Riley Pettijohn

Will The Buckeyes Stand Tall Again With A Texas LB?

MCKINNEY, Texas – Ohio State’s elevation of James Laurinaitis to linebackers coach has paid off on the recruiting trail and the Buckeyes are hoping that they can ride it to the commitment of linebacker Riley Pettijohn.

The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder holds close to three-dozen offers, is starting to line up official visits and get his process kicked up into high gear, and the Buckeyes are one of the teams very much in the mix.

Pettijohn is a top-50 national type of player and the Buckeyes would love to land another top-Texan linebacker after picking up Payton Pierce in the last recruiting cycle.

The Buckeyes will get first crack with official visits with Pettijohn set to visit Columbus the weekend of May 31st.

It will not be a first visit for Riley, who had a chance to check out the Buckeyes over the spring.

“The way Coach Laurinaitis was coaching the defense and how fast he was moving around. They were flying around,” Pettijohn said of his last visit to Ohio State. “I actually got to see the scrimmage. And I just love the way the D-line, All the stunts and the movements they do. The versatility of the linebackers.”

As with the recruitment of TJ Alford, the relationship between Laurinaitis and the players has been a focal point. How are things between Pettijohn and ‘The Little Animal’?

“Our relationship is really good,” Pettijohn said. “He’s definitely someone I can relate to because he’s a younger guy. And especially since he played in the NFL and he went to Ohio State. It’s just a lot of pluses with him recruiting me.”

A two-day official visit is a big deal but there are not a lot of things that Pettijohn needs to see as Ohio State has already done a great job of laying out its case.

“I just definitely want to be able to talk football with Coach Laurinaitis and Coach (Jim) Knowles,” Pettijohn said. “That’s basically all I want to see.”

Pettijohn will be busy with visits to USC, Texas and Texas A&M all up in the following weeks in that order with USC starting on June 6th.

This is shaping up as a Big Ten vs. SEC battle after the latest round of expansion.

Pettijohn isn’t looking to drag out his recruitment with a desire to have things wrapped up before his senior season at McKinney gets underway.

“(Going to decide) this summer, I’m going to make my decision in June or July,” Pettijohn said.

What else did Pettijohn have to say about his own game, his thoughts on Ohio State and the possibility of leaving the Lone Star State for college? Check it all out in this exclusive video interview as part of our annual Southern Swing tour.

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