One day after he set a school record with a round of 63, Shawnee High School senior Clark Engle made bigger news, announcing he had verbally committed to Ohio State.
Purdue, Iowa and Minnesota were also on Engle’s final list, but he has always been a Buckeye fan.
“Deep down, I always wanted to be a Buckeye,” Engle said. “Some of the other schools were pretty far away. My parents were telling me it’s kind of hard for me to understand what it would be like to go that far away and go to college. I really liked those schools, too. I really liked Ohio State. It’s not just because it’s close to home. I think it was the right decision.”
Engle started sending out resumes and swing tapes to college coaches last December after he won the Division II state championship in the fall.
“Ohio State was one of the schools that responded and showed some interest,” Engle said. “I made a couple of visits there early in the spring and summer. I really liked it. It’s always been high on my radar from the beginning.”
Ohio State had four Ohio players on its roster last year and adds a new one this fall, Michael Bernard, the 2012 Wayne High School graduate who won the Springfield City Amateur twice during his high school years.
Ohio State’s head coach is Donnie Darr, who previously was an assistant coach at Oklahoma State, where he helped recruit Rickie Fowler, now a PGA Tour player. In his first three seasons with the Buckeyes, Darr is 261-176-4.
“I built a good relationship with the coaches,” Engle said. “I feel like they’re both coaches who can develop me. The program is looking good. They have a good schedule, which is important. If the team has a good schedule, you’re going to be playing against the best.”
Ohio State finished ninth in the Big Ten championships last season and fourth the year before. The program has twice won the NCAA championship, in 1945 and 1979, and five Buckeyes have won the individual championship, including Jack Nicklaus in 1961.
Engle thanked his parents for helping him with the decision.
“They’ve been really great during the process of supporting me the whole time,” he said. “When it was time to make a decision, they just said they wanted what was best for me. Whatever I decided, they would go with.”
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