they actually like me as an outside linebacker or a safety."

Feeling the possible opportunity to play for Ohio State getting near, it was hard for Ontko to hold back his desire to end up in Columbus. If an offer was extended his way, Ontko said it would be hard to hold back an immediate commitment.

"I would definitely love an Ohio State offer," Ontko said. "I would definitely, definitely enjoy playing for Ohio State. Right now, if they offered me as of today, it would probably hands down, I would be a Buckeye."

"I am not sure I would be a 100 percent immediate commitment," Ontko added, "But I would definitely consider it."

Ontko was successful has been very successful on both sides of the ball during his high school career. Currently listed as a running back by Rivals.com, Ontko rushed for 900 yards and 13 touchdowns as a sophomore.

In his junior season, it only got better. But this time, however, the stats were getting piled up on defense, though he still split carries the ball on offense. Ontko posted over 100 tackles (seven for a loss), had an interception, and added four sacks.

"I feel like I had a great season on the defensive side of the ball particularly," Ontko said of his junior year. "I actually think I have high standards for next year on the defensive side of the ball."

While Ontko enjoys the spotlight of carrying the ball on offense, he admitted he felt his true calling was on the defensive side of things.

"I would probably have to say linebacker because I just love playing defense," Ontko said. "I do love running the ball, but I feel like I can have a bigger impact on the defensive side of the ball."

Ontko has noticed the growing trend of solid linebackers who come through Ohio State, adding that playing at the position for the Buckeyes would be an honor.

"I think their linebackers are the hardest workers," Ontko said. "All year here about are their great linebackers, like A.J. Hawk, Carpenter, and James Laurinaitis. Their linebacking corps is always solid, so that just proves they're the hardest workers and that just gives me more determination."

While it is obvious Ontko is pretty high on the Buckeyes, he also admitted that he was impressed with Notre Dame. Ontko has been in contact with Notre Dame special teams coordinator Brian Polian.

"I just like the tradition of Notre Dame football," Ontko said. "It is all year hear about Notre Dame. Its about the tradition and the excellence they have always had, and its not just football, it is also one of the top schools in the nation."

Ontko doesn't have a timeframe in terms of when an offer from Ohio State is coming, but he surely is waiting for one. Ontko confirmed the last time he talked to Bollman the coach confirmed he would like to have the junior out for another visit.

Ontko will be in contact with Coach Bollman within the next week, he said, in order to figure out details of another visit in addition to keeping up with the contact with Ohio State.

Still, an offer is certainly on Ontko's mind.

"I would probably say I would be a Buckeye (with an offer)," Ontko said. "Just the excitment of having that offer in my hand would mean everything in the world to me. I think I would definitely be a Buckeye if I got an offer."

Ari Wasserman is a staff writer for BuckeyeGrove.com. He can be reached at [email protected].

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