IRONTON - Just call him Reid Carric-O.
On Tuesday, Ironton High School linebacker Reid Carrico committed to play at Ohio State University. The 6-foot-3, 235-pound junior chose the Buckeyes over offers from nearly every major college program in the nation. Carrico made his decision after attending Ohio State's 42-0 victory over Cincinnati Saturday in Columbus.
"I just felt like it was time," Carrico said of committing. "I felt like I was at home, like I'm supposed to be there."
Carrico announced his decision over the Ironton High intercom, telling his classmates "I'm staying home," a phrase he also used on Twitter.
247 Sports rated Carrico the No. 1 inside linebacker in the nation in the class of 2021. The recruiting service also ranked Carrico the No. 3 player in talent-rich Ohio and the 34th-best player in the country.
Carrico said he has developed a close relationship with head coach Ryan Day and linebackers coach Al Washington, each of whom recruited him. He said both coaches were "fired up" when he told them he was going to be a Buckeye. Ohio State offered Carrico on April 13.
Plenty of schools sought Carrico, who visited national champion Clemson on July 28. Carrico also received scholarship offers from Akron, Alabama, Arkansas, Boston College, Cincinnati, Duke, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa State, Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, Marshall, Michigan State, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio, Oklahoma, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Tennessee, Texas, Toledo, USC, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin, Michigan and others.
A four-star recruit on a five-star scale, Carrico was drawing great interest as a sophomore, but his recruitment ramped up considerably when he ran a 4.59-second 40-yard dash this summer.
Carrico said he talked with Washington on Sunday and made up his mind. Carrico said he's long dreamed of playing for Ohio State and that the best players in Ohio are supposed to be Buckeyes. Carrico joins an illustrious group of juniors from Ohio to say they will play in Columbus as he joins Pickerington North defensive end Jack Sawyer, Revere offensive tackle Ben Christman, Massillon wide receiver Jayden Ballard and Pickerington Central wide receiver Lorenzo Styles.
Some who follow Ohio State have compared Carrico to former Buckeye stars Chris Spielman, A.J. Hawk and James Laurinaitis. While he is a long way from reaching the accomplishments of those standouts who starred in the NFL, Carrico brings size, speed and the ability to move laterally that prompts such comparisons.
Several former Ironton players went on to play at Ohio State, including offensive linemen Ken Fritz, Walt Delong and Tyler Whaley, running back Jermon Jackson and linebacker Reggie Arden.