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Feb. 2, 2005

Signing Day Press Conference Video

COLUMBUS, Ohio: Seventeen high school football players from Ohio and around the country have signed the national letter-of-intent to continue their education at The Ohio State University beginning in the fall of 2005. Additionally, an eighteenth student-athlete has signed a Big Ten tender and will enroll at the beginning of Spring Quarter 2005.

“This class is very capable both in the classroom and on the football field,” said Ohio State coach Jim Tressel. “It meets the ever-rising standards that the university has put in place academically, and it is very gifted from a football standpoint.

“One of the things that impress me about this class is its commitment to excellence. It is a group that is going to work very hard to succeed in all that it does.”

There are 11 student-athletes from the state of Ohio in the class, along with seven players from seven other states. Ten of the recruits are expected to play offense, the other eight will line up on defense for the Buckeyes who are coming off an 8-4 record and their third consecutive bowl victory. The class is peppered with Top 50 picks, All-Americans, all-state selections and players of the year. All of the Ohio signees are rated among the top 25 in the state.

Tressel will get an early look at one of his signees, offensive lineman Jim Cordle from nearby Lancaster. Cordle will enroll in the spring and take part in spring practice. The other 17 players will report in the fall, joining a cast of 45 returning lettermen and 18 holdover starters.

“This is a versatile and diverse group,” said Tressel. “We were able to help ourselves in a number of areas.”

Tressel, who has compiled an overall record of 40-11 during his first four years at Ohio State, lauded his staff for its hard work during the year-long recruiting process.

“Our assistants did an unbelievable job,” he said. “They have been working on this class since last signing day. We will take a little time to enjoy this class and then start to work immediately on next year’s class.

“I also want to thank all the other people in the athletics department and with the university for their help. We had 27 players make official visits and 18 signed with us. That would not have been possible without the help of people like (Director of Athletics) Andy Geiger and (President) Karen Holbrook, along with our Compliance, SASSO, Sports Information and Athletic Training staffs. All of those people and many more, including our faculty, did a great job of showcasing this great university.”

Name Ht. Wt. Pos. Hometown/High School
Amos, Andre 6-1 180 WR/CB Middletown
Boone, Alex 6-8 315 OL Lakewood/St. Edward’s
Cordle, Jim 6-5 275 OL Lancaster
Denlinger, Todd 6-3 265 DL Troy
Hartline, Brian 6-3 180 WR/CB Canton/GlenOak
Jenkins, Malcolm 6-1 180 WR/DB Piscataway, N.J.
Laurinaitis, James 6-3 231 LB Plymouth, Minn./Wayzata
Lenix, Freddie 6-0 193 RB/LB Cleveland/Glenville
O’Neal, Jamario 6-1 180 WR/CB Cleveland/Glenville
Robiskie, Brian 6-3 190 WR Chagrin Falls
Russell, Anderson 6-0 190 RB/DB Atlanta, Ga./Marist
Schoenhoft, Rob 6-6 225 QB Cincinnati/St. Xavier
Spitler, Austin 6-3 228 LB/TE Bellbrook
Washington, Donald 6-1 185 WR/DB Indianapolis, Ind./Franklin Central
Wells, Maurice 5-10 185 RB Jacksonville, Fla./Sandalwood
Williams, Ryan 6-6 245 DE Mission Viejo, Calif.
Wilson, Lawrence 6-6 225 DE Akron, Ohio/St. Vincent-St. Mary
Worthington, Doug 6-7 250 TE/DE Athol Springs, N.Y./Saint Francis

Four Parade All-Americans (Boone, O’Neal, Wells, Worthington)
Consensus Top 100 Prospects: Boone (Rivals.com #20), O’Neal (Rivals.com #31), Worthington (Rivals.com #80)
Three in SuperPrep National Elite 50: O’Neal (#18), Boone (#20), Wells (#45)
SuperPrep Midwest Defensive Player of the Year: O’Neal
Six SuperPrep All-Americans: Wells, Boone, Worthington, Denlinger, Lenix, O’Neal

In Rivals.com Ohio’s Top 40 prospects, all 11 Ohio State signees are among the Top 24, including the top two OL (Boone, Cordle), top DB (O’Neal), top QB (Schoenhoft), top DE (Wilson) and top DL (Denlinger).

