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Jamari Wheeler discusses transfer to Ohio State, looks back at PSU career

Photo from Penn State Twitter: Jamari Wheeler

It was no surprise that Jamari Wheeler decided to transfer from Penn State after the season, although it probably did come as a surprise and/or disappointment to some that he wound up going to Ohio State.

The Buckeyes not only are in the same conference, they’re also the one school many PSU fans just simply don’t like.

Wheeler, an all-Big Ten defensive performer for the Nittany Lions, now will spend his final season in college trying to help the Buckeyes reach their biggest goals.

It’s those goals — competing for a Big Ten title and going to the NCAA Tournament — that Wheeler said ultimately led him to picking Ohio State.

Wheeler talked about why he picked Ohio State and touched on his career at Penn State in a good Q&A posted by Bucknuts.com. Click the link to read the entire Q&A, but following are some of the most relevant parts to PSU fans.

On his Penn State career, and what’s best for him at this stage in his career:

“That was the one thing when I sat down with my mom and dad. We talked about the situation at Penn State. I’ve been there four years and I love Penn State. They still have a special place in my heart and I gave them everything that I had.

“I feel like I did everything there but get to that March Madness. That’s one thing I want to do. By going to Ohio State, I feel like I can complete one of those goals and keep taking my game to the next level.”

On what he was looking for in a new program:

“I was looking for a place that fit me with the style that I play and somewhere that needed me there and I fit into their system. I wanted to go somewhere that had a good culture. Listening to what Coach (Chris) Holtmann had to say at Ohio State, I feel like that was the best fit for me.”

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On his opportunity at Ohio State:

I feel like it worked out good, especially with everything that happened. I wanted to put my name in the portal just to see what was out there and the opportunities that were out there for me. Whenever Ohio State reached out, I thought it was a great opportunity for some goals I want to accomplish like playing in March Madness and competing for championships and things like that.”

On if he had any connections to the Buckeyes:

Once I put my name in the portal, that was the first time I had heard from them. I reached out to some of the players on the team to see what kind of locker room they had and about the school and everything was positive. Everything that came back that I heard was the things I was looking for with my next school.”

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Cory Giger is a 15-year veteran of the Penn State beat and a journalist with 28 years of experience. He has won more than 100 state and national journalism awards during his career, plus he's a voter for the Heisman Trophy in football and Wooden Award in basketball.

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