The line made famous by Dorothy on the movie classic, The Wizard of Oz,
is that there’s ‘no place like home’. Despite growing up on the West
coast, Grant Schwartz agrees.
Thursday night, the 6-0 200-pound, safety of Dana Hills, Calif. committed to
Ohio State over Oregon and a host of other schools.
“He made the decision last night,” Schwartz’ father, Brian told
Bucknuts.com on Friday evening. “He informed Coach (Paul) Haynes and he’s
been playing phone tag all day with Coach (Jim) Tressel.”
The elder Schwartz said Grant was not a big fan of the recruiting process,
especially knowing he would have to establish relationships with interested
college coaches, only to ultimately play favorites and pick one choice while
turning down the others.
So for that reason, when Ohio State offered a scholarship three weeks ago,
there was little indecision for Schwartz as to what to do next.
“Well Ohio State has been his No. 1 choice all along,” Mr. Schwartz said
of his son’s mindset. “I mean, you can’t get any better than Ohio State so
he said, 'Let’s do this and be done with it', and there you have it.”
Schwartz comes to Ohio State as a safety, although this season for Dana Hills
he has been playing quarterback. Tonight, ironically, he was set to play for the
first time at wide receiver.
His father said that many spread option teams across the country were
recruiting Schwartz as a quarterback, although Ohio State and several others
liked him as a defensive back.
One of those schools that was interested in Schwartz was Virginia Tech who
backed off simply because they felt it was a lost cause. The Hokies liked him as
both a quarterback and defensive back.
“Their team has been to only recruit players that are serious about
Virginia Tech, and they have actually stopped recruiting the state of Florida
because of it,” Schwartz explained. “In fact, their quarterback coach, Kevin Rogers who is a good friend of mine, said, ‘Brian, we’d like to have him but
all the information we’re getting is that he’s signed, sealed and delivered
to Ohio State’. And this was two months ago.”
Schwartz said that his son ran a 4.5 at the Ohio State camp this summer,
while out at USC’s camp he ran 4.4 and hand timed 4.3’s while he was there.
Although Schwartz has been playing quarterback this season, his father said
he had 70 tackles as a sophomore when he was a defensive back. This season, he
had passed for nearly 1,000 yards and rushed for another 600 yards from the
Schwartz’ speed was tempting to Ohio State, as well as others. He said any
questions they may have had on him were erased after seeing him.
“I think teams wanted to see him be able to break on the ball and see his
footwork and that kind of thing,” Schwartz said.
As far as his decision, Schwartz said he tried not to force his being an Ohio
State alumnus on his son throughout the process.
“I tried to remain as neutral as I could for the fact that this would have
to be his decision,” he explained. “Obviously I wanted to see him at Ohio
State, but I wanted him to go there because that’s where he wanted to be.”
And apparently, it is.
Schwartz recalls the 2002 season where he took his son back to Columbus to
watch the Ohio State – Michigan game that ultimately sent the Buckeyes to the
On the way back to the car after the game, the younger Schwartz, who was
celebrating his 15th birthday that day, turned to his father with an
astonished look on his face.
“Dad, why on earth did you ever leave this place,” Schwartz remembered
his 15-year old asking him. “This is crazy.”
For now, Columbus is Schwartz’ home away from home. But soon he will be
calling it his home just like his father used to do.
Who says you can’t go home again?