It's not often that a 6-foot-4, 300 pound monster along the defensive line becomes a fan of a college because of the guy playing quarterback, but that's exactly what happened with Clovis North (Fresno, Calif.) sophomore Jacob Daniel. What's rarer still? The team that Daniel grew up rooting for was about 2000 miles of his hometown of Carson.
The quarterback and school?
Troy Smith, Ohio State's 2006 Heisman Trophy winner.
"Yeah, that's true," Daniel said. "I grew up liking the Buckeyes. I remember growing up watching them and Troy Smith, the thing he did really caught my eye."
Since then, it's been Daniel who's been catching the eye of college coaches, he's already collected 11 scholarship offers, including offers from California, Fresno State, Iowa, Miami (Fla.) and Wisconsin. He's not yet heard from Ohio State, but he makes no bones about wanting to.
"I'd love to hear from Ohio State, to get a scholarship offer from them," the 16-year-old said. "They are one of my favorites. Coach Meyer is a winner, he produces winners. What's not to like?"
As a student, Daniel isn't sure what he'd like to study in college, but he's a good student with a 3.0 GPA to go along with his impressive physical tools. He has two more years of recruiting ahead of him, and Jacob hopes to use that time wisely, seeing as many schools as he can in order to ensure a good decision.
"I think I'll decide later in the process," he added. "There's only chance to experience this, and it's big decision to make. I want to make sure I make the right one."
Not many kids from California grow up rooting for Ohio State, but even being a fan doesn't guarantee a visit for the Buckeyes if they were offered. Daniel acknowledges that distance from home, while not a factor in his final decision, can't be ignored completely.
"Yeah I have thought about leaving home and experiencing something new," he continued. "I want to pick a university that will give me the best opportunities academically and with football, and that could be anywhere. I don't know what schools, near or far, will get visits."
Keep an eye on this one Buckeye fans. You can check his highlights here.