Rivals.com national position rankings…
QB: Schoenhoft #6
All-purpose back: Wells #4
WR: Amos #25, Hartline #36, Robiskie #61
OT: Boone #3
OG: Cordle #7
Strongside DE: Worthington #5, Williams #12
Weakside DE: Wilson #12
DT: Denlinger #14
ILB: Laurinaitis #28, Spitler #48
CB: O’Neal #3, Jenkins #61
Athlete: Lenix #22

2005 Ohio State football signees

Andre Amos
WR/CB
6-1, 180
Middletown High School
Middletown, Ohio
12/2/86

Rated by Rivals.com as the No. 2 wide receiver in Ohio and the No. 10 overall prospect … also ranked by Rivals.com as the 25th-best receiver in the nation … Scout.com rated him No. 21 nationally … caught 35 passes for 500 yards and scored seven touchdowns as a senior … picked off seven passes from his defensive back position as a senior … was a first-team Greater Miami Conference and Middletown Journal All-Area selection as a defensive back … totaled 30 catches and four touchdowns as a junior and added three interceptions … committed to the Buckeyes in August before his senior season … played for Dick Martin … Personal: Son of Carey and Teresa Amos.

Alex Boone
OT
6-8, 315
St. Edwards High School
Lakewood, Ohio
5/4/87

USA Today and Parade first-team All-American … ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 3 offensive tackle prospect in the country and the No. 20 player overall … Rivals.com rated him the top prospect in Ohio in their January rankings … Prep Star Magazine and ESPN’s Tom Lemming both ranked him No. 3 on their lists … Scout.com lists him as the No. 1 prospect in the Midwest and the No. 3 offensive lineman in the nation … will already be one of Ohio State’s biggest offensive linemen and has terrific footwork and a frame capable of carrying more muscle … 2003 and 2004 first-team All-Ohio … is an aggressive blocker that enjoys driving defenders away from the line of scrimmage … 50 knockdowns as a senior … started at right tackle in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Jan. 15 … was Ohio State’s second commitment to its 2005 recruiting class, committing before his junior season … will be the first student-athlete from St. Edwards High School to play football at Ohio State since Rodney Bailey (1987-1990) … Personal: Son of James and Amy Boone.

Jim Cordle
OL
6-5, 275
Lancaster High School
Lancaster, Ohio
8/22/87

Will enroll at Ohio State for spring quarter classes and participate in spring practice, therefore is not signing a national letter of intent at the present time … is officially a member of the 2004 recruiting class … ranked by Rivals.com and Scout.com as the No. 7 offensive guard in the nation … Rivals.com rated him as the No. 4 overall prospect in the state in its January 2005 report and the No. 2 offensive lineman behind fellow OSU signee Alex Boone … ESPN’s Tom Lemming ranked him the No. 16 guard/center in the nation … bench presses nearly 350 pounds … was a devastating pulling blocker on stretch and counter plays … was Ohio State’s third commitment to its 2005 recruiting class, that coming in April after his junior football season … 2003 and 2004 first-team All-Ohio … was a first-team 2004 Dispatch-Agonis Club selection … joins former Lancaster teammate Bobby Carpenter at Ohio State … a heavyweight wrestler for Lancaster … coached by Rob Carpenter, father of OSU linebacker Bobby Carpenter … Personal: Son of James and Denise Cordle.

Todd Denlinger
TE/DL
6-3, 265
Troy High School
Troy, Ohio
8/15/86

Ranked as the top defensive line prospect in the state of Ohio and the seventh-best overall prospect in Ohio by Rivals.com … ranked as the 14th-defensive tackle in the nation by Rivals.com and No. 13 by Scout.com … rated No. 16 in the country by ESPN’s Tom Lemming … bench presses more than 350 pounds, squats more than 450 and has a 28-inch vertical leap … 2004 first-team All-Ohio … has great size and was timed at 4.71 seconds in the 40-yard dash at Ohio State’s summer camp in 2004 … carries a 3.75 GPA … collected 60 tackles, including 13 behind the line of scrimmage and seven sacks, as a senior … started at defensive tackle as a freshman and sophomore but moved to middle linebacker as a junior … was just as good at the new position, totaling 125 tackles, including 17 stops behind the line of scrimmage, six sacks and an interception … will be the first student-athlete from Troy High School to play football at Ohio State since Bryan Ferguson (1976-1979), who was a nephew of the late Bob Ferguson, an OSU All-American in 1960 and 1961 … played for Steve Nolan … Personal: Son of Bart and Teri Denlinger.

