Not many high school football players, in the year 2014, can say that they were the first player ever from their state to receive an Ohio State football scholarship offer. Sioux Falls (S.D.) offensive lineman Grant Schmidt, the nation's 35th-ranked offensive tackle, can say exactly that.
"Of course," Schmidt told Eleven Warriors when asked if an offer from the Buckeyes was significant among his ten offers. "No one from South Dakota has ever been offered by Ohio State."
It was Ed Warinner, the Buckeyes' respected offensive line coach, who extended the offer to Schmidt. Despite the rarity of an Ohio State offer in the Mount Rushmore State, the 6-foot-6, 275-pounder says he was not surprised it happened.
"(Ohio State) has been recruiting me for around four months," he said of the Buckeyes' interest. "(Warinner) came to evaluate me and watch me do offensive line stuff, and I knew he 'd be impressed. I think (the offer) surprised everyone except for me."
As a South Dakota native, Schmidt has a childhood "favorite," but he says that line of thinking isn't necessarily indicative of any college leaning. He has offers currently from Minnesota, Iowa State, North Carolina, Cincinnati, Rutgers, Wyoming and a few others, but an offer from the Buckeyes is sure to speed up the process for other "bigger" schools. They better hurry, because Schmidt wants to focus on his senior season without the rigors of recruiting. He'll make visits this summer, as well as a choice.
"Not really, to be honest," Schmidt replied when asked if he's been focusing on his recruitment up to this point. "I've been focusing on spring football and track. I want to decide this summer, we're picked to win the state championship and I don't want any distractions."
As far as the Buckeyes go, Schmidt says the Buckeyes are one of the schools he wants to visit. He says that when opportunity comes his way, he's not going to look the other way.
"I'm going to go where the opportunities take me. (As for an Ohio State visit) I'm not sure if I am going to go there for a camp or not, it depends on what team stuff we have going on," he said of a summer trek to Columbus. "I'd like to go there to camp and just get some general skill work."
It doesn't take much conversation with South Dakota's top player to see what coaches around the country find appealing. He says he's not on Twitter like most of his contemporaries because he finds his own life "far more interesting."
"I play football and the rest takes care of itself," he said of the hoopla around recruiting and life as a teenager today. "I'm pretty coachable, I just do what I am told and no problems arise. I'm looking for a school that gives me the chance to play early, where I can be developed as a player and where I am around (people with) the right attitude."