Catching Up With Jimmy Byrne: The Game Visit

By Derek Young on November 28, 2012 at 8:00p
Will Byrne go to South Bend or stay home?Byrne is one of Ohio's best linemen

"The Game" between Ohio State and Michigan welcomed many high-profile visitors in both the 2013 and 2014 classes to Columbus this past weekend.

The coaches had official visitors on campus for the 2013 class, as well as unofficial visitors, attempting to close out the current recruiting class on a positive note.  

At the same time, many highly-touted athletes in class of 2014 took in the rivalry as well, as the Buckeye coaching staff aims to build relationships with the best players around for the next recruiting cycle.

One of the major targets on hand for the class of 2014 was Cleveland (OH) St. Ignatius OL Jimmy Byrne. It did not appear that Byrne would be in attendance for The Game as St. Ignatius continued to move on in the Ohio high school football playoffs and was a favorite to contend for a state championship, but an early exit in the postseason allowed the four-star prospect to check out what the Buckeyes had to offer.

Byrne had visited OSU before, but this was his first trip to see Ohio State in action at the 'Shoe. I'm not sure there's a better game to check out than Ohio State against Michigan, and you know part of Urban Meyer's mission was to leave a great impression on recruits in attendance.

The Buckeyes were Byrne's first offer early on in the process, but Notre Dame seems to have done a great job at getting their foot in the door on his recruitment. Byrne visited South Bend for the Notre Dame-Michigan game and was impressed enough to propel the Fighting Irish to the top of his list of schools, making this trip to Columbus all the more important for the home state team.

Ohio State entered the weekend with a pretty good amount of ground to make up for the elite in-state offensive lineman. Did the electric atmosphere at the 'Shoe and positive outcome inch the Scarlet and Gray closer to Notre Dame for his services? Keep reading to find out, as well as when Byrne's college choice will likely be made.

How was the overall experience for your first Ohio State game?

I had a lot of fun and it was a great game to attend. Ohio State played a great game and I was focused on watching how they use their offensive line. It was cool to see the scene afterwards, and hearing the emotional speeches from some of the players in the locker room.

Did you get any time with the Ohio State coaches?

I got to meet all of the coaches which is something I did not expect because I was sent a message earlier in the week saying how individual attention would be tough to come by. All the recruits there were going to make it tough for them to manage their time and the coaches were focused on this game. I was able to get time to speak with Coach Warinner and Meyer. Coach Warinner let me know that he would be at my school in a couple weeks.

Were you able to spend any time with other Ohio State recruits at the game?

My teammate Kyle Berger was there and he had just gotten an Ohio State offer. My decision will be an individual one so we aren't a package deal or anything like that. I also hung out with Marcelys Jones.

Would you say that Ohio State was able to make up any ground on Notre Dame after this visit?

It is tough to say. I enjoyed the visit but I've grown up around the Ohio State and Michigan game, being from Ohio. For that reason I feel like I am unlike some recruits because the atmosphere and rivalry won't affect me like it would others as I knew what to expect. 

Is Notre Dame going to be tough to beat for your commitment?

Notre Dame has made quite an impression on me so it is tough to live up to that. I'm still considering both Ohio State and Notre Dame though. Both places would be great for me.

What will your college choice ultimately come down to?

It's going to come down to my relationships and comfort with my position coach. Coach Heistand of Notre Dame and I have really developed quite a relationship so that is why Notre Dame is high up on my list. It was great to see and talk to Coach Warinner at Ohio State this past weekend though.

Do you have any other visits that you intend on making?

I intend on making it to Notre Dame for a bowl practice at some point. I also plan on possibly visiting Ohio State sometime in January.

When do you hope to make your college decision final?

I hope to have a decision made sometime in February. 


Other recruiting coverage from the weekend:


Comments Show All Comments

SilverBulletNYC's picture

He's going to ND. Damn it. 

The South will NOT rise again!

ODEEZ330's picture

SHIT!!!!! he knew what to expect? WTF...... sign up trout devers and richardson asap if he goes to nd.

stark county football

buckeye76BHop's picture doubter.

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."

"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."

Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

dubjayfootball90's picture

sadly, i got the same feeling... but I have been fooled before.....

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

buckeye76BHop's picture

I hope I'm wrong...but it sounds like he's all in ND.

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."

"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."

Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

tunehtraef's picture

ND bound... Too bad. It seems like we are high on the list for a lot of elite OL recruits, just not the top one. I trust Urban and Co. to bring in plenty of talent, and Warinner to coach them up, just like this year's line.

