Cass Technical High School in Detroit, Michigan, has been good to Ohio State over the past few recruiting classes. In the 2014 class, the Buckeyes signed top-50 defensive back Damon Webb. In the 2015 class, they have a verbal commitment from DL/OL Joshua Alabi. As for the 2016 class, they have strong interest in four-star lineman Michael Onwenu.
Onwenu, a 6-foot-2, 310-pound defensive tackle, has offers from programs all over the country, including Miami, Michigan, NC State and Ohio State. Onwenu credits his interest in Ohio State to the tradition and the coaching staff.
"Ohio State has always been a good defensive team," Onwenu said of why he likes Ohio State. "The linemen are the leaders of the defense for them and I like that. I also have a strong relationship with Coach [Kerry] Coombs and Coach [Larry] Johnson. I got to sit in on the meetings when I visited and the way they teach the game is amazing."
"Playing for a guy like coach Johnson and learning from him would be neat."
Both Ohio State and Michigan have offered Onwenu, and it seems like a classic interstate recruiting battle is brewing. He has visited both schools and came away impressed by both.
"Ohio State has some of the nicest facilities," Onwenu said of his Ohio State visit. "I love the indoor and outdoor practice fields, those were cool. At Michigan, I visited for the BBQ and it was amazing. I grew up rooting for Michigan and Michigan State, so the experience of being at Michigan was great."
Onewu's teammates at Cass Tech, Joshua Alabi (Ohio State) and Mike Weber (Michigan), are actively recruiting him to their prospective schools. They have been talking to him about the potential of them playing together and continuing pipelines to Michigan and Ohio State.
There is one thing Michigan lacks, and that is ace recruiter Damon Webb. "Me and Damon Webb are good friends," Onwenu said of their relationship. "He is telling me to never be satisfied and always stay hungry. He told me that if I went to go to a school that is dedicated to me, I should come to Ohio State."
Onwenu has named Ohio State his leader, even after a visit to Michigan and an offer at the BBQ event. That's good news for the Buckeyes, since the Wolverines could be the biggest threat for his commitment and BBQ at the Big House is Michigan's biggest recruiting event of the year.
With players like Alabi and Webb making the transition from to Cass Tech to Ohio State, it should be easier for Onwenu if he decides to commit to OSU. He had a message for Buckeye Nation as well: "Who really knows what the future holds, but I could be a Buckeye! Go Bucks!"
Cass Tech is another pipeline school Urban Meyer is trying to tap into. Like I mentioned in a previous piece about Urban Meyer and St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Florida, OSU's recruiting connections make it possible to challenge virtually any program for a local pipeline school. If Onwenu ends up in Columbus, future Cass Tech players could face a toss-up decision on whether to be a Buckeye or Wolverine.