Ohio and Marshall have been rivals for more than a century. The two Appalachian schools, separated by a mere 81 miles, have been fierce competitors in the region both on and off the field. So Saturday, when Kyle Belack flipped his verbal commitment from the Thundering Herd to the Bobcats, it was just another installment in the fiercely competitive battle for supremacy in the region.
"It's nothing personal", Belack told Hustle Belt after he changed his verbal pledge to Ohio a little more than a month after committing to the Bobcats' rivals. "Marshall fans are great, just like Ohio fans. They're some of the best fans in the country....Ohio just seemed like a better fit for me."
The Myrtle Beach, South Carolina resident came up to visit the campuses of both Marshall and Ohio this weekend, his only two offers so far. After seeing what the Herd had to offer on Friday, he made the trip up to Athens, Ohio and says he was blown away.
"The facilities are great...," Belack said. "I really liked the atmosphere of the campus. The campus is beautiful. It's what you picture whenever you think of a college."
The beautiful rolling hills and the charming facilities weren't all that won over Belack and his family. Education was important to his parents, and Ohio's academic offerings were important factors in the decision, Belack said.
"Coach (Frank) Solich is huge on education, and that's something that my dad and mom really appreciate. That they look out for the players academically. It's a top notch education that you get there."
The 6-foot, 195-pound 2-star wide receiver is a great addition to an already solid class of 2015 for the 'Cats. A superb route-runner, with a great burst and a knack for busting off big plays, Belack racked up 1,067 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2013, averaging an eye-popping 17.5 yards per reception. That was for Carolina Forest. This fall Belack has transferred cross town to Carolina Forest's rival, South Carolina Class AAA football powerhouse, Myrtle Beach High School, winners of three of the past six state championships, including that past fall's championship.
Myrtle Beach has pumped out some supreme talent on the gridiron, including Notre Dame quarterback Evertt Golson. The transfer should be great for Belack's development, as he's joining a loaded roster and could put up even more prodigious numbers this fall.
Which is precisely why Belack made a decision shortly after visiting Ohio. He says his team's fall camp begins this week and he wants to focus on helping the Seahawks win another state title before moving on to college. He says Ohio fans have nothing to worry about. His recruiting process is over, and he's done visiting other schools.
"This is for sure, 100" Belack said of his commitment to Ohio. There is no doubt in my mind. When I committed to Marshall, there was still a little bit of doubt on my mind, but this commitment, I am literally 100 percent. I could not be happier with this commitment.