DMcDougal24's picture

Yep... If I didn't think Notre Dame before, I certainly would now. Doesn't look like the visit changed anything. Good luck to him

bucknut8's picture

We really need to get this kid. Meyer needs to pull all stops to get this kid.
idc what ppl say about Meyer going for "national recruits" & all that junk. As far as Im concerned Ohio has some national OL like Byrne, Richardson, Devers, Jones & Trout. In Meyer I Trust, and im not questioning his judgement. Im just saying that I am always hearing ppl say "Meyer isnt looking at them kids, because they arnt national recruits". Well maybe some ppl have a different opinion on who is a national recruit or not.
We need to focus on landing the top OL in Ohio & keep interest in the other top Ohio OL. but go after some National OL. Try & get several National OL to commit, if they dont, you dont wait around on them unless you have room in the class, this way you can go out & get a kid like Trout, Devers, Richardson, Jones & Byrne to come in, so we are atleast landing some quality OL.


buck-I.8's picture

Why do we need this particular kid that goes to one of the many private schools that breeds kids to go to Notre Dame, the catholic athletic paradigm?
We left a huge impression on Jones, Trout is coming around (and needs an offer), we may very well grab a commitment from Devers' teammate and friend in the next few weeks, Richardson is very interested, and you didn't even mention nationally ranked Orlando Brown Jr., Kc McDermott (who has quite a bit of interest), Glenville's Marcelys Jones, Sam Mustipher (who was blown away at the game), Quenton Nelson, even a possible flip from Knox, who obviously wants to be a Buckeye. Who knows who else will surface, seeing as the 2013 cycle still isn't close to wrapping up. 
Sure, he's a good prospect, and we're all hesitant to relax after the string of misses with 2013 OL guys, but I don't think a kid who in 247's preliminary rankings is only an 88 3*, is a need, at this juncture.

GV9's picture

Sounds like he is bound for ND.  Can't win 'em all. 

osubuck57's picture

The problem is,some OHIO kids aren't wooed by OHIOSTATE,because they're so close.And some just want to branch out and see something different,ie DePreist and some others.Don't care if Urbs gives the red carpet treatment to all of them,we're just not going to get ALL in -state talent to commit to us.Personally.if there is better National talent,we need to get them first in my opinion.You want to compete with the big boys,sometimes it means you take 1 or 2 less OHIO kids.Don't get me wrong,love Ohio kids,because they get the OSU-Michigan rivalry,maybe a little more than an out of state kid would,but we have to get the best talent possible,even if that means we lose out on an Ohio kid.Plus,never have gotten the warm and fuzzies with Byrne anyway.If he's not ALL OSU,NEXT UP in my opinion!!Good luck to him at ND!!


Arizona_Buckeye's picture

Sorry - if you aren't moved by The Game and if you're not wanting to be a part of the Buckeyes after that game - then by all means, head to ND and good luck!  Meyer is MUCH greater than domers and the wave of success that is coming to OSU under Urban is going to bury what happens in Southbend!  Good luck to you but this ship is sailing without you!!!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

sir rickithda3rd's picture

wow that interview just seemed odd... i wonder why so many kids are liking notre dame over osu

mark may wins douchebag of the year... again

Larryp713's picture

ND seems to have some very personable assistant coaches. Several players talk about establishing strong relationships. Also, a kid from a catholic high school bonding with ND is pretty natural.



gunni070's picture

It's the lure of exotic South Bend, IN that pulls them in.

cinserious's picture

When you ask the right line of questions, you can start to fish for the answers. Reading between the lines, it looks like St. Ignatious has Jimmy Byrne brainwashed into the whole ND thing. At least Urban will continue to lock down SW Ohio though.

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

cinserious's picture

Like an earlier poster said, some kids just want to branch out from Ohio. Others follow the Catholic school route. I do know one thing though, ND's national championship game this year definitely helps thier recruiting efforts against us, a team we cant even go to a bowl game.

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

FUqUespin's picture

Kid J. Byrne is not that great, and if he isn't interested then move on.  Like when is the last St. I product to move the needle - Alex Boone is about as good an ambassador for OSU as Terelle Pryor.  The Irish had a lot fall into place for them this year - they should have lost to both Stanford and to Pitt there's no doubt, and choked last year - this year should not have been much different and they barely beat TTUN. 
As for the SC game, if Barkley doesn't get hurt, the Irish aren't a lock to have won last week.  ND is going to get smoked by Alabama and maybe the gloss will come off the ND halo then. 
Then there is this condescending gem ... "Would you say that Ohio State was able to make up any ground on Notre Dame after this visit?
'It is tough to say. I enjoyed the visit but I've grown up around the Ohio State and Michigan game, being from Ohio. For that reason I feel like I am unlike some recruits because the atmosphere and rivalry won't affect me like it would others as I knew what to expect ...'
... so 'The Game' is some sort of gimmicky side show that Ohioans are 'been there, done that'; however, the ND hype on the other hand, is the real deal.  This kid will go to ND and won't be heard from again.
This kid is not far removed from that clown Kalis, and St. Ignatius is overrated at least as far as putting D-I difference makers on the field.  Let him move on to ND and OSU will select another kid more motivated to develop under Warriner and Marotti and OSU won't miss him just like they won't miss Kalis, like they won't miss 'Can't miss' Seantrel Henderson, and like they won't miss Aundray Walker.
If an Ohio kid isn't motivated by what UFM is putting in place at OSU and he wants to play for this, then good luck kid.

buck-I.8's picture

Just saying, I grew up closer to Cbus than this kid did, and Carmen Ohio still makes me tear up, even after hundreds of repetitions.

AllDay028's picture

It's unfortunate, we definitely have not had the luck recruiting offensive lineman recently.

Larryp713's picture

A lot of people are bemoaning the Buckeye's inability to land strong OL recruits, and yet a couple of years ago we were all disappointed with the underdevelopment of our highly recruited OLs.
If we can keep Coach Warriner for a couple more years, I think the recruits will come back.