Brian Hartline
WR/CB
6-3, 180
GlenOak High School
North Canton, Ohio
11/22/86

Rated the No. 3 wide receiver in Ohio and the No. 12 overall prospect in Ohio by Rivals.com … ranked No. 31 nationally by Scout.com and No. 36 by Rivals.com at wide receiver … was a do-it-all player for GlenOak, the same school that produced OSU offensive guard T.J. Downing and former Buckeye defensive back Dustin Fox … as a senior, suffered a season-ending leg injury during the second quarter of the first game of the season … as a junior, passed for 300 yards in the first four games before switching to receiver, where he caught 41 passes for 411 yards from his younger brother, Mike … returned punts as a junior, averaging 16.6 yards per return on nine attempts, including a 60-yard touchdown against Canton McKinley … also returned kickoffs as a junior, averaging 27.5 yards per return on four attempts … played cornerback and handled the punting duties, averaging 36.7 yards per punt as a junior … was all-conference and all-district as a junior … also played running back as a sophomore, rushing for 316 yards and a touchdown on 79 carries … caught 10 passes for 158 yards and two scores as a sophomore … also a track and field standout, competing in the 300-meter hurdles (second in state 2004), 110-meter high hurdles (fourth in state 2004) and high jump (tenth in state 2004) … has a 3.8 GPA … played for Jack Rose … Personal: Son of Dale and Laurie Hartline.

Malcolm Jenkins
WR/CB
6-1, 180
Piscataway High School
Piscataway, N.J.
12/20/87

Rated the No. 28 safety in the country by Scout.com … led his high school team to the state championship as a junior and senior … excels at man-to-man coverage and was rarely tested by opposing quarterbacks as a senior … all-state selection as a defensive back as a senior … totaled more than 300 yards receiving and scored seven touchdowns on offense as a senior … has been timed at 4.43 seconds in the 40-yard dash … had 65 tackles, eight interceptions and four pass break-ups as a junior and also had 178 yards receiving … recent Buckeyes from New Jersey include David Thompson (1999-2002) and Drew Elford (1996-99) … also a track and field standout, winning the state title in the 400-meter dash and placing third in the 200-meter dash as a junior … played for Daniel Higgins … Personal: Son of W. Lee and Gwendolyn Jenkins.

James Laurinaitis
LB
6-3, 231
Wayzata High School
Hamel, Minn.
12/3/86

Name Minnesota’s Defensive Mr. Football as a senior … rated the 28th-best inside linebacker in the nation by Rivals.com … ranked the top linebacker and No. 4 overall prospect in the state of Minnesota by Rivals.com … timed at 4.7 seconds in the 40-yard dash … collected 193 tackles, including 28 for loss, as a senior after totaling more than 160 tackles as a junior … led Wayzata to the Minnesota 5A state championship game as a senior … added five quarterback sacks and seven QB hurries as a senior … is the first scholarship player from Minnesota to play for the Buckeyes since Sid Gillman (1930-33, captain in 1933) … also a hockey standout and was elected team captain of the squad as a senior … played for Brad Anderson … Personal: Son of Joe and Julie Laurinaitis … father was a popular professional wrestler in the 1980s and 1990s.

Freddie Lenix
RB/LB
6-0, 193
Glenville High School
Cleveland, Ohio
10/31/85

Ranked as the 22nd-best “athlete” in the nation by Rivals.com, which also rated him as the 18th-best overall prospect in Ohio … ESPN’s Tom Lemming rates him as the 24th-best inside linebacker in the country … Scout.com lists him as the top linebacker and the No. 4 overall player in Ohio … 2004 first-team All-Ohio linebacker … was teammates with fellow OSU signee Jamario O’Neal … that duo helped led Glenville to the Ohio Div. I state semifinals in 2004 … totaled 85 tackles and two interceptions as a senior … joins former Tarblooders Donte Whitner, Troy Smith, Ted Ginn Jr. and Curtis Terry at Ohio State … led Glenville in tackles in 2004 with 143, including 12 sacks, and returned two interceptions for touchdowns … scored three defensive touchdowns as a senior … has a 40-yard dash time of 4.4 … also a track and field standout, placing third in the state in the 100-meter dash as a junior … played for Ted Ginn Sr. … Personal: Son of Joyce Lenix.

