Ohio State fans were in dire need of some good news following a year of NCAA issues and the resignation of former head coach Jim Tressel. Two weeks ago, Urban Meyer was hired and almost immediately the mood of an entire state went from gloom and doom to unbridled optimism.
On Monday, Buckeye fans learned why their optimism was so well-founded, as Meyer landed two high-profile commits in the space of a few hours. First, it was Tommy Schutt switching to the Buckeyes from Penn State early in the evening. The 6'3, 310-lb prospect took an official visit to Columbus over the weekend and decided he would be a Buckeye.
Hours later, Se'Von Pittman announced to the world that he was switching his commitment from Michigan State to Ohio State.
"I have committed to Ohio State," Pittman stated Monday night. "Coach (Urban) Meyer and Coach (Luke) Fickell were at my house tonight, and I told them I wanted to be a Buckeye. We shook hands and then they headed back to Columbus, and then I had to call Coach (Mark) Dantonio from Michigan State to tell him.
"I do feel bad for Michigan State, because they were great to me, but this is absolutely the right decision for me and my family," he added. "I owed it to Coach Dantonio to tell him personally, and he was hurt by it, but he understood and accepted it."
Pittman, who's 6-foot-4, 260 pounds, led Canton McKinley into the playoffs this season and had a very impressive senior season. The four-star prospect is ranked as the ninth-rated defensive end prospect in America. Earlier in the day, Tommy Schutt switched his commitment from Penn State to Ohio State.
Both Meyer and Fickell were thrilled at the turn of events, and the other Buckeye commits also played a big role in Pittman's decision.
"They were both so happy with my decision, and I think the world of both Coach Meyer and Coach Fickell," he explained. "Now, it's time for me to move forward and start my career at Ohio State. My official visit last weekend was great, and I bonded so well with the other Ohio State commits. We talked about why they were at Ohio State and the love they have for the program, and it affected me a lot. They wanted to be a part of something special, and I realized I felt the same way. I bonded with all the commits, to be honest, and we all had so much in common. A lot of us knew each other from before."
There's no doubting the obvious bond between Pittman and his mother, and that has been so evident throughout his career. Having her blessing made the decision all that much easier for him.
"My mom and I are so close, and she kept telling me to follow my heart," Pittman said. "She said she would support me no matter where I went, and that meant everything to me. She felt great about Coach Meyer and Coach Fickell, and she loved both of them after being with me on the visit last weekend. She saw how bad they wanted me and how honest they were, and she gave me her full blessing to switch to Ohio State."
While Meyer deserves much of the credit for Ohio State's current rise in the recruiting world, Fickell played a huge role in landing Pittman.
"I cannot say enough about Luke Fickell," Pittman said. "He never gave up on his thought that I needed to be at Ohio State. Even when he didn't know if he would be staying on or not, he kept telling me what I would get out of being a Buckeye would last me a lifetime, just like it did for him. That impressed me so much.
"For Coach Fickell, my thoughts are that any man that goes from being a head coach, to go back to being an assistant coach, must really love coaching so much," he added. "That speaks a lot about Coach Fickell, and a lot about Ohio State, and that might be the biggest reason I'm going to be a Buckeye. I can't say enough good things about Coach Fickell, to be truthful."