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Signing Day was media frenzy but no one would have predicted that the center of the firestorm would be punter Johnny Townsend.
Johnny took time to answer questions from The-Ozone in order to dispel those rumors.
Ozone: Your Twitter had you wearing an Ohio State cap the day before National Signing Day. What was the process of how you went from that to signing with Florida?
Townsend: Over the summer, I attended both Florida and Alabama camps and loved them both. They both told me that the best they could offer for now was a preferred walk-on but if something opened up, they would let me know. On Monday, both coach Saban and coach Muschamp called and informed me that there was a spot.
After much thought, I desired to go with my heart because I have been a Gator fan since I could remember and it has been a dream of mine to play with them since my youth. Neither my mom nor my dad pushed me; they just told me that I need to do what is best. My brother and I talked a lot about the Pros and Cons of both situations. In the end, I went with my heart.
Ozone: Did OSU coaches call you on Weds morning and ask you not to sign due to James Clark, Dontre Wilson and Vonn Bell committing?
Townsend: That did not happen at all, nothing was pulled, no one asked me not to sign, I had my letter-of-intent and could have signed it with no grey shirt or any string attached.
Ozone: You said you were on the phone 15 hours, who were you talking too?
Townsend: Coach Saban, coach Meyer, coach Muschamp and my brother.
Ozone: What did Urban Meyer say to you?
Townsend: I called him Wednesday morning. I told coach Meyer that other opportunities came up and that I was reconsidering. He was shocked and could not understand, but my mom and dad got on the phone and explained things to him. Coach Meyer told me he felt I had a great opportunity to start at Ohio State as a freshman and compete for a national championship but I think he understood where I was coming from.
Ozone: When did Florida offer? Do you think James Clark committing to OSU opened up a scholarship spot at Florida?
Townsend: No influence, Florida told me Monday I had an offer.
Ozone: The first rumors had Alabama offering, did they offer and were you thinking of signing with them?
Townsend: They did offer on Monday and I was close to signing with them. I loved their camp over the summer and it would have been great to play with the powerhouse. I felt that at Florida, I would make relationships that would last longer since I am a Floridian and at Alabama, after I graduated, I would not see people anymore. Also, my family is only an hour and a half away so I can also spend more time with them.
Ozone: Was there any type of special agreement with Ohio State that your family knew you would greyshirt if OSU over signed the 2013 class?
Townsend: No idea where that came from, I had a full D-1 scholarship offer from the beginning.
Ozone: How close were you to staying with Ohio State?
Townsend: I was very close and had developed great relationships with coach Meyer and coach (Kerry) Coombs. I had great relationships with some of the commits and hung out with them at the Army All-American Bowl. Evan Lisle and Mike Mitchell were going to be my roommates. It was a really tough decision.
Ozone: Who have you talked to from Ohio State commits? What did they say? Did anyone get angry?
Townsend: I have talked to Evan Lisle and been tweeting with Eli Apple. Evan was very sympathetic and understood my decision. He was also offered by Alabama but he told me to stick with what is right. Evan said that in the long run, I need to make the decision that was right for me. Eli and I have been messaging on Twitter and he is saying the same things. Mike Mitchell and I have been playing phone tag. He would text, I would text, my phone would be off, but we have not yet talked. I will try to talk to him today.
Ozone: Any final words for Buckeye Nation?
Townsend: Just know that my family did not push me anywhere; I just went with my heart. I have dreamed of being a Gator since I could remember. Buckeye Nation has the greatest fans around and they have treated my family and me wonderfully. I will miss all of you.
"Any board that would ban 3yds is worthless"
In the end I'll say good luck to you Johnny.
Hopefully you get your shot at a NC, as long as it is not before ours.
sounds like he answered those questions with class, best of luck to him.
He went with his heart, but may be riding the bench for sometime given the talent FL has the punter position.
Good Luck to him. At tOSU, he probably would of been starting. Cee la vee....
Can't fault the kid for staying home and taking advantage of what was clearly his dream offer. Good Luck Johnny at UF. By the interview I would have to say this kid is a class act and would have been a great addition to the 2013 Class.
it's c'est la vie
-1 for correcting grammar
I am relieved to hear his offer wasnt pulled.
"Buckeye born and bred, a Buckeye 'til I'm dead"
Yep, so all this crap about a scholly pull turned out to be exactly that -- crap. Never thought it was anything to do with that given that we have heard rumors of multiple transfers amongst existing OL kids for months.
Great kid who had support from his family. Wish him the best.
Sounds like a class act. Good luck to him. I am not sure that the Clark choice did not effect this. Clark said he would inform all of the schools and silent commit on Sunday night. Then would announce on Weds. If Clark called UF and told them he was Buckeye then that may be the scholarship Johnny took. Now the question remain who did we need more Clark or Johnny?
why, i don't really care, why would you. i entrust Urb to do whatever it takes to put a winning product on the field provided it is within NCAA guidelines.
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