When Paris Palmer arrived at Lackawanna (Pa.) College from Plymouth, North Carolina, he was rehabbing an ACL tear in his left knee and was unsure where football would take him.
Much has changed since. The offensive tackle that will have three years to play two seasons at his college of choice is fully health and was a Northeast Conference second-team selection in first season with the Falcons, and with a listing of 6-foot-4, 286 pounds on the program's roster, is drawing plenty of FBS interest.
"It went pretty good," Palmer said of his first year at Lackawanna. "It didn't go how we wanted to, but we got a lot of guys out of here as far as going to their next school.
"We had a lot of hard, close, hard fought games that we should have come out with the victory. It was definitely something to build off."
Palmer had already secured offers from Arizona State and Temple before Thursday presented a pair of offers to jump his count to four. One came from Eastern Carolina, which had recruited him out of high school, and the other from Ohio State, which came as a surprise to the tackle.
"Ohio State came out of nowhere," Palmer said. "I was surprised, because we had just gotten done working out as a team, and I was doing some extra stretching. My coach said he got a phone call, and it was from Ohio State.
"While he was on the phone, I was just stretching, and he came over and said ‘they're going to pull the trigger on you.' It's crazy."
Ohio State co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Ed Warinner was the coach on the line with Lackawanna head coach Mark Duda, and Palmer said the Buckeyes will be in play.
"It's definitely a school I'd consider," the lineman said. "For a lot of people, it's their dream school to go to Ohio State because of the tradition and everything. That they know about me, and want me … that's amazing."
The Pirates were one of a few programs recruiting Palmer out of high school, and thus his relationship with the staff is quite strong.
Palmer said going to Lackawanna has proven to him that distance won't be an issue and won't play a factor in his recruitment. Still, playing less than an hour from home could be an appealing option.
"I have a pretty good relationship with all of them," Palmer said of the East Carolina staff. "[Offensive line] Coach [Brandon] Jones and [associate head coach John] Wiley recruited me out of high school, and it feels good to have the hometown school offer you.
"It would give me a chance to play in front of friends. Coach Jones genuinely cares about my well being well past college football. He cares about me outside of football, and he's the coach I've known the longest."
Arizona State assistant head coach Chris Thomsen was the Sun Devil assistant that made contact, and Palmer said he connected. The lineman said he is beginning to form a relationship with Temple's coaching staff, as well, after the Owls' visited Lackawanna before the start of last season.
Interest will continue to mount, Palmer believes, and while he'd like to take some spring visits, he has yet to lock any dates in. One could go to Penn State, though, as the Lions are showing the most interest of any program that has yet to offer, Palmer said.
Lions' offensive line coach Herb Hand is the assistant that has been in contact, and Palmer added he's another coach that he has developed a relationship with.
"The first time I talked to him, we had a pretty good conversation about various things," Palmer said of Hand. "He asked me about my major, my family, and things like that. Football was a topic, but it was't the main topic.
"We were just talking like I wasn't a recruit and he wasn't a coach. I think it's real important that a coach gets to know me a personal level and I do the same with him. Coach Hand is pretty cool, and I'm definitely looking forward to getting to know all of them better."