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Top Terps target Isaiah Prince commits to Ohio State

Isaiah Prince made his plans official during Wednesday's national signing day, announcing his commitment to defending national champion Ohio State Buckeyes during a ceremony at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt.

Eleanor Roosevelt coach Tom Green asked Isaiah Prince the same question on a regular basis during the past several months: "If you had to decide today, where would you go?"

For a while, the standout left tackle's answer differed depending on the day.

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That changed after Prince's official visit to Ohio State on Jan. 23.

"When he got back from the trip, every conversation we had Ohio State was mentioned first," Green said Wednesday. "So I kind of felt like that's where he was going."

One of Maryland's top recruiting targets for the Class of 2015, Prince made his plans official during Wednesday's national signing day, announcing his commitment to defending national champion Buckeyes during a ceremony at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt.

"Basically, all the schools were putting pressure on me to make a decision," said Prince, whose other two finalists were the Terps and Alabama. "And Ohio State, coach [Urban] Meyer was just like, 'I don't care when you make a decision, even if it's after signing day.'

"[He said] they'll wait for me because they really want me. They said they would hold a spot for me. They said, 'We really want you,' and that just showed that they cared. Throughout the whole recruiting process, they just showed that they cared."

Prince said he made his decision "a couple days ago."

Green said Prince informed the three finalists of his plans Tuesday night.

"It was tough [saying no to Maryland] because I've built a great relationship with coach [Mike] Locksley and coach [Randy] Edsall over the years," Prince said, "but I just want what's best for me."

Rivals ranks the 6-foot-6, 270-pound Prince as the fourth-best offensive tackle in the Class of 2015 and the top player from Maryland.

For the Terps, Prince would have been the headliner of what is an otherwise relatively average recruiting class in terms of rankings.

Instead, Prince is joining forces with Ohio State, which Prince said views him as the heir apparent to rising senior left tackle Taylor Decker.

Maryland coaches "were pretty disappointed because of the hometown thing, and they really wanted to get me," Prince said, "but it's about what's best for me."

Green said Ohio State assistant coach Larry Johnson, a known recruiting presence in Maryland and Washington, D.C., was a key factor in Prince's decision to sign with Ohio State.

"I think Larry Johnson being there made a difference," Green said. "Larry's from Maryland. Larry always recruited here [when he was with] Penn State, and I think [Prince] has a very good relationship with Larry, and I think that really helped swing it.

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"I think coach Meyer coming down and building a relationship with his dad made a difference. When coach Meyer came into the house, I think the dad was very impressed with him. And then when they went up on the trip, he really enjoyed that and talked a lot about Ohio State when he got back. And it's still close enough that they wouldn't have to fly to every game.

"Of course, they'll be playing Rutgers, Penn State and Maryland, so his family can still get to some games, and I think that made a difference as well."

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