February 6, 2013

Worley extends Ohio State-Glenville pipeline

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CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Dating back to Troy Smith signing his National Letter of Intent to play for Ohio State in 2002, the Cleveland Glenville pipeline has been a kind one for the Buckeyes. In fact, you'd have to go all the way back to 2001 to find a year in which a Tarblooder didn't commit to spend his college career in Columbus.

The Buckeyes' 12-year connection with Glenville continued on Tuesday, when linebacker Chris Worley made his commitment to play for Ohio State official during a ceremony at Cleveland's Barbara-Byrd Bennett Professional Development Center.

"It means everything. This is what I've been dreaming of since I was a little kid, to sign with Ohio State and make my mom and dad proud," Worley said.

A three-star prospect, Worley helped lead the Tarblooders to a 9-2 record in 2012. At 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds, he projects as either a linebacker or safety at the college level, with the potential to play the 'star' hybrid position that Glenville alum Jermale Hines occupied during his time at Ohio State.

"Basically, I can play three positions when I get (to Ohio State): outside linebacker, strong safety, and the 'star' position," Worley said. "Ever since I've been playing football since I was three, I've been having to play multiple positions. So it's definitely not that hard of a transition."

The road to today wasn't always an easy one for Worley.

Before committing to Ohio State coach Urban Meyer in-person on Jan. 11, the linebacker first had to academically qualify for his college career. After receiving a 15 on his first attempt at the ACT, Worley raised his score to a 19 on his second try, which was good enough to allow him to commit to the Buckeyes, who he chose to play for over Big Ten foe Michigan State.

"It's been hard, but it's been definitely worth it," Worley said. "It wasn't easy at all."

Expected to arrive in Columbus for the Summer semester in June, Worley's goals for the remainder of his time in high school include gaining weight and strength in hopes of making an immediate impact in his college career. With last year's 'star' in OSU's defensive system, Orhian Johnson, having graduated, playing time at Worley's ideal position is there for the taking.

"(I want to) get bigger, faster, and stronger and stay in shape," Worley said. "I'm willing to do anything for the team and for Ohio State and what they need me to do."

The 19th Glenville player to sign with Ohio State since 2002, Worley joins the likes of Smith, Hines, Ted Ginn Jr., Donte Whitner, Marcus Hall, Christian Bryant and Devan Bogard on the list of former Tarblooders to take the trip down I-71 south to play for the Buckeyes. And with Meyer having already received a commitment from 2014 prospect Marcelys Jones, the pipeline between the two schools figures to remain intact for at least one more season.

"It means everything. I've grown up wanting to be a part of this since Ginn Jr. and Donte and Troy played," Worley said. "To have the opportunity to keep that pipeline going, I'm extremely blessed."


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