March 30, 2009

Interest in Ontko heating up

Cuyahoga Falls (Ohio) Walsh Jesuit athlete Cameron Ontko has yet to pick up an official scholarship offer from a school, but the interest now seems to be booming on the junior who can fit in nicely on both sides of the ball.

Ontko has been in conversation with a handful of schools who are expecting the 6-foot, 211-pound running back/linebacker at their camps where his performance will be noted.

Both Wisconsin and Michigan State are expecting Ontko at camp and an offer for the junior could be waiting following a solid workout. Tulsa also is on the verge of a possible scholarship offer.

"The schools that I have been talking to said I will get my offers depending on how I do at their camp," Ontko said. "In the summer I plan on attending a bunch of camps and going on the bus tour, so hopefully I'll get some offers then."

Ohio State has also been on contact recently with Ontko, as Buckeyes offensive coordinator Jim Bollman got on the phone with the junior a few weeks ago.

"I talked to coach Bollman and he said that right now they are very busy on spring practice and they are deep in recruiting," Ontko said. "He said that they are really busy with everything, but that I am definitely on the board and they are definitely watching me."

While Ontko continues to work on his game, he plans on visiting Columbus within the next couple of weeks.

"I plan on going down for a spring practice in April," Ontko said. "It is something that is really exciting."

With the plans to visit schools, Ontko has had his hands plenty full with the preparation.

"I have been working on my speed and agility," said Ontko, who runs the 40-yard dash in the range of 4.49 seconds. "I have improved drastically and I just want to keep getting better. My numbers are great right now, but they could always be better."

Though most of Ontko's highlight tapes are surrounded with clips of him carrying the ball, the junior has been recruited as a linebacker or even defensive back.

In fact, though he rushed for 900 yards and 13 touchdowns as a sophomore in just six games, he is projected as a defensive player on most teams' boards.

"Honestly, it is actually more on the defensive side of the ball as a linebacker or a safety," Ontko said. "I have been working on practicing my footwork for being a defensive back, which will even help me if I end up at linebacker."

While running the ball may be his first love, Ontko has undergone a little change of heart.

"I love running the ball, but I actually have started to like defense a lot better," Ontko said. "I like giving the hit instead of getting the hit."

Though Ontko has never hid his enthusiasm for Ohio State and the excitement a possible Buckeye offer brings him, the junior is just taking it one day at a time.

"If Ohio State offered, that would just mean the world to me," Ontko said. "I have always dreamed about being a Buckeye."

Ari Wasserman is a staff writer for He can be reached at [email protected].

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