In Buckeye Empire’s latest Q&A, I spoke with the 2014 4-star, 5-9 195-pound RB Mikale Wilbon out of De La Salle Institute (Chicago, IL). According to 247sports.com, Mikale has a 92 overall rating, is ranked the 152nd best overall player in the country, the 12th best running back in the country, and the 4th best overall player in his home state of Illinois. Mikale proved to be one of the most impressive recruits I have spoken to, and any school that lands him should consider themselves very fortunate. Get to know this stud 2014 recruit here:
ZC: How’d your junior season at De La Salle go?
MW: Actually, to me, disappointing. I was only able to play 4 games due to a knee injury. I had 12 touchdowns though, 11 rushing and 1 receiving. I also had 863 yards. My injury was a knee sprain, and I could have played the last 2 games, but my mom wanted me to stay out so I can be 100% for next season.
ZC: What’s your favorite part about playing running back? Do you play any defense for De La Salle?
MW: Honestly, when I’m going up against a defender, my goal is to embarrass them by any means necessary. I didn’t play any defense, but I played a little kick return, but very few teams kicked my way.
ZC: You’re projected to play running back in college. What part of your game do you need to work on the most? What is your biggest strength?
MW: I’d say blocking, specifically pass blocking, is what I need to work on the most. I always want to work hard to improve everything about my game, but blocking is what I definitely need to focus on. My biggest strength is my speed and elusiveness.
ZC: Let’s get into your recruitment now. What are the main schools recruiting you currently? Which coaching staffs do you have the best relationships with?
MW: Right now, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Washington, Arkansas, Michigan State, Ohio State, Minnesota, and Arizona State are the main schools recruiting me. Coach [Mike] Vrabel at Ohio State and Coach Chip Long from Arizona State are the coaches I’m closest with and talk to the most.
ZC: What do you like about Ohio State?
MW: I love the whole program overall. My visit for the Michigan game was one of my best experiences. I just love everything about it.
ZC: Who is the main coach from Ohio State recruiting you? How often do you speak, and who else do you speak with from Ohio State?
MW: Coach Vrabel is the coach from Ohio State that is recruiting me. We speak at least once a week. Coach Vrabel is the only coach I speak with from Ohio State.
ZC: Has Coach Meyer or anyone on the coaching staff specified exactly what position in Ohio State’s offense that they are recruiting you for? What else do you and the coaching staff talk about?
MW: Yeah, running back for sure. Coach Vrabel calls just to check up on me. We talk about school, family, visiting and just keep contact with each other. It’s basically a mutual conversation.
ZC: What have been your best college visits so far? Do you plan on visiting Ohio State again or attending one of their camps?
MW: Ohio State and Iowa have been my best college visits. I attended 2 of Ohio State’s camps last summer and visited for the Michigan game. I don’t know if I am going to visit again until I get an offer.
ZC: How close would you say Ohio State is to offering?
MW: I’m not really sure how close I am to getting an offer from Ohio State. I’m actually a little bit confused about when I’m going to get it.
ZC: How do you deal with the pressure of the recruiting process and being such a highly touted recruit?
MW: My mom really taught me to be humble about everything. She tried to keep everything under the radar. I don’t feel any pressure right now, but I definitely know that picking a school will be stressful.
ZC: Do you speak with any other top recruits in the 2014 class? Do you try to recruit anyone to go play with you in college?
MW: No, not really. I only really talk to my teammate Jamarco Jones. We haven’t really made a decision yet on if we want to go to the same school, but we talk about it a lot.
ZC: Did you get a chance to watch the Buckeyes this past season? Which players did you like watching the best?
MW: Yeah, definitely. I liked watching Carlos Hyde and Braxton Miller the best.
ZC: Who’s the best high school player you’ve played against or with?
MW: That’s a tough question. This isn’t someone I’ve played with or against, but I’d have to say Laquon Treadwell. I’ve seen his highlight tapes and stuff.
ZC: Do you plan on attending any Ohio State games in this upcoming season?
MW: Again, I’ll most likely only visit if I get an offer. I visited twice this past summer and for the Michigan game, so I know the campus and the school very well.
Role Models: My stepdad, my mom, and my grandmother who recently passed this past summer.
Chicago’s Best Thing to Eat: That’s tough. I’d say Portillo’s (I can vouch for him) or Harold’s Chicken Shack.
Best Subject in School: English.
Hobbies: Chilling with my friends, playing Xbox, and being on Twitter.
Movies: I only have one favorite movie: Friday Night Lights.
TV Shows: Sportscenter and Spongebob.
Favorite Sports Teams: The Baltimore Ravens. I love how they have an overall team, offensively and defensively.
Thanks to Mikale for a great interview and taking the time to give Buckeye nation a chance to get to know you. Good luck in the recruiting process and your senior season!
For more Ohio State recruiting updates, follow me on Twitter @BuckeyeEmpireZC