Reaction: Matt Burrell's Commitment Gets Elite 15 Buzzing

By Jeremy Birmingham on November 17, 2014 at 9:23 pm
Matt Burrell takes on Jashon Cornell at The Opening.

After nearly two years of waiting, the Buckeyes got their man along the offensive line: Virginia's Matt Burrell is a Buckeye. The commitment, Ohio State's 21st in 2015, is a big one for a number of reasons. His pledge, done without fan fare via Twitter tonight, was one that is vital to Ohio State's plans for 2015 and beyond.

Recruited as the Buckeyes' biggest priority interior lineman for the majority of the last two years, Burrell is not just a winner on the field: he's a guy the Buckeyes see as a leader off of it. A player that others will follow as much for his personality off the field as his smash mouth demeanor on it. His commitment has his future teammates, including Justin Hilliard, buzzing. 

Hilliard told Eleven Warriors that Burrell's decision is about football of course, but it's more than that.

"We're getting high caliber guys but we're also building a family here," Hilliard said. "It's about competition and a group of guys that are brothers, that will lead to national championships. "

The surprising timing of the commitment aside, Burrell's family and friends have long revered Ohio State's coaching staff and their laid back approach to the recruitment, never pressuring and working hard to show that they were the best choice for not just the player, but the family as well. The Buckeyes moved to number five in the team recruiting rankings. 

Ohio State pledge Torrance Gibson says Burrell's commitment isn't the end of the story for this recruiting class.

"This is just the beginning," Gibson shared with 11W. "Our class is going to be special and Matthew is a special player and I can't wait to play alongside of him."

Burrell is Ohio State's third offensive line commitment for 2015, and fellow lineman Grant Schmidt is excited to have him on board. 

"I'm pumped to get some more offensive lineman in this class," Schmidt told 11W. "He seems like a great dude and can't wait to get to know him more."

Jashon Cornell, who went head-to-head a number of times with Burrell at The Opening in July, was equally excited, and he's got his mind set on the next piece of the puzzle.

"We're building a class that has a bright future for the next four years," Cornell said. "Now we need to get Damien Harris."

Alex Stump, who committed to Ohio State in early October, may have summed it up best.

"This keeps building momentum to finishing with a top class," Stump told 11W. "We love having great players and people on board."

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