The Detroit News is counting down the top 15 players on its list of Blue Chip football recruits. Today: No. 3 Joshua Alabi of Detroit Cass Tech.
Detroit – Joshua Alabi developed into one of the best offensive linemen in Detroit Cass Tech history, helping Mike Weber rush for more than 2,000 yards.
Now it appears the two will be playing together again for the national champion Ohio State Buckeyes. But Alabi won't be blocking for Weber this time; he'll play defense for the Buckeyes.
"I was recruited by Ohio State to play defense tackle," said the 6-foot-5, 295-pound Alabi. "I like playing defense better. I like to hit people. I'm more comfortable at that position."
Alabi has been starting for Cass Tech since his sophomore year on defense, but started playing both ways his junior year.
"I knew we didn't have a left tackle so I told them I'd give it a try and it just grew on me," said Alabi. "It was fun blocking for Mike. You'd give him a hole and he'd break it for a touchdown, then always come back to us and say, 'Good job guys.' It was a lot of fun.
"I think I could play (offensive) tackle in college too. I'm sure they'll see what I'm most capable of playing and put me at that spot."
Alabi played a big role in Cass Tech's Division 1 state championship run in 2012. Cass Tech lost in the semifinals the last two years, to Detroit Catholic Central in 2013 and to Saline this past fall.
"At the beginning of the season we wanted to win the state championship -- that was our mindset," Alabi said. "We fell short, but overall I felt our season went well. It's all about the brotherhood and we had a lot of fun, developed some good relationships.
"I wanted to be a leader this year, make plays and make sure everybody was doing their jobs. I just wanted to help my teammates because we had a pretty young team."
Alabi is looking forward to playing for the Buckeyes. He picked them over numerous other high-profile programs such as Michigan State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Miami (Fla.).
"I went to a lot of schools and I felt comfortable at Ohio State," said Alabi, who plans on majoring in mechanical engineering. "I loved the atmosphere, the players and felt comfortable with the coaches.
"I visited Ohio State during the "Friday Night Lights" camp in July and that's when I committed. I told Coach (Urban) Meyer and Coach (Kerry) Coombs, who recruited me, and they got excited. I had a great, great time that day."
Alabi hopes to have more fond memories playing in Columbus in the years ahead.
DETROIT NEWS BLUE CHIP COUNTDOWN
No. 3 Joshua Alabi, DT, Detroit Cass Tech (Ohio State)
No. 4 Khari Willis, S, Jackson Lumen Christi (Michigan State)
No. 5 David Moorman, OL, Northville (Wisconsin)
No. 6 John Kelly, RB, Oak Park (Tennessee)
No. 7 Kyonta Stallworth, OL, Detroit King (Michigan State)
No. 8 Tyson Smith, DB, Orchard Lake St. Mary's (Michigan State)
No. 9 Tyriq Thompson, LB Detroit King (Michigan State)
No. 10 Grant Perry, WR, Birmingham Brother Rice (Northwestern)
No. 11 Dior Johnson, S, Southfield (Minnesota)
No. 12 Alex Grace, LB, Saginaw Swan Valley (Western Michigan)
No. 13 John Keenoy, OL, East Kentwood (Western Michigan)
No. 14 Cole Chewins, TE, Clarkston (Michigan State)
No. 15 Mike Danna, DE, Warren De La Salle (Central Michigan)