Jarrett Guarantano is regarded as one of the top quarterbacks in the 2016 class. The Oradell (N.J.) Bergen Catholic star visited Ohio State last weekend and the Buckeyes rolled out the red carpet for him.
"I loved it. I loved everything about it. I got there the night before the camp and spent some time with my family," said the 6-foot-2, 190-pound Guarantano. "The next day we got to the school and had an all day affair with them, going through the campus, the stadium and all of their facilities. Later that night I went to their job fair where they bring in 90-plus companies for the players to give them their resumes. It's one of a kind. I've never seen or heard of anything like that before. After that I got to hang out with the players and see what college life is like there.
"The next day I got a work out in and coach Herman and coach Meyer were by my side the entire time," he said. "That was a really good experience. The day before the camp we probably met with coach Meyer three times but after the camp we went to his office and all the coaches were in there. We really talked about what my future plans were, how they felt about me and how I felt about them."
Based on his conversations with Urban Meyer, Guarantano knows how high he is on Ohio State recruiting board.
"Coach Meyer really made it clear to me that he feels like I'm the best quarterback in the 2016 class," Guarantano said. "They're waiting for me to make my decision because they aren't going to take any more quarterback commitments until they see what I'm going to do. I told them that I'm really serious about Ohio State and I really do think that's a place I would want to attend. They said that they aren't going to take any quarterback that wants to sign with them until they find out what I'm going to do."
Guarantano wasn't the only big time 2016 quarterback in Columbus over the weekend.
"Brandon McIlwain was there too," he said. "We are close friends and we got a chance just to laugh and have fun going against each other. We met at the Rivals Camp our freshman year in New Jersey. Ever since then we've gotten closer and are able to talk about the colleges we want to see or like because we know that we are going to have a chance to compete against each other at the next level and that should be fun."
This visit to Ohio State seems to have propelled Guarantano closer to a decision.
"I think I'm starting to narrow things down," said Guarantano. "I may or may not take that trip down to Alabama and see the campus and throw but we're still deciding if that's necessary. I might stop at Oklahoma for a final trip but that's it.
"Before this visit I knew I was going to start tightening up my list," he said. "I didn't think I was going to be this close to narrowing it down and really getting to a final decision this fast."
Guarantano was hesitant to name any favorites but there is a small group of schools standing out among the rest.
"I don't have a top schools but I know which schools I like the most," Guarantano said. "I like Ohio State, Tennessee, Clemson, Alabama, Auburn and Oklahoma. Those are the ones I like the most and Florida State could be in there also. I've had a lot of contact with them and they really do want me to get down to their campus.
"Tennessee is very much in the picture," he said. "They're one of my top schools right now. I'm really close with the coaching staff. My dad and coach Butch have had a close relationship ever since coach Butch was a grad assistant at Rutgers when my dad played there. Coach Bajakian went to my high school so we are very alike. I really do like everything about Tennessee and the fact that they feel like I'd be able to start as a true freshman is big.
"I want to see how separates themselves in terms of the coaching staff, the type of offense, the campus community, the type of people that are there and the ability to win a national championship," said Guarantano. "I do want to win a national championship and I do want hopefully compete for a Heisman if I'm lucky enough."
As for a decision, Guarantano knows how he wants to commit but when is still a little hazy.
"I think I'll know where I want to go by the beginning of the season but I might hold off and make a decision a week or two after the state championship," he said. "I'll probably a big family get together at my house and do it then. I used to always dream about picking one of three hats and telling everyone where I'm going to college."
Guarantano currently has 15 offers with more on the horizon.