As we sit here the day after super recruit Mike Mitchell arrives on campus, most of the optimism surrounding the 2013 Ohio State linebacker corps centers around a group of blue-chip prospects highlighted by Juniors Ryan Shazier and Curtis Grant, Sophomores Cam Williams and Josh Perry, and Freshmen Mitchell and Trey Johnson. There are, however, a handful of less ballyhooed players who stand to make significant impact on special teams as well as providing solid depth. One such player is redshirt Sophomore Craig Fada, a 6’2” outside linebacker out of Bishop Watterson High School in Columbus, Ohio.
Fada stands in stark contrast to some of the more hyped players in his position group. He received interest from Kentucky, Michigan, Toledo, and Wisconsin as well as the Buckeyes, however the full-ride scholarships never came. Instead, Fada had to earn his way onto the team by walking on. And he did just that, redshirting his freshman season and now finding himself, for the moment, second on the depth chart.
Since Fada doesn’t have a large body of work to reference at the college level, I want to touch a little bit on his accomplishments at the high school level. The son of NFL offensive lineman and University of Pittsburgh Standout Rob Fada, Craig played both linebacker and tight end for the Bishop Watterson Eagles, finishing his senior season with 45 tackles, four sacks and an interception. Fada was named Central District defensive player of the year, all-Ohio, and all-Ohio Capital Conference. He was also a part of the 2010 Watterson team that won the Ohio DIII state championship.
If all of Ohio State’s highly ranked linebackers end up panning out, there is a good chance that we won’t see a lot of Fada this year. But how often does everyone pan out? That’s why teams need good, solid players like Fada to provide added depth and added competition for the starters. With NFL pedigree in his blood and championship pedigree in his past, should Fada’s number be called, Buckeye fans can be confident that he will be ready to answer.