11W Community Interview: Linebacker Nick Conner

By Jeremy Birmingham on June 22, 2014 at 12:00p

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.

Welcome to the first 11W Community Interview of the 2015 Ohio State recruiting class, forever dubbed as Elite '15. As of today, this group of young men sits nine commitments deep with more, it seems, being added every day. Last week, Ohio State added number seven, number eight and number nine to the fold. Heck, they even went ahead and threw in a second 2016 commitment for good measure. 

Commitment number seven was Dublin Scioto standout athlete Nick Conner, a 6-foot-3, 225-pound linebacker, fullback and tight end who selected the Buckeyes over Michigan State, Oregon, Boston College, Ole Miss, Kentucky and about a dozen others. 

Today, Nick took some time out of his schedule to become the first member of the "Elite '15" to sit down and field your questions in the 11W Community Interview series. Let's get started. 

Describe the feeling of finally receiving that Ohio State offer and what was going through your mind while waiting for it? - DubJayFootball90

NC: To be honest, my thoughts were "It's about damn time." When I was waiting for it, it was a constant struggle because I knew it was the one I wanted but for some reason I wasn't getting it and I couldn't understand why. I will just say it was worth the wait.

Were you close at any point to giving up on the OSU offer? - DMcDougal24

NC: Honestly if I didn't get it there (at camp last week), I probably wouldn't have went back to Ohio State.  I would have had to wait tell after the season and I would have felt like I was a second or third choice. Again, I'm glad it happened when it did.

 Can you take us through the process of your recruitment (the ups and downs) and when were you sure you had achieved what the coaches expected of you to earn your offer?  - AllinOSU

NC: Well at first I started off visiting schools like Illinois and Kentucky, because I didn't get much attention during my sophomore year, I played travel baseball and it kept me from focusing on one sport. I knew this year I had to choose between football or baseball, and decided on football. I worked hard, I went to a couple different camps and once I did the Michigan State camp I knew I was getting that offer.  I felt that was I was the best linebacker out there and it was at that point when I knew I had to get the Ohio State offer. I went and camped and showed them that I was worthy.

Your highlight film shows a rare natural instinct to find the ball.  What was the best compliment that you received from Coach Meyer? - BuckGuyFan1

NC: First of all, thank you for the compliment. I think am a very instinctive player who loves the game of football. In my time talking to the coaches I think the best thing that I love to hear is when they say they can tell I love football. Because not all kids have that, that passion that drives them to compete hard every single snap.

Now that you have finalized your recruitment, where does your focus shift going forward? Do you see yourself being a leader of this class, reaching out to other targets and building the strongest class possible? - LuckyNutz

NC: Absolutelyfor sure I want us to have the best class as possible. After going to the Rivals Camp Series in Baltimore, there were a couple kids on my team who I'd love to bring with me to Columbus. The one player I'd want the most though is Christian Kirk; nobody could guard that kid - nobody. I'll talk to anyone anywhere to try and help get our class right.

Have the coaches mentioned using you on offense?  I have seen several highlights of you on the other side of the ball, is that something that is in the cards? - BierStube

NC: We have talked about that a bit, yes. They said I could be like a Zach Boren type, but on defense, playing different spots and moving to the offense if needed. I would be ok with playing a little offense if that's where the team needs me. I'll do whatever it takes to get on the field.

Will you look to enroll early or finish out your high school career in the spring and join the team during the summer? - MortC15

NC: Yes I have already set that up, I'll get to enroll at Ohio State early. My classes are already done and it's crazy to think I'll be there as a Buckeye in January 

What do you believe you can bring to this team that no one else can? - MikeNugents BigToe

NC: I think I'm a very good leader who leads by example, and other players will feed off of that. We will become a better unit and on the field and a closer group of guys off of it. I have a different mindset then most players because I will not quit until I win, and I never stop wanting to compete. 

Did anyone from within the Ohio State program give you any particularly great advice on how to use the desire to get a scholarship offer to become a better person and a better football player?  - BrooklynBuckeye

NC: Honestly coach (Luke) Fickell said he wanted me at their camp and he wasn't going to offer before that happened, and I respected his honesty with me. He said I needed to show up and prove to coach (Urban) Meyer that I have speed at linebacker he was looking for and that I am the right man for the job. It helped motivate me to go out and do it. 

Fickell said he wanted me at their camp and he wasn't going to offer before that happened, and I respected his honesty with me.

