Ohio State picked up its fourth verbal member for the class of 2010 when David Durham wrestled his way into landing a scholarship offer from the Buckeyes.
The linebacker prospect from Austin (Texas) Westlake first got to see the OSU campus and make contact with the coaches three weeks ago when he was in town for a wrestling camp. Having already sent a football highlight tape to the Buckeyes, Durham and his wrestling team were on campus to check out the Steelwood Training Facility when his coach contacted the OSU coaching staff.
That contact set the wheels in motion that led to Durham landing a scholarship from the Buckeyes. After going to campus and meeting with OSU linebackers coach Luke Fickell, Durham and his father kept in contact during the ensuing weeks.
Finally, during the morning of Feb. 23, Fickell let Durham know the Buckeyes were giving him a scholarship offer.
He accepted on the spot, becoming verbal commitment No. 4 for OSU’s class of 2010.
“I thought about it a lot this weekend and I realized that I wanted to be a Buckeye, 110 percent,” he told BuckeyeSports.com. “That’s what I wanted to do.”
Three days prior to landing his coveted offer from the Buckeyes, Durham was in Columbus for an unofficial visit as part of a three-day swing that also saw him take in West Virginia and Virginia – two other schools that featured highly on his list and had offered him scholarships.
While at OSU on Feb. 20, Durham got to tour the campus and spent time with both Coach Fickell and Coach Tressel.
Fickell told Durham that the coaches would have to have a meeting before offering him. They had that meeting early Feb. 23, and not long thereafter Durham was a Buckeye.
“That was the offer I really wanted,” he said. “That was one that if I got it, I would consider committing. I told everybody I wanted to commit early, but even I didn’t expect it to be this early but once I got the offer and met with Coach Tressel and everybody I pretty much had my mind made up.
“I called Coach Fickell and he said they were going to offer and I said I wanted to be a Buckeye and I committed. I asked to speak to Coach Tressel … and he was really excited that I decided to come up there. I’m just blessed, really. It’s the place where I feel like I fit in with everyone.
Originally a native of Charlotte, Durham said he has family scattered across the state of Pennsylvania. While he took in all three schools, he stayed with relatives in Pittsburgh, he said.
The 6-2, 226-pound linebacker moved to Austin when he was in eighth grade. As a result, he never felt the pull to stay within the state of Texas at the next level, he said.
“I didn’t know too much about the Texas schools,” he said. “I visited all of them because it’s easy to get to them. I was impartial to those schools. I wasn’t really focused on them. I never really wanted to go to school in Texas being from back east.”
Durham said he had trips planned to check out Texas Tech, Texas A&M and Baylor and added that he felt each of those schools would eventually issue him a scholarship. Durham was in attendance last year when Texas hosted Oklahoma, but he said the Longhorns were not recruiting him as hard as some of the other Texas schools.
“You know where you fit, and when I went to Ohio State I knew I fit,” he said. “All the tradition, all the aura of Ohio State football, you want to be a Buckeye when you go up there.”
There is still nearly a full year until Durham can put pen to paper and officially become a Buckeye, but he said OSU fans have nothing to worry about concerning his commitment.
“I’m set,” he said. “I’m 110 percent sure I want to be a Buckeye. I’m glad that this weight is off my shoulders and I don’t’ have to worry about recruiting any more because that’s where I want to be at.”