Hailing from ACC basketball country in Tarboro, North Carolina, Ohio State junior defensive end Tyquan Lewis grew up a mere six hours from Clemson.
From his sophomore to senior year at Tarboro High School, he visited the South Carolinian city more times than he can remember. Before his senior season, there was no other program in the country more familiar to the four-star defensive end than Clemson.
Yet when the dust around his recruitment settled, he chose to attend Ohio State.
Only one program employed Urban Meyer, which was a branding achievement considering Lewis' mom, Tyronda Whitaker, didn't know who the then-two-time champion was when her son's recruitment started.
When asked Thursday about the deciding factor in choosing Ohio State, the defensive captain cited a culture dedicated to winning and a robust alumni network.
"Coach Meyer asked me when I was getting recruited," Lewis said. "He said, 'Do you want to be great? Do you want to win a national championship and go to the NFL? This is the place to do it.'
"Coming from the culture of my high school—winning was the main thing. That's just how it was at my high school, winning. When I came here, I felt like I was part of a winning tradition.
"Not only just winning at football. I knew a lot of people who would tell me about Ohio State and the connections. It was everything you could dream of."
So was it a close decision at the end?
"Kinda. It was up in the air. But when I came here, me and my mom sat down and talked about it, and this is what it was."
Lewis played in all 15 games his redshirt freshman season in 2014 as Ohio State won the first College Football Playoff.
Two years later, he enters the playoffs as a defensive pillar. This spring, he could realize his dreams of becoming an NFL player.
Hard to argue with a decision produced that bounty.