Over the last several months, Steven Gonzalez has steadily collected Division-I offers and a couple weeks ago, the 2015 New Jersey offensive lineman may have picked up his biggest one to date, when Ohio State extended an offer.
“It was just a great feeling to know a prestigious school such as Ohio State would want to offer me,” the 6-foot-4, 310-pounder from Union City High School in Union City, N.J., said.
“None of my coaches have connections with them. We have connections with Miami and Florida State, but not Ohio State, so it just surprised me.”
Gonzalez already had offers from Rutgers, South Carolina, Louisville, Wisconsin, Virginia, Syracuse, Boston College, UConn and UMass. He’s also hearing plenty from other schools that haven’t offered yet like Notre Dame, Florida State, Miami and Alabama among several others.
“At one point, I had like a textbook full of mail that came to my school and my coach was like, ‘I’ve never seen that before,’” Gonzalez laughed.
The Irish sent Gonzalez a questionnaire shortly after Sept. 1st, which caught his attention, but he’s hoping to hear more.
“They send me letters, but I haven’t heard from them as much,” he said.
Gonzalez hasn’t had the chance to hit many games this fall, but is hoping to take unofficial visits relatively soon.
“I’ve been busy a lot and we’ve been busy trying to get a state championship for our team,” he said. “During the offseason, we’re hoping to take a visit to Ohio State, but we’re just taking it step by step every day.”
A trip to the Midwest could also include a stop in South Bend to check out the Irish.
“If they really show interest and they keep communicating with me, I probably will,” he said. “I’m not sure yet, but I’m really hoping they do.”
For now though, Gonzalez’s focus is on his team.
Union City’s official record stands at 5-2 after having to forfeit a game because a suspended player was in uniform on the sidelines for a game even though he didn’t participate. The team currently holds the fifth-seed for its playoff group and is ranked 17th in New Jersey. Gonzalez is hoping another win could lessen the impact of the forfeit.
“It does kind of (have an impact), but we have a big game this week, which will be worth a lot of points in the rankings, so if we win this game this week, it probably won’t affect us too much,” he said.
Gonzalez has already accepted an invitation to play in the Under Armour All-America Football Game in January of 2015.
“It’s a great feeling to be considered an Under Armour All-American for my year, especially so early, it’s an honor.”