In Ohio, high school football is as popular as almost anywhere else in the nation. Running back Delbert Ferguson is one of the state's top prospects, and several schools are in the running for his services.
"I'm interested in Notre Dame, Nebraska, Michigan State, Iowa and Syracuse," he said. "There are some others on my list as well. I'm just trying to hold onto as many options as I can now. Those schools are all recruiting me hard, and they've all offered except Notre Dame. I've been getting a lot more attention now that coaches can call again."
With the defending national champions in his own backyard, is he interested in the Buckeyes?
"If they start showing a lot of interest then they'd be right up there with everyone else. They've talked to me and have keep the communication lines open, but the other schools have stayed in touch a lot more regularly. I'm not sure how interested they are."
Ferguson is a 6-foot-1, 223-pound bruising running back from Warren (Ohio) Harding, one of the region's top teams this year.
"Our last game was really intense," said Ferguson. "It went into overtime and we won by a touchdown. My stats weren't great -- just like 80 yards and one score, but as a team we did what we had to do. We're playing some really good competition this year. My hamstring injury has slowed me down a little, and this last game was kind of like my 'comeback performance.' I played well, and it will just take more carries to get back into the flow of things."
While Ferguson doesn't have a timetable for his decision, he knows what he's looking for.
"I'll just be looking for the school with the best combination of football and academics. If a place has one but not the other, I probably won't be interested. But all the schools I'm looking at would give me the chance to do well on and off the field."