UPDATED: Heights High Athletes Make Their College Decisions
Kyle Dodson signed with OSU during the school's celebration of National Signing Day and eight other athletes announced their decisions
Updated at 3:15 p.m. Thursday
Before Heights High offensive lineman Kyle Dodson approached the lectern on the stage, his classmates started chanting and cheering.
"USC!" someone shouted. "O-H!" screamed another.
He was about to announce where he was going in the fall as part of Cleveland Heights High School's National Signing Day celebration. He went last after eight other student athletes made their announcements, and the crowd was anxious to know what his decision was.
He was originally committed to the University of Wisconsin, but had official visits with other schools, which prompted him to pull back. OSU, Wisconsin, USC and Michigan State were rumored to be his top choices.
Instead of staying on stage, where his fellow student athletes shared their choices, he asked the football team to come up front. He walked off the stage and joined them. They huddled and chanted, as if at a game, and shouted "OSU!" and "Ohio State!"
"I have always loved Ohio State," Dodson said after the announcement today, wearing his OSU hat.
Dodson met with Heights High Head Football Coach Jeff Rotsky Monday night at Brennan's Colony on Lee Road, and they went over the pros and cons of each university.
"When we met that night, in the first 30 minutes he got 15 phone calls from coaches, and I told him to turn his phone off," Rotsky said. "And I texted all the head coaches and begged them to please let him be for this evening ... let him be a kid now and enjoy this experience."
When Rotsky introduced Dodson, he said, "I love you, son."
Dodson's three older brothers and his grandparents attended the event at Heights High.
His brother Jeremy, 21, said Kyle struggled with the decision because he liked every college after his visits. Jeremy said he talked to him about it, but ultimately the choice was Kyle's.
"I think he can go far. We had a lot of hardship in our lives. We lost our mother. And I'm just glad to see him fight through," Jeremy said.
Nine athletes announced their college decisions that day, their mothers, fathers, grandparents, sisters, brothers, aunts cheering them on.
Lacrosse powerhouse Meg Lentz, who was awarded All-American first team her sophomore and junior year, will go to Stanford University in the fall. But her coach, Terry Saylor, said she got a calls from "most colleges in the U.S." She thanked her family for letting her go to California when she made her announcement, and had a special message for Saylor.
"You've basically been my coach and mentor since middle school, and I hope the Stanford coach can live up to your standards," Lentz said.
Heights High quarterback Bryce Jones said because it takes a village to raise a child, he wanted the mayors of both Cleveland Heights and University Heights, his coaches, administrators and teachers, his family and others on stage with him when he told the audience he was going to Boston College.
"It will not just be attending college and playing football in the fall. I will go to college representing my family, my cities, my schools, my coaches, my team and myself."
Heights High students signed with the following colleges:
- Kyle Dodson, football: Ohio State University
- Meg Lentz, lacrosse: Stanford University
- Bryce Jones, football: Boston College
- Phillip Moreland, football: Seton Hill University
- Markus Hawkins, football: Ohio Dominican University
- Rick Wilcox, football: Marian University
- Dionte Saffo, football: Marian University
- Denzel Pillars:, football: Marian University
- Terrence Bailey, football: Marian University