COLUMBUS, Ohio — Jayson Oweh isn’t afraid to tell you that he’s not a polished football player. Up until this year, he thought he a basketball player.
On Friday at Ohio State, his evolution into a potentially dominant defensive end took another step during his first visit with the Buckeyes and defensive line coach Larry Johnson Sr.
“It was surreal,” said Oweh, the country’s 14th-ranked strongside defensive end per the 247Sports composite. “I learned so much from Coach Johnson and [Urban] Meyer. It was definitely worth the trip.”
Prior to the visit with the Buckeyes, Penn State was Oweh’s leader. That has changed, he told Land of 10.
“Ohio State pushed ahead,” he said. “A little.”
There’s a long way to go in his recruitment (Oweh is at Notre Dame on Saturday), but the impression Ohio State made is clear.
“It’s at a different level [at Ohio State],” Oweh said when asked to compare the visits he’s been on. “They really showed that they care about their players. I saw all of their academic stuff, and it was very impressive. They really invest in their players, especially through Meyer’s ‘Real Life Wednesday’ program.”
Earlier in the week, Oweh told Land of 10 that his greatest concern heading into the visit was whether Ohio State would be patient enough to allow his development to run its natural course.
“My biggest question at Ohio State,” Oweh said, “is if Coach Johnson will have the patience with me to develop me. I am new to this game, it’s my first year playing, so I just want to be assured that I won’t be cheated out of my development.”
The implication of course — however the idea was planted — is that at a football “factory” like the Buckeyes have, if you don’t shine immediately, you don’t get a chance to shine later. That was something Johnson addressed at length.
“Coach Johnson really sold it to me that he’s going to invest in me and make it a priority that I get to where I want to go,” he said. “He kept stressing that to me.”
Overall, this visit all but assured Oweh will be back in Columbus. He hopes to make his next visit in July for Friday Night Lights. As of Saturday though, he’s taking away a few key points, both on and off the field.
“Coach Johnson explained the art of pass rushing to me in a way I never thought it was possible,” he said when asked for his final takeaway from the trip. “And, with Coach Meyer, he really just told me and showed me the networking and life-after-football opportunities Ohio State gives you.”