Keith Wells has decided where he is going to take his football game to the next level, and this time he isn’t going to change his mind. Gainesville High’s highly recruited defensive end prospect decided to verbally commit to Ohio State on Monday and will sign with the Buckeyes Wednesday on national signing day.
Wells, a 6-foot-5, 207-pound defensive end, called Ohio State assistant coach Luke Fickel Monday morning and said he was coming to Columbus. It was a decision he took his time making after originally verbally committing to Florida State in the fall, then later deciding to take official visits to Ohio State, Tennessee, Notre Dame and Auburn. He canceled his fifth and final allowed visit, which was scheduled for Florida two weeks ago.
"It’s one of those situations that I had to go with my gut," Wells said. "I felt very comfortable with Ohio State."
Wells is listed as the No. 15 defensive end prospect in the country by Rivals.com. He plans on playing a "hybrid" defensive end spot for the Buckeyes, saying he will be able to rush the passer out of a three-point stance 75-percent of the time.
Wells says his interest in playing for the Buckeyes increased by talking with head coach Jim Tressel on a daily basis for a three-week period. He says the two would talk about everything from football to life to his degree plans in college. The Gainesville High senior plans to major in engineering at OSU.
"Coach Tressel is very serious and showed me how bad he wanted to coach me by talking with me every day." Wells said.
When Wells visited Columbus for an official visit on Jan. 7, his host was defensive lineman Cameron Heyward, who played his high school football right down the road at Peachtree Ridge in Suwannee.
"It feels real good to be done with the recruiting process," Wells said. "But it was tough telling the other schools no."
Wells says he was less hesitant to say no to FSU than the schools he visited during the winter. He says the Florida State coaches "beat around the bush" with him in regards to possible coaching staff turnover.
"I just felt like Florida State lied to me while they were recruiting me."
Wells says he plans to get to Ohio State as soon as possible over the summer and immediately work on getting stronger and learning their defensive system.