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Published: Wednesday, 2/25/2009

Texas linebacker picks OSU

BY MATT MARKEY
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Three weeks ago Ohio State introduced its football recruiting class for 2009, and started the process of assimilating those 25 new players into the program.

There's no break in the courtship of fresh talent, however, and the 2010 crop of Buckeyes already numbers four after Texas linebacker David Durham committed to Ohio State. The Westlake Picayune newspaper in suburban Austin reported yesterday that Durham said he plans to be a Buckeye.

"I think that I just fit real well in their system," Durham told the paper after announcing his oral commitment to Ohio State.

The 6-3, 225-pound Durham was in Columbus last month with his Westlake team to take part in a wrestling tournament, and once his high school coach let the OSU staff know he was near, the process shifted into high gear. Westlake is the same high school that in 1997 sent quarterback Drew Brees to Purdue, where he became the Big Ten's career passing leader.

Durham, who had 80 tackles and 11 sacks this past season, choose the Buckeyes after also receiving offers from Illinois, Virginia and West Virginia. His high school football coach, Derek Long, told the Picayune that Durham, who has excelled as both a down lineman and at linebacker for Westlake, has an approach to the game that suits the Big Ten.

"He's very physical and tough," Long said, "and I think he's going to the right league for his style of play."

Adam Jardy, a Northwood grad who tracks recruits for BuckeyeSports.com, said despite the whirlwind recruiting process, Durham is a prototypical recruit for Ohio State coach Jim Tressel.

"He's a versatile athlete who will play the hybrid linebacker/defensive end spot currently manned by Thaddeus Gibson," Jardy said. "The Buckeyes must be high on what Durham brings to the table, because they wasted little time offering him. His off-the-field demeanor reveals him to be a perfect fit for the way Jim Tressel runs his program."

Durham becomes the fourth player to commit to the 2010 Ohio State class, along with Youngstown Ursuline linebacker Jamel Turner, Cincinnati Anderson offensive lineman Andrew Norwell and Boardman defensive end J.T. Moore.

Contact Matt Markey at:

mmarkey@theblade.com

or 419-724-6510



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