Jamario O’Neal
WR/CB
6-1, 180
Glenville High School
Cleveland, Ohio
9/24/86

Parade All-American … ranked as the No. 3 cornerback in the nation and the No. 2 overall prospect in the state of Ohio by Rivals.com and Scout.com … Prep Star Magazine ranked him third among the country’s defensive backs, while ESPN’s Tom Lemming listed him as the No. 5 cornerback … clocked at 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash … started at cornerback in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Jan. 15 … 65 tackles, three interceptions and three quarterback sacks as a senior … 2004 first-team All-Ohio defensive back … was teammates with fellow OSU signee Freddie Lenix … that duo helped led Glenville to the Ohio Div. I state semifinals in 2004 … joins former Tarblooders Donte Whitner, Troy Smith, Ted Ginn Jr. and Curtis Terry at Ohio State … was Ohio State’s first verbal commitment to its 2005 recruiting class, committing before his junior season … also a track and field standout, placing fifth in the state in the 100-meter dash at the 2004 state championships … played for Ted Ginn Sr. … Personal: Son of Walter Jefferson.

Brian Robiskie
WR
6-3, 190
Chagrin Falls High School
Cleveland, Ohio
12/3/87

Ranked as the No. 6 wide receiver in the state of Ohio and the No. 22 prospect overall by Rivals.com … a 2004 first-team All-Ohio selection … set Chagrin Falls career receiving records with 118 catches for 1,885 yards and 34 touchdowns … caught 47 passes as a senior for 754 yards and 12 touchdowns … also scored on a 95-yard punt return and an interception return … led Chagrin Falls to a 9-3 overall record in 2004 and the conference championship … averaged 14.5 yards on punt returns … had two interceptions … is an honor student, carrying a 3.5 GPA … played for Mark Iammarino … Personal: Son of Terry and Cynthia Robiskie … father is the interim head coach of the Cleveland Browns.

Anderson Russell
RB/DB
6-0, 190
Marist High School
Atlanta, Ga.
5/30/87

Outstanding athlete who can play several positions … averaged 8.4 yards per carry as a senior on 90 attempts … named one of Georgia’s 50 best players by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution … rushed for 758 yards and scored 14 touchdowns as a senior in Marist’s wishbone offense … was Marist’s leading receiver with seven catches for 171 yards and three touchdowns … averaged 19.1 yards on kickoff returns … ran a 4.44-second 40-yard dash at the Ohio State camp last summer … joins Atlanta native Brandon Mitchell on the OSU roster … played for Alan Chadwick … Personal: Son of Kevin and Karen Russell … current OSU graduate assistant Paul Nichols was a quarterback at Marist before playing college football at Davidson … his older brother, Brandon, played football at North Carolina and played with Nichols at Marist … his father, Kevin, also played college football and played for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Rob Schoenhoft
QB
6-6, 225
St. Xavier High School
Mason, Ohio
7/30/86

Ranked as the No. 6 pro-style quarterback in the nation by Rivals.com … rated the No. 8 overall prospect in Ohio by Rivals.com … the No. 7 quarterback in the nation according to Prep Star Magazine and the No. 13 QB in the country according to ESPN’s Tom Lemming … was all-conference in football and basketball as a junior … first-team all-conference as a senior when he completed 72-of-139 passes in eight games for 1,159 yards and 13 touchdowns with just three interceptions … was selected to attend the Elite 11 Quarterbacks’ Camp in southern California prior to his senior season – he was the biggest H.S. quarterback at the camp and had one of the strongest arms … passed for 1,100 yards as a junior with 12 touchdowns and just four interceptions … as a senior, helped lead St. Xavier to a 10-0 regular season record and to the second round of the playoffs … will be the first student-athlete from St. Xavier to play football at Ohio State since Greg Frey (1987-90) … committed to Ohio State in July before his senior season … played for Steve Specht … Personal: Son of Rob and Debbie Schoenhoft.

