June 25, 2009

Ontko to continue camp tear at Ohio State

Just a few short months ago Cuyahoga Falls (Ohio) Walsh Jesuit athlete Cameron Ontko wasn't in the perfect situation. He had plenty of interest, which wasn't the problem, but in order to gain an official scholarship offer, coaches wanted to see him perform at camp.

The only thing left for Ontko to do was prepare for camps. After all, places like Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Ohio State were expecting the running back/linebacker to show up and perform.

Maybe it was an uneasy time for Ontko, but not a situation he backed down from.

After visiting a handful of camps this summer, Ontko is in a very different situation. Instead of having to perform, Ontko is heading in relaxed. That's because the 6-foot, 211-pound athlete has performed well enough to a pick up big offers from Wisconsin, Georgia Tech, Eastern Michigan, and most recently Indiana.

"It feels great. It is just amazing because all of my hard work during the offseason and all my training all paid off. It was well worth it," Ontko said. "I would say it is because of my speed. I have gotten a lot faster."

It was Ontko's speed that has really impressed the coaching staffs that have seen him work out, running an impressive 40-yard dash in 4.3 seconds at Wisconsin camp. As a result, Ontko was the only one who left Wisconsin's camp with an offer.

"I would say my speed is a big reason coaches have liked me. I have gotten a lot faster,"
Ontko said. "I have been fortunate to pick up some offers because of it. It was really gratifying because most people don't expect for me to run that fast when they look at my build. It really turned a couple heads."

With already four quality offers in hand, Ontko is on the verge of heading to a camp that he has been looking forward to participating in all year when he gets to Columbus Friday to participate in Ohio State's camp.

Ontko, who has always said getting an offer from the Buckeyes would be a dream come true, isn't done trying to work his way into a scholarship offer at a camp.

Ohio State offensive coordinator Jim Bollman has been in contact with Ontko and told him months ago that he will have the opportunity to play his way into an offer from the Buckeyes.

Friday is his chance.

"This camp definitely means a lot. I already have a couple offers so there is no pressure. I just want to go and have fun and do my thing," Ontko said of the Ohio State camp. "Everybody wants to be a Buckeye and an offer would obviously mean a lot to me."

Early playing time is something Ontko hopes to achieve, which could factor into his eventual decision that he would like to make before his senior season starts.

"It depends how early I would be able to get on the field. I want to play early wherever I go," Ontko said. "Even if (Ohio State) did offer me I would have to think and evaluate everything with all the schools.

"I realize Ohio State gets the best of the best, and maybe I wont get to play until my junior season," Ontko added. "They would be at the top of my list, but I would have some thinking to do."

Bollman and Ontko have developed a pretty solid relationship during the course of his recruitment, which is one reason the senior-to-be is looking forward to attending Ohio State's camp.

"I am pretty close to coach Bollman and the last time I talked to him was after the Georgia Tech camp," Ontko said. "He knows I got that offer and he probably knows about Wisconsin. When I told him abut the Georgia Tech offer and my times at the camps he was amazed and he said to do my thing at camp."

While Ontko has been pretty open about how much of an interest he has in Ohio State in the past, the Buckeyes wouldn't be a done deal if they were to send a scholarship offer his way.

"Right now Wisconsin is my No. 1," Ontko said. "Ohio State would also be up there because Ohio State is a really big deal and it wouldn't be something that I would just pass up. I would just have to weigh all of my options."

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