December 15, 2008

Simon 'pumped' after visit

Youngstown (Ohio) Cardinal Mooney high school defensive tackle John Simon didn't think he could be any more excited to get on Ohio State's campus and get his collegiate football career under way.

That was before he made his official visit down to Columbus this past weekend.

"I didn't think I could be any more pumped to get there, but I was wrong," Simon said. "It was awesome. They answered a lot of questions for me and I got to hang out with a lot of recruits and a lot of the current players, so it was a great time."

Simon was pleased to see the inter-workings in terms of what it is like to be a football player at Ohio State, which included both on the field activities and off the field events.

"It was just a great experience for me. We got to watch practice and see how fast they move and how hard they work in practice every day," Simon said. "You see (the future teammates) all the time and you finally get to meet them and watch them practice. It was a lot of fun.

"I just never realized how close everyone was on campus," Simon added. "It is such a big campus but everyone seems to know each other and everyone seems to be really good friends. It is like a big family down there."

The 6-foot-3, 274 pound defensive lineman got a chance to catch up with fellow recruits and meet just about every one of his future teammates, which he said was the highlight of his trip.

Simon also caught up with dual-threat quarterback Tajh Boyd, who has recently become very interested in Ohio State after decommitting from Tennessee with the hiring of Lane Kiffin.

However, there was no campaigning to try and get Boyd to commit right away. Instead, Simon said he just enjoyed his company and is excited to see where the standout quarterback decides to play.

"I met most of the recruiting class and we keep in touch weekly, but I got to meet Tahj Boyd even though he is not committed yet," Simon said. "I got to spend the weekend with him and he is a great kid so I hope he comes. We don't really talk about football and we comfortable and friends, so we are going to let him make his choice."

Simon was hosted by freshman defensive lineman Garrett Goebel, who took him under his wing during his visit and showed him exactly what being an Ohio State football player is all about.

"He is a great guy. I have met him before but I really never got to hang out with him," said Simon of Goebel. "We are good friends now an we are going to keep in touch and we had a great time together."

Both head coach Jim Tressel and defensive coordinator Jim Heacock spoke with Simon during his official visit.

"They said they were excited to have us all down," Simon said, "and they are looking forward to our careers as we become Buckeyes."

Ari Wasserman is a staff writer for He can be reached at [email protected].

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