Ok, so this prospect was part of the Class of 2004. But he still was one of the highest rated players in Ohio that year and made his commitment to Ohio State without looking at any other program. Other programs to offer included Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin.
As a freshman Sirjo Welch was part of the Buckeyes special teams. Things looked great for the former Beechcroft High School product and Columbus, Ohio native. But things can change fast at one of the countries major college football factories and Welch soon learned playing special teams wasn't enough.
On Tuesday afternoon Sirjo sat in the aluminum stands of Nippert Stadium as members of the Bearcats football program came out for practice. Soon several players and coaches stopped to say hello and check in to see what the latest word was on him taking the field for practice.
Welch had some good news for them. He'd just had his physical and was only waiting on final word from the team doctor so he could get started with his new teammates. Welch talked about when he came to Cincinnati.
"I'm enrolled and started the first day of classes. I'm excited to be here and can't wait to get back to the thing I love doing, playing football."
While Welch was watching on Tuesday, he'll soon be taking the field going through practices until he's eligible come the fall of 2007. But today was the next step, a step that seems far away from the days at Ohio State.
"I have nothing bad to say about Ohio State. They were great to me, it just wasn't what I wanted. I knew Coach Dantonio and several of the coaches and really like them and felt this would be the right place for me."
While taking the football field is one thing that comes very easy to Welch, the hardest part of transferring is the loss credit hours.
"I lost a lot of credit hours by transferring here. I've got a busy class schedule this year to catch up to where I was at Ohio State."
While Welch was called away while we talked, this is known. Sirjo Welch can play football. He's a hard hitting safety that will make receivers pay when they come his way. He's got great size and speed and a very good football IQ. At this time he's paying his own way at UC and hopes to earn a scholarship by the start of next season.
Bearcat Insider will have a more in-depth interview with the newest Bearcat later this week.