 Ohio State is known for having a number of outstanding linebackers over the years. How does it feel to be a part of a tradition that includes guys like Chris Spielman, Andy Katzenmoyer, AJ Hawk, James Laurinaitis, Ryan Shazier, and SO MANY others?  - TennBuckeye 19

NC: That's one of the reasons why I chose Ohio State, because of that great tradition at linebacker. I just want to go there and work hard and have my name on that list one day. That is a goal that I will achieve at The Ohio State University. I don't think some of the fans know how much this means, having this opportunity. It's a dream come true and I won't let it be wasted.

Ever since I came to one of the Saturday night games at Ohio State on a visit, where I saw the stands packed as I got to walk around the field, it's been a dream. It's incredible knowing that people call out my name in the stands. I remember just walking past the student section and someone I don't know screamed my name and I looked over and he said "I want you to be a Buckeye!"  I don't think there is a better feeling than being part of Buckeye Nation. I grew up tailgating at the Ohio State games and now kids will be tailgating for me and thinking I could be some kids idol some day? That's just amazing to me. I love the state of Ohio and couldn't be more pumped up to play for the 100,000 +fans out in the stands and the millions around the world. Go Bucks and thank you.


Comments Show All Comments

Golden Buckeye's picture

Sounds like a great kid and a hard worker. It was great to see his insight on not getting that offer for so long.  Frankly, I love that it pissed him off and motivated him to work even harder.  

+10 HS
osu07asu10's picture

Congrats Nick! You saw what you wanted and went and got it, now the fun begins!


CJDPHoS Board of Directors // Best friends with Homey Hache

The 0 is silent.

+5 HS
BuckNutzGasMan's picture

Now that I'm pushing 40 I think its kind of crazy how much I get fired up about these "kids" coming to play football.

That being said, that interview got me pumped.  Have a good feeling about his ceiling.  NFL bound. Gonna be a beast!!

+3 HS
flying-banana's picture

Seems like a good kid with a solid head on his shoulders. I'm surprised I didn't hear much about him on this site or on the forum, good to have him on board though and go Bucks!

Incidentally I'm sad I'll never know if he wants to fight a Brady Hoke sized wolverine or 100 wolverine sized Brady Hokes.

+1 HS
ronbizi's picture

Seems like a good kid with a solid head on his shoulders.  I'm surprised I didn't hear much about him on this site or on the forum, good to have him on board though and go Bucks!


+5 HS
Dougger's picture

That is what it's all about. Hope your hard work pays off in a big way!

I like football

+1 HS
oregonianbuckeye's picture

Really excited that Connor is a Buckeye, as this guy is easy to root for. Great interview, and welcome to the family.

+2 HS
1967Buck's picture

Wow, classy young man and well spoken. Good head on his shoulders too. I think he is what this class needs.

+1 HS
Buckeye Rocket Sci's picture

Now that is as true a Buckeye as ever. I love this kid and hope he accomplishes everything that he wants to so that he, too, may end up on that list of greats!! Stay strong, brother, you have all of Buckeye Nation behind you!!

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence" - Calvin Coolidge

+3 HS
Arizona_Buckeye's picture

Lot's of awesomeness in that kid!!!

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

+1 HS
VintonCountyBuck's picture

That last paragraph is just beautiful.

Welcome to Buckeye Nation, Mr. Conner!

“Right now, Michigan is not at the pinnacle of college football, and that’s all Urban Meyer cares about...He’s been there and knows what it takes to get there.” 

+3 HS
BTBuckeye's picture

Love this kid. Go get it nick.

+1 HS
Mortc15's picture

Man, I love anyone who chooses Ohio State but it's obvious this kid wanted to be a buckeye from the very beginning. Gonna be pulling hard for this guy to see the field early and often. 


+3 HS
BroJim's picture

Thanks for the opportunity, I hope we can have more of these community interviews!

I season my simple food with hunger

+1 HS
DC-town's picture

Great story and definitely a guy to root for...hopefully we see him reach that level to be mentioned with the LB greats, but regardless it sounds like this is the type of leader you want I the position room and lockerroom- best of luck Nick.

It's going to be quite a sight if we can get an all Ohio LB class of Baker and Hilliard along with Conner- way to rep Ohio

'Piss excellence' -RB

+2 HS
jaxbuckeye's picture

Wow what more can be said?  Awesome kid and I hope he inspires my own son!

+2 HS
Silver Bullet 10's picture

Wow this was my favorite community interview by far.

+2 HS
HotSauceCommittee's picture

Agreed. Passion - check. Honest - check. Love for Buckeyes - double check.

