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Montini's Dylan Thompson (59) tackles Morris' Zach Cinnamon (15) during Saturday's IHSA State Championship game between Morris and Montini high schools, hosted at the University of Illinois in Champaign, IL. | Paul Bergstrom ~ For Sun-Times Media
Montini junior defensive lineman Dylan Thompson, a three-star prospect as rated by FOXSports NEXT, took his first visit to Ohio State Saturday, and that is all it took -- he left verbally committed to the Buckeyes.
“I think I knew the moment I walked through the front doors of the Woody Hayes facility, but I didn’t want to jump to any conclusions,” Thompson said.
Thompson, who stacks up as FOXSports NEXT’s 31st best defensive lineman in the country plays defensive end for Montini, but could make the move to defensive tackle for the Buckeyes. The junior lineman is the fifth junior to pledge to Ohio State, and the first on the defensive line.
“We met with the strength and conditioning team and we connected right away,” Thompson said. “Then my parents and I sat with Coach Meyer in his office.”
“I can only say wow, I think I was speechless. I just listened. I felt at home, like I really belonged right there.”
The tour continued, and the 6-5, 265 lineman just continued to be more impressed.
“By the end of practice I knew this was it,” Thompson said. “I spoke with my parents and we discussed the fact that this commitment would be solid.”
So without waiting any longer, Thompson decided to commit to the Buckeyes.
“At the end of practice, my parents, Coach Mike Vrabel and I walked to the center of the practice field where Coach Urban Meyer was and I told him I wanted to play for him,” Thompson said. “Both coaches looked pretty surprised, I don’t think they expected that from me so soon, but it was such a perfect fit I felt I didn’t want to wait.”
All in all, the recruiting process was more than Thompson had ever imagined it would be.
“It has always been my dream to play college football, but in the Big Ten, and for Coach Meyer and Coach Vrabel, never could have dreamed this big,” Thompson said.
Thompson had recently added offers from Illinois, Indiana, Clemson, Ole Miss, Syracuse and others before he committed to Ohio State.