Signed: Relationships, Support Following Torn ACL Key to Ohio State Landing Top Wide Receiver Target Kamryn Babb

By Andrew Lind on December 20, 2017 at 8:28 am

The future stars of Ohio State football officially begin their college careers, as standouts from all over the country put pens to their National Letters of Intent.

St. Louis Christian Brothers College four-star wide receiver Kamryn Babb was without a doubt Ohio State's top target at his position from the time the staff offered him a scholarship during a one-day camp in June 2016. And although he suffered a knee injury that prematurely ended his high school career, the support he received from the staff during his rehab played a huge role in why he signed with the Buckeyes on Wednesday.

The Babb File

  • Class: 2018
  • Size: 6-foot-1, 189 pounds
  • Pos: WR
  • School: Christian Brothers College (St. Louis, MO)
  • Composite Rating: ★★★★
  • Composite Rank: 12 (WR)

There were several times over the last year when the 6-foot-1, 189-pound Babb could have pledged his services to Ohio State, but he was in no hurry to make a decision on his future. He wanted to build a strong relationship with the staff first, and another camp visit this summer provided him with such an opportunity.

“I just stayed away from all the football things and focused more on academics,” Babb told Eleven Warriors, noting he spent most of the weekend with head coach Urban Meyer and wide receivers coach Zach Smith. “I got a tour of the campus and just seeing what they can provide for me with life after football.”

Babb — who over the summer narrowed down his list of more than 30 scholarship offers to Alabama, LSU, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Ole Miss and USC — was in the process of scheduling official visits when he suffered a torn ACL during practice in August. The injury sidelined him for his entire senior season.

“We were doing normal drills against the defensive backs,” Babb said. “Perfect ball, just went up and got it and just came down wrong. Heard a pop.”

When an MRI the next morning revealed the extent of the injury — Babb's second significant injury in as many years — he immediately wondered if schools would rescind their scholarship offers. So before news of his injury hit social media and became a national story, Babb picked up his phone and called the coaches at all nine of top schools to make sure their respective offers were still on the table.

Fearing the worst, the first call Babb made was to Meyer and Smith, who never even considered rescinding his offer. To no one's surprise, every other school remained interested, as well.

“All the same schools that were talking to me before the injury are still talking to me, so I’m just taking one day at a time, giving them an update on my rehab,” Babb said. “It’s going pretty good. Nothing’s changed.”

Not being able to play was tough on Babb, naturally, but he remained upbeat and supportive of his teammates throughout the rehabilitation process. The Cadets won the state championship in his absence, which bookended his career with titles.

“It’s going well. I’m grinding every day,” Babb said at his U.S. Army All-American Bowl jersey ceremony last month. “I’m doing the things I have to so I can make it back while taking things slowly. I’m thanking God for allowing me to watch my teammates play, watching them do their thing, and just enjoying my senior year. God always has a plan. Going through the things I’m going through, it will lead to something better.”

Babb returned to campus for Ohio State's highly anticipated game against Penn State, at which time he silently committed to the staff. There, he spent time with Ohio State linebacker Zach Turnure, who graduated from Christian Brothers College in 2013. Though the two never played together, Turnure told Eleven Warriors Babb often leans on him for advice.

“I always make sure to shoot him a text like, 'Hey, man, any questions you may have or anything you need to know about the program, I'd love to fill you in,'” Turnure said. “It's just really cool seeing [him and fellow four-star wide receiver target Cameron Brown] because the brotherhood we have at our high school is so similar to what they cherish here.”

Babb never took any other visits and publicly committed to Ohio State out of the blue on Dec. 12, just about an hour before Idaho four-star defensive tackle Tommy Togiai did the same. And though he won't enroll in classes until June, the Buckeyes are hoping he can have a J.K. Dobbins-like impact as a true freshman — one in which he missed his senior season only to break records in his first season in Columbus.

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