I'm baaack with another glimpse into 2013 Buckeye recruiting. My eyes are starting to blur, my fingers are going cold, but I can't stop trying my best to give you Buckeye freaks what you so badly want! Recruiting news!
This installment will focus on Shaker Heights, Ohio wide receiver/tight end/linebacker/athlete De'Niro Laster.
He has offers from a number of schools, mostly MAC-level right now but is continuing to work his tail off to prove that he is worthy of offers from the big boys.
He has interest in a lot of schools that have been in flux lately, including Ohio State, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Pittsburgh. The transition taking place at each of those schools may have slowed down his recruiting a bit, but not enough to deter De'Niro from being confident that he will get the offers he seeks.
Ohio State will be looking to fill close to 18 more spots for the 2013 class, and a handful of those spots will be secured by wide receivers who can stretch the field. Does Laster fit that mold? Is he better suited to play linebacker? Has he been in contact with Ohio State since the coach who recruiting him, Taver Johnson, departed?
Join us after the jump to see what De'Niro Laster has to say about his recruitment.
How did your junior season end up for you and your team? What can you do to improve yourself for 2012?
I had over 100 tackles, five sacks, two forced fumbles, and two blocked punts in eight games. On offense I had 28 receptions for over 600 yards and 2 touchdowns. My team didn't do so well, we went 2-8, but I had a great year. I missed the last game because of a shoulder injury which is fine now.
What are your current measureables? Height/Weight/40?
Im 6'3", 215 pounds. I want to improve on my size and get bigger, but keep my speed up as well. I ran a 4.62 last summer and I'm also working right now to improve that by the time the season starts. I want to hit around a 4.58 being 6'3 225.
How are you enjoying the recruiting process? Is it something you like, or does it get tiresome and wear you down?
I am loving the recruiting process right now, just staying patient and being humble throughout the process. Sometimes recruiting may be frustrating but for the most part it's a great experience.
How many scholarship offers do you currently have and do you have a few favorites?
I currently have offers from MAC schools such as Toledo,Temple, Bowling Green and Akron. I currently have NO favorites, just being open at the time.
Do you plan on making any trips to Ohio State? Were you unable to make it to their junior day this past weekend?
I did, just came back from Ohio State yesterday.
Which OSU coach is recruiting you, and how important is your relationship with your positional coach?
Coach Drayton is recruiting me and yes, it is very important to have a good connection with your recruiting coach. You don't want to commit to a school without being familiar or comfortable with the coaching staff.
What is it about Ohio State that first captured your attention?
Ohio State captures my attention just by being an Ohio kid and growing up watching the Buckeyes go out and represent the state of Ohio.
The Buckeyes have had a few pretty darn good players come their way from Shaker Heights, do you have any extra pressure to consider them?
I don't feel any pressure coming from Shaker Heights, there have been many great players that has came from Shaker and has played for Ohio State. I feel that as of now, I'm capable of receiving an Ohio State offer.
Will you be attending Ohio State’s camp this summer?
I really don't plan to camp this year, I don't know though.
How are your grades? Do you have an idea of what you want to major in when you get to school?
I currently have a 2.7 core GPA, which has been rising since the first semester. I plan to major in some type of engineering.
What will ultimately be the single biggest factor in your school choice?
The biggest factor in my decision-making will be how comfortable I feel with the program/staff/area. I want to make an early impact at which ever school I end up at!
If you could tell one thing to the Buckeye fans who will be reading this about YOU as a person, what would you want them to know about you?
To the Loyal Ohio State fans, I would say this: as a person I come from a very humble childhood and family. I just try to work hard everyday and carry it over to the football field. I've had two AC joint separations in both of my shoulders, but due to hard work and dedication my shoulders are 100% healed.
Last but not least, I want to say I lost a childhood best-friend who dedicated his whole life to academics and football. If he would've still been here, I can guarantee he would have been at least a 4* prospect. He was a leader on and off the field and I just want to live life just like he would if he was still here. Rest In Peace Malcolm Hills.
On a side note, I wanted to take an extra second to comment about how impressed I was with De'Niro's perspective on life. The loss of his friend Malcolm has clearly impacted him in a deep and profound way, and it's incredibly refreshing and inspiring to see a young man who realizes that life is a gift, and that making the most of it, the best of ourselves; is the greatest way to honor those who we have lost.
You can see Laster's sophomore year highlights here.