The 11W Community Interview is truly of the people, by the people, and for the people. You submit the questions, vote on them, and then we pass the top ones on to the biggest names in the world of Ohio State athletics.
Darius Slade, committed to Michigan State, decided days before signing day that he needed to make an official visit to Ohio State before he could sign his letter of intent. When the Spartans told him a visit to Columbus meant he'd have no room at the East Lansing Inn, Slade trusted his gut and signed with the Buckeyes on signing day, sight unseen. He eventually made his first visit to Columbus, as a signed member of the "Dream '14" three weeks later and had his decision confirmed with an excellent visit to his future home.
Slade didn't know he was going to be a Buckeye for very long prior to his signing, but he's happy to be on board and today he joins the 11W Community Interview series, sitting down and answering your questions.
How hard was it for you to make the decision to switch your commitment from the Spartans to the Buckeyes on NSD without even visiting the Ohio State campus? - TunBuckeye89
DS: It was a difficult decision, because last minute decisions are always tough. I went with my gut and because Larry Johnson is one of the best defensive line coaches in the country. Noah Spence is a good friend of mine as well. "Team Up North State" is a great school but did not have a foundation or a plan for me. The other defensive line commits are great guys and look forward to playing with them.
What is it that you love about the opportunity to play for Larry Johnson? - Killer Nuts
DS: Larry Johnson is one of the best at what he does. He's passionate about his players and it shows in the way his results. He is going to push me along and coach me up to be the best I can be. I have known Larry Johnson for sometime now, so it's going to be exciting to play for him.
What are three of your strengths as a person? Football player? - Silver Bullet 10
DS: My three strengths as a person would be that I am determined, humble, and focused. As a football player, I'd say it's that I am very determined, aggressive and maybe most important that I am never satisfied. I'd also say I am coachable.
Have you talked to any commits in your fellow class yet? - Route4Buckeye
DS: Yes, I am good friends with every signee from my class that are currently on campus, as well as (fellow New Jersey native) Noah Brown. They are all great guys and tough football players. It's going to be great playing with this class. It's a special one.
You committed to the Buckeyes before taking an official visit. After finally taking the trip, what are some things that confirmed you made the right decision? - Alpo
DS: As a football player, I could not have gone to a better institution. Aside from historical success, Ohio State already had a plan for me in place, and that was huge. That plan went from strength and conditioning, to my defensive coordinator, all the way to my position coach. I couldn't be happier. We will have one of the best defenses in college football soon. I fit in well with everything there, get along great with all the other players and I could line up in different types of positions. It's a great fit for me.
What are your hobbies or interests outside of sports? - TeddyBallGame
DS: I like to train, I don't really take days off from that. I enjoy learning new things and reading. I love playing with my little brother and goofing around with little kids in my family. I love to FaceTime my friends as well.
What do you plan on majoring in at tOSU? - OregonianBuckeye
DS: I love the idea of becoming an athletic trainer but to assure the best major I will go in undecided and explore my options to see what is the best fit for me. There are a lot of great options at Ohio State academically.
“Ohio STATE... HAD A PLAN IN PLACE FOR ME... THAT WAS HUGE”– DARIUS SLADE
How familiar are you with the “Silver Bullets" tradition? What former or current Buckeye defensive lineman would you compare yourself too? - ODeez330
DS: I am excited about being a part of the tradition of the Silver Bullets. I love the pride and foundation of this program. We have some of the best coaches and players and there are no excuses to not succeed. I am honestly not a big fan of comparisons, because I like to consider myself different. I want to be the faster and stronger than the last guy and the next guy. I like Noah Spence's style of play, if I had to compare my game to a player on the team now, it would be him. I definitely see myself a different player than the rest. I want to bring much more to the table than anyone ever has.
Can you describe the feeling you get when you come hard off the edge and sack the quarterback for a big loss? - BuckGuyFan1
DS: There is no better feeling. You don't feel like yourself, you feel like you just ended everything and there is nothing (your opponent) can do about it. I just want to roar louder than the screaming fans and stomp a hole in the field. I swear I get so amped and pissed off. It's amazing.
What are you most looking forward to as you prepare for your freshman year in college? What are your goals on and off the field? - TeddyHeisman
DS: I'm looking forward to learning, to stepping back and learning the game, to become a better student, player and a better man. I am excited to get off to school and get started. As far as goals I broke my high school season and career sack records, so I'd love to set a record at OSU. I want to be an academic All-American and to be the best defensive linemen to ever come from Ohio State when it's all said and done. I want to be drafted and make it to the NFL. I love this game too much to sit back and watch it.
I absolutely love Columbus and couldn't pick a greater state to play for. The Ohio State University! Go Bucks!