When Terry McLaurin camped at Ohio State in early June, not too many recruiting analysts, or even the coaches, were aware of the talent he possessed.
Then a 3-star prospect, McLaurin held offers from schools such as Ball State, Cincinnati, Indiana, Purdue and Toledo. The 6'0", 190-pound wide receiver from Indianapolis was out to prove he deserved more attention, and he was determined to use the camp as his opportunity to do so.
McLaurin set himself apart with an electronically timed 4.3 40-yard dash, which was the fastest time among a group of elite recruits. He didn't earn the coveted offer, but he had Urban Meyer's full attention, according to Eleven Warriors.
"I talked to Coach Meyer after the camp today," McLaurin said. "They didn't offer, coach wants to get to know more about me, because he doesn't know much, but he said he loves my speed."
Meyer also told McLaurin that he needed to work on the little things such as catching balls and breaking on routes cleanly.
When McLaurin returned to Columbus for another camp two weeks later, Meyer saw a sure-handed receiver and an improved route-runner. The coaching staff extended McLaurin an offer on June 22, and he responded with his verbal commitment the very next day.
McLaurin told 247Sports that he took Meyer's challenge seriously.
When Coach Meyer offered me, what he said to me he left me with something that I will remember for a very long time. He said the improvement I showed in two weeks, keep working that hard and just imagine how much better I’d get in a year or four years. The thought of getting challenged like that for four years is what you want to be an elite player. That drive for excellence is what I want on a day in, day out basis.
McLaurin's drive for excellence didn't stop after his commitment.
After turning heads at regional camps, McLaurin was invited to The Opening, Nike's elite recruiting camp, to compete in the SPARQ competition.
Despite going up against recruits rated much higher than him, McLaurin finished second in the competition behind 5-star prospect Speedy Noil.
Terry McLaurin definitely doesn't shy under pressure. Goes to Ohio St camp twice to earn his offer then 2nd in SPARQ finals. Productivity.— Derek Young (@DYoungScout) July 2, 2013
His showing at The Opening paid off in a big way when 247Sports updated its recruit rankings. McLaurin jumped 276 spots to become the No. 212 prospect in the country. He also earned his fourth star, and with that, more attention from other programs around the country.
According to the Eleven Warriors article, Ole Miss and Miami have recently reached out to McLaurin. Their interest hasn't been reciprocated, though, as McLaurin has no intention of swaying from the Buckeyes.
That's just something McLaurin will have to get used to moving forward. The talented prospect was hoping his play would garner more attention, and as it turns out, he got his wish.
Watch highlights from McLaurin's junior season here:
All recruit rankings per 247Sports.
David Regimbal is the lead Ohio State football writer for Bleacher Report.
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