When Sylvain Yondjouen came over from Belgium to the United States at the end of May, he had no idea what to expect.
Over the course of the next three weeks, though, Yondjouen put himself on the map with multiple offers across a string of camps and visits.
After a trip to Ohio State last weekend, starting Friday with an unofficial visit and ending Saturday with its third one-day camp of the summer, Yondjouen made a strong first impression in front of the staff.
The 6-4, 238-pounder worked out at multiple positions over the course of the day and evidently did enough with his physical intrigue to land on the Buckeyes’ 2019 recruiting board.
Offensive coordinator/tight ends coach Kevin Wilson, defensive coordinator Greg Schiano and defensive line coach Larry Johnson each took a close look at the European by position.
“The tight end coach (Wilson) said we’ll stay in touch,” Yondjouen told BSB. “I talked after with the D-line coach. He also said we would stay in touch, Larry Johnson, and then the defensive coordinator (Schiano) also.”
Yondjouen mainly worked out at tight end and defensive end, receiving individual attention from Wilson in the far corner of the indoor practice field at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center while Schiano watched.
“That was really great,” Yondjouen said of working with Wilson and Schiano. “I actually learned a few things. With these coaches, I learned when I get back on the line, they teach you how to do it. It was really great. I appreciated it.”
Among a group of overseas prospects from European recruiting/scouting service Premier Players International (PPI) to attend the camp with founder and former NFL/CFL player Brandon Collier, Yondjouen picked up six offers on his swing through the states.
Towson, Old Dominion, Massachusetts, Western Michigan,Temple and Virginia have extended scholarships while more could come as he gains exposure ahead of his fourth year playing football.
Yondjouen’s unofficial visits to Virginia (June 4) and Temple (June 11) resulted in two of his top offers so far, while he also dropped down south and saw Georgia (June 5).
“Actually, I really liked the visits at UVA and Temple because it was that feeling with your first impression of the coaches at the college, so I really liked it,” Yondjouen said. “Here also, after the (OSU) camp, the coaches were staying with you to talk to you, so it was all the best.”
As the communication continues with OSU, Yondjouen’s two-day stay in Columbus left a lasting impression before he departed June 18 back to Brussels.
“I like the coaches,” Yondjouen said. “They were really nice to me and to the others. The big facility makes it impressive. Everything on the campus, it feels close and together.
“This experience was great. I didn’t expect anything like that. So yeah, it was something new, something you have to do if you have the chance for it and go for it.”
While he has the versatility and athleticism to play various positions at the next level, Yondjouen hopes to hone his physical tools with what he learned from the camp circuit as his recruitment develops.
“My ultimate goal is to play college football,” Yondjouen said. “I want to learn as much as possible and see what I can do, see if I can make it and build my future.”