Austin Spitler
LB/TE
6-3, 228
Bellbrook High School
Bellbrook, Ohio
10/26/86

Rated as the No. 2 linebacker and the No. 24 overall prospect in Ohio by Rivals.com … timed at 4.72 seconds in the 40-yard dash, bench presses 365 pounds and squats 500 pounds … 2004 first-team All-Ohio … at Ohio State’s camp in 2004 he bench pressed 225 pounds 21 times … as a senior totaled 132 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, seven quarterback sacks and two interceptions … was named the conference linebacker of the year … first-team all-conference as a junior and senior … collected 120 tackles as a junior … has a 3.3 GPA … is the first Buckeye from Bellbrook since Jim Borchers (1990, Kettering Alter), who is now a team doctor … played for Kevin Basinger … Personal: Son of Greg and Dawn Spitler.

Donald Washington
WR/DB
6-1, 185
Franklin Central High School
Indianapolis, Ind.
7/28/86

One of the top prep defensive backs and wide receivers in Indiana … recruited mainly as a defensive back … caught 45 passes as a senior and scored 10 touchdowns … averaged better than 17 yards per catch on 47 receptions with eight touchdowns as a junior … runs the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds and has a 38-inch vertical jump … has a 3.4 GPA … was the state long jump champion as a sophomore and junior … played for Lance Scheib … Personal: Son of Donald and Cherry Washington.

Maurice Wells
TB
5-10, 185
Sandalwood High School
Jacksonville, Fla.
2/5/87

Parade All-American … ranked as the No. 4 all-purpose back in the country by Rivals.com … ranked the No. 15 overall prospect in Florida by Scout.com … rushed for career totals of 5,955 yards and 55 touchdowns … Prep Star Magazine ranked him the No. 10 running back in the nation, while ESPN’s Tom Lemming rated him the No. 11 tailback … led the state of Florida in rushing as a junior with 3,076 yards and scored 31 touchdowns … in nine games as a senior, rushed for 1,908 yards and 18 touchdowns … set the Florida single-game rushing record with 429 yards in two and a half quarters in a blowout of Stanton Prep as a junior … compared in style to Warrick Dunn of the Atlanta Falcons … clocked at 4.44-seconds in the 40-yard dash … played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl … played for Adam Geis … Personal: Son of Kingsley and Panda Simons … has several relatives in the Columbus area.

Ryan Williams
DE
6-6, 245
Mission Viejo High School
Mission Viejo, Calif.
9/27/86

Rated by Rivals.com as the No. 12 strongside defensive end in the country and the No. 27 overall prospect in California … had four quarterback sacks as a senior … as a junior, totaled 75 tackles and six sacks for the 13-1 Diablos … was Ohio State’s first commitment to its 2005 recruiting class from outside the state … is the first Buckeye from Mission Viejo since Austin Moherman (1997-99, Capistrano Valley H.S.) … played for Bob Johnson … Personal: Son of Wes and Stephanie Williams … was born in Washington Court House, Ohio.

Lawrence Wilson
TE/DE
6-6, 225
St. Vincent-St. Mary High School
Akron, Ohio
7/21/87

Ranked as Ohio’s top defensive end and the No. 9 player overall by Rivals.com … ranked as the No. 12 weakside defensive end in the nation by Rivals.com … ESPN’s Tom Lemming rated him the No. 16 defensive end in the country … runs the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds … bench presses 300 pounds, squats 600 pounds and has a 36-inch vertical jump … 2004 First Team All-Ohio defensive lineman … had 15 sacks as a junior and 10 as a senior … also caught seven passes for three touchdowns as a senior … has a 3.6 GPA … averaged 15 points per game in basketball as a junior … joins former Irish teammate Sian Cotton at Ohio State … played for Keith Wakefield … Personal: Son of Eugene and Sarah Wilson … older brother attends Ohio State.

Doug Worthington
TE/DE
6-7.5, 250
Saint Francis High School
Athol Springs, N.Y.
8/10/87

Parade first-team All-American … Ranked as the fifth-best strongside defensive end in the nation by Rivals.com … rated the No. 2 prospect overall in the state of New York by Rivals.com … ESPN’s Tom Lemming rated him the No. 21 defensive end in the country … Scout.com lists him as the No. 3 defensive end in the country … collected 67 tackles and five quarterback sacks as a junior … totaled 74 tackles and seven sacks as a senior … also a standout basketball player … timed at 4.75 seconds in the 40-yard dash … is the first Buckeye from upstate New York since Will Smith (2000-03) … played for Jerry Smith … Personal: Son of Doug and Andrea Worthington.