will sign on the dotted line later today for The Ohio State
University. Wells committed to OSU at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl but it turns out he had a secret the whole time.
I asked Maruice if the OSU-Michigan game had any influence over his decision.
"Um, not really, actually," he said. "It was a great experience and made me excited but I've been committed since November, so It's kind of been a long time, but I just kept it quiet. I knew Ohio State was the place for me, so it was nice to finally commit at the Army game after it had been bottled up so long."
How was the experience at the All-American Bowl?
"It was all right, I guess" , Wells said. "I only had like two runs. After that it was all throwing. The most runs for any running back was five. I mean, we had five running backs at the game. At a game where they brought in a lot of running backs they sure liked to pass the ball."
Wells then went on to talk about two future OSU teammates.
"I got to be around Jamario O'Neal and Alex Boone," he said. "I got both their phone numbers. They both seemed like great guys. Obviously great players. I can't wait to play with them."
What did the coaches specifically tell Wells about his role next year with the Buckeyes?
"They told me if I come in, work hard, it would be a great opportunity for me," he said. "They only have two scholarship running backs (Antonio Pittman and Erik Haw).
"They said they only would take two backs this year, me and (Jason) Gwaltney, but if Gwaltney did not come than I would be the only guy. So they are really counting on me. They really believe in me, so if I come in and work hard I can make a big impact on that program."
Wells was asked if he knew that Gwaltney had just committed to West Virginia.
"Oh, well you know, I guess I'm the only guy then," Wells stated. "It is something I'm really proud of, to be the main focus at a position where they needed to recruit somebody. It's a great situation. If Gwaltney came it still would have worked out great. But everything happens for a reason and I think everything worked out fine. I‘m just ready to get started"
Wells went on to map out his near future.
"My school is over May 6," he said. "I graduate May 16. So I figured I would head to Columbus May 17th or 18th. My mom graduates from school in May and my dad, he is in the military, and his order is up in May as well. So we'll all be going through some changes. I want to go up and get acclimated with the guys as quickly as I can. Then finally I be able to enroll, I guess."
Wells was asked if he knew about the long line of Florida players that have gone to Ohio State and had success.
"Oh yeah, with Michael Jenkins, Chris Gamble, and all those guys," Wells stated. "Florida, Florida State, and Miami (Fla.), they bring in some of the top in-state talent every year. Some guys want something different, you know. Going someplace different for school is just good for some people, like me. It is something that for most guys, I think, it is something they almost have to at least look at."
Wells finished his senior season with 1,900 yards rushing and 20 touchdowns in nine games. For his career he had 5,985 yards rushing and 55 touchdowns. As a junior, Wells led the state of Florida in rushing with 3076 yards and 31 TDs. The Florida Times Union Player of the year also broke the state's single game rushing yard record with 429 yards.
Jacksonville (Fla.) Sandalwood running back Maurice Wells discussed signing with Ohio State today as well as Jason Gwaltney's decision to sign with West Virginia. That move leaves Wells as the only back in this class and one of just three tailbacks on scholarship for 2005.
Florida standout Maurice Wells talks about signing with the Buckeyes.