DAYTON, Ohio — At times, Robert Landers catches himself thinking about the future.
When you’re within months from living out your dream, though, it’s pretty hard not to.
Landers, a three-star defensive tackle out of Huber Heights Wayne – the same high school as Braxton Miller – is one of Ohio State’s 27 signees in the 2015 recruiting class. He signed with the Buckeyes back in February on National Signing Day after receiving a scholarship offer late in the process in mid-December.
Landers was originally a West Virginia commit, but when his dream school offered, it was impossible to say no.
“It’s hard not to think about it. It’s an all-time dream coming true for me,” Landers said recently at the Ohio North-South Classic. “I was born a Buckeye fan, born and raised, and to make a dream become reality is a blessing in itself.”
The Ohio North-South Classic is the nation’s longest running high school football all-star game. It pits some of the best players in Ohio against each other. Other Ohio State signees who played in the game included Rashod Berry and Eric Glover-Williams.
Landers played his usual spot and rotated in and out with some other guys on the line — it’s an all-star game, after all. The 6-foot-2, 295-pound defensive tackle recorded a pair of tackles, a sack and was credited with a forced fumble.
“I didn’t have the best day, but I didn’t have a bad day. It was fun. You’re just out here to have fun, come out here and compete,” Landers said. “It wasn’t a serious, ‘Oh my God’ type moments. Just having fun playing against people I’ve never played against and playing with people I’m used to playing against so it was a fun day.”
When he gets to Ohio State, though, it won’t be all about fun. It will be time to get down to business. Landers will be working alongside some of the best players in the country on the defensive line of the defending national champions. He knows there is a lot to work on between now and June 14, the day he reports to Columbus.
“There’s a lot of things, my game is never complete,” he said. “All the way across the board, but the main thing is learning how to study film a lot better. I stayed in the film room a lot, especially my senior year because that’s when it really kind of clicked how important film was.”
Landers is keeping busy as he approaches the end of his senior year of high school, but he said he tries to keep in contact with Ohio State assistant coaches Larry Johnson and Tim Hinton “at least twice a week.”
Right now, he is doing football workouts in addition to going through his normal track season. Landers is the defending Division I state champion in the shot put and he’s trying to repeat again this spring.
But even with all of that going on, he continues to think about what lies ahead for him at his dream school.
“It means a lot. It’s a dream come true and a blessing,” Landers said. “Kids in Ohio every day, day in and day out, dream to get that opportunity and I’m one of those very small few that can say I’m going to be a Buckeye. I’m making a dream come a reality.”