March 3, 2009

Despite no offer, Wilkins still high on OSU

Washington (Pa.) Trinity high school linebacker Ken Wilkins had already been on the receiving end of a handful of offers, but the 2010 standout picked up two more recently in Boston College and N.C. State.

"My recruiting process is going very well," Wilkins said. "My coach told me I should have around 20 offers by spring and I really think I will get to that. I am just going to work really hard right now and see what happens.

While Wilkins is certainly picking up steam in terms of offers - the 6-foot-3, 235-pound linebacker already has stacked ones up from Cincinnati, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, and Pitt - two of the schools that stand out the most for him haven't come through with scholarship offers in Ohio State and Penn State.

Even so, Wilkins remains very interested in both schools. So much, in fact, that he would say those are the schools that sit atop of his early list.

"I think highly of Ohio State. They are a really good team and I really want to see more of them," Wilkins said. "If (Ohio State were to) offer me, they could eventually be No. 1, but I still need to see more from that school.

"Right now though, Penn State is at the top," Wilkins added. "I just like the atmosphere when I went there and I got a feel for them. They were always my favorite team growing up, so that's probably why they are my No. 1. Ohio State isn't far back, though."

In order to see more of Ohio State and what it has to offer, Wilkins plans on visiting the Buckeyes' spring game. There, Wilkins will get a chance to catch up with his recruiting coach, Ohio State linebackers coach and co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell.

"I feel an offer should be coming. It is just a matter of when they are going to do it," Wilkins said. "They asked me to come up for some visits so hopefully I can hopefully get a connection and talk to the coaches a little bit more."

Aside from family in the Columbus area, Wilkins also has connections on the team in freshman linebacker Andrew Sweat and sophomore offensive lineman Andy Miller, who graduated from the same high school that Wilkins attend last year and the year before, respectively.

While Wilkins said he keeps in rather steady contact with Sweat, the most important relationship is his with Fickell. Thus far in the process, Wilkins thinks his relationship with Fickell is very good.

"I think it is a good relationship and we talk every once in a while," Wilkins said. "I am still trying to get more comfortable with them and I will be calling soon to see what is going on. Hopefully an offer comes soon.

"We talk about everything. Where I play at, where they see me playing at," Wilkins said of his discussions with Fickell.

While Ohio State and Penn State are rivals on the field, the schools actually share quite a bit in common. One thing that particularly stood out to Wilkins is the size and atmosphere of both teams' stadiums.

"It is crazy on gameday. It is just like, 'Wow.' The fans are crazy and the atmosphere is crazy," Wilkins said of Beaver Stadium. "I feel like Ohio State is like that, too. I haven't been to an Ohio State game, but I have been to their stadium. I hope to see what that's like."

Another similarity, perhaps most importantly, is the tradition at the linebacker position both schools carry.

"I feel that's the reason why (I am so high on both schools)," Wilkins said. "Just to play linebacker at either of those two schools is a honor, so that's why they are both on top of my list."

Ari Wasserman is a staff writer for BuckeyeGrove.com. He can be reached at AriWasserman@gmail.com.


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