Football Recruiting

Morning Conversational: How Are Things Going With CB Recruiting?

Clark Phillips Ohio State Recruiting Buckeyes

Today’s Topic: How Are Things Going With CB Recruiting?

Around 2013 or so, Ohio State cornerbacks coach (at the time) Kerry Coombs said that one of his jobs was to bring in the two best cornerback recruits in the nation every year.

Sometimes, he got pretty darn close. And other times, he nailed it.

In 2013, OSU signed Gareon Conley and Eli Apple. They weren’t the top two, but they both ended up as first-round NFL Draft picks.

In 2017, OSU signed Jeff Okudah and Shaun Wade, rated as the No. 1 and No. 2 corners in the nation. Last season as second-year players, both were mainstays on the Ohio State defense.

In general, the Buckeyes sign 2-3 cornerbacks most classes. The 2019 class, however, does not have a cornerback in it. As such, Ohio State is in heavy need of some corners in the 2020 class.

They have set their sights on some of the best, and those players have shown plenty of interest, but the competition is going to be fierce.

One of those corners is La Habra, California prospect Clark Phillips III. Phillips is the No. 4 cornerback in the 247Sports Composite and is currently in Columbus on an unofficial visit. Any time a recruit pays for his own trip across the country, you know the interest is real. Ohio State is in contact constantly and Phillips is familiar with OSU secondary coach Jeff Hafley. The Buckeyes are also expected to get an official visit in the fall.

Last week, 4-star prospect Lejond Cavazos was on Ohio State’s campus. The former Buckeye commit sure looked like a future Buckeye commit while hanging out with coaches and players.

Five-star Arizona corner Kelee Ringo has visited Ohio State before and will almost assuredly visit Ohio State again before signing day. He is a 10.5 100m guy and also happens to be a 6-foot-2, 205-pound cornerback. Ringo is the No. 12 player in the nation and sure tweets like the Buckeyes have a shot.

Fred Davis II is the No. 3 cornerback in the nation and comes from Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville, which is the same school where current Buckeye defensive backs Shaun Wade and Tyreke Johnson played. Ohio State is certainly involved here, but new relationships will have to be built.

Last summer, Southlake Carroll’s RJ Mickens told me that Ohio State was at the top of his list. He is the No. 1 safety in the nation, but could also project to cornerback quite easily. The Buckeyes are still involved, but another visit or two would sure help. Mickens has trained with Buckeye corners Jeff Okudah and Kendall Sheffield in the past.

Miami 4-star corner Henry Gray is the No. 70 player in the nation and there are some who believe Ohio State has a very legitimate shot. Miami and Clemson are also right at the top as well. He was already committed to the Hurricanes once, so maybe this is more of a Clemson vs. Ohio State battle?

Dwight McGlothern is also one to watch, and it would not be a surprise to see an Ohio cornerback prospect rise up as well.

Overall, OSU is swinging for the fences here, but they’re going to need to bring in three or four just to feel comfortable because somebody is always moving to safety.

The good news for the Buckeyes is that they are in on a number of top prospects.

The bad news is that none of them are committed to Ohio State yet and the battles for most of these prospects could last well into the first signing day, and possibly beyond.

[Clark Phillips photo courtesy | Ohio State Recruiting]

One Response

  1. This upcoming season will be the ultimate defensive recruiting pitch. How the defense plays and the visible success of the new scheme/coaching style(s), will have a direct correlation with who, and how many we land from that side of the ball on signing day.

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