+1 HS
Go1Bucks's picture

Man, sometimes it just feels Great to be a Buckeye!

Go Bucks!

+2 HS
IGotAWoody's picture

Man, sometimes it just it ALWAYS feels GREAT to be a BUCKEYE!

“The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination.” ~Carl Rogers

+2 HS
Jimmy Smits's picture

Glad to have this kid, hope he can work on Kirk!

I like nachos

+2 HS
cdub4's picture

Impressive interview!

+1 HS
sivaDavis's picture

This kid just gets it. Can't help but to think that he's going to end up being great here in Columbus. 

"I've had smarter people around me all my life, but I haven't run into one yet that can outwork me. And if they can't outwork you, then smarts aren't going to do them much good." - Woody Hayes

+2 HS
KBonay's picture

That's just quality stuff right there. Great questions & great answers. Welcome aboard Nick. 

+2 HS
bleedscarlet's picture

Back when I was in the service I worked with a Chief Warrant Officer Southall, he was a hard as nails black dude that took no shit... not from Colonels or Sergeant Majors. He was always all over the black guys in our unit and they hated him for it (constant Uncle Tom comments), so I asked him one day "Why do you ride those black guys like that?"... he answered "I expect more out of them and if I have to reach in and pull it out by hand, I'll get it".

I think the staff wants more out of our in state talent and they're going to make Ohio kids work hard for offers. Just being good is no longer enough.....

Slingin' swag since 1970


+5 HS
HotSauceCommittee's picture

Great story. I agree. Nothing wrong with makin kids earn it. In state kids might have it a little harder. I guess its Urban's way of affirming he gets Ohio's best.

+2 HS
Gametime's picture

This kid will elevate the entire LBs unit level with his passion and work ethic alone. 

Between goals and achievement is discipline and consistency. That fire you have inside to do whatever you love is placed there by God. Now go claim it. ~ Denzel Washington

+2 HS
Crimson's picture

Damn, I love this kid.  Can't wait to see him on the field.

+1 HS
SilverState's picture

Some of his responses are Simon-esque. Looking forward to what he can do.

+1 HS
Poison nuts's picture

Very inspiring when someone cares that much. Combine that with genuine ability & you have the potential for true greatness. There will be a very deep LB corp this after this year & I suspect Mr Conner will end up as one of the best of them sooner rather than later...

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

buckskin's picture

Man, I'm ready to see some natural instincts from a middle backer.  You're right Nick, it's about damn time.  Hopefully he turns into a Speilman or Hawk type of LB. 

Buck Wild's picture

#Stonecoldkiller LB... 

"I can accept failure, but I can't accept not trying."
Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987

Shangheyed's picture

Some great questions from the elevenwarriors family, a good read on a great get!

Jeremypreemo81's picture

and thats  the type of kid you want on your team...unbelievavle character

tracyre's picture

Now THAT is what in TALKING bout! Competitive, determined, loves OSU, and loves Ohio. What more to say?!?

SilverBullet-98's picture

I like many other have been pulling for this kid to get OFFERED by OHIO STATE.

It almost feels like a dream of mine came true, I'm so glad the Luke and Urban and Nick Connor made this happen.

This is the type of recruit and player that won't miss a Bowl Game or Rivalry game unless he has half a limb missing.

This is the type of kid that doesn't have "Can'T" or "Quit" in his vocabulary. This is the type of recruit/player who was raised very well by his parents and culture. The Culture of "Ohio High School Football". Where "Never Say Die" is a way of life not just a phrase on a locker room wall. 

Nick Conner isn't your 4.3 forty athelete from the beach down south, or a recruit who played games with the media or his State School's Fan base.He is the teammate you wan't in the huddle with you, when things start to break down and he will be the one to lead back out of a bad momentum shift and convince his team mates do make a play or do it themselves.

This is the type of recruit Urban Meyer offers and Ohio St. has had playing for Buckeyes since the days of Woody Hayes.i.e. RDS, James Laurinaitas, CHRIS SPIELMAN, Bobby Carpenter, Greg Bellisari , Greg Miller, Jerry Rudzinski, Fred Pagac, Anthony Schlegel, Marcus Marek, Randy Gradishar, Pepper johnson, Tom Cousineau, Dave Adkins, Steve Tovar, Jim Laughlin, Aj. Hawk and Katzenmoyer.

The type of Recruit or Player that goes to LBU !!!!!


"The Past Builds the Future"