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Ben’s Buckeye Recruiting Mailbag: Early Signing Period, Upcoming Commitments, and More
By Ben van Ooyen

April has come and gone, and with that we saw the last bit of football on the field until Fall camp begins. Now is when major recruiting efforts are underway, and May is going looking to be a big month for Ohio State. A few decisions are looming for prospective athletes, and the Buckeyes look to be in prime position to land them all. We take to the readers' questions this week to find out what is on their mind in Ohio State recruiting news. We even have a celebrity question this week! Let’s start there.

From Mr. Ed:

Which of the new assistant coaches looks like a plus recruiter, which look like a liability?

As of right now, I have not heard anything negative about any of them as far as their recruiting prowess goes. While I hear a lot more about Kevin Wilson and Bill Davis than I do Ryan Day, it appears that they are all picking up the Ohio State way of doing things. Wilson obviously has a leg up on the other two coming from Indiana and working in the Big Ten and in the same region. He also brings a knowledge of the South and Southwest from his time at Oklahoma. Davis and Day both are coming off careers in the NFL and are probably out of practice when it comes to going into high schools and homes to try and pitch Ohio State.

Davis is in on the recruitment of Virginia linebacker Teradja Mitchell, as well as Toledo linebacker Dallas Gant, and Georgia linebacker Michael Harris. If he can land Mitchell and Gant, then I would say he has done very well in his first season recruiting at Ohio State. Day was able to quell the uneasiness of Emory Jones after Tim Beck went to Texas, so right away I would say that was a big win. He is also recruiting Amon-Ra St. Brown and Marquez Ezzard at wide receiver as well as Florida tight end Zach Sheffer. As for Wilson, he is mainly focusing on the skill position players like wide receivers and tight ends. He is hoping to lure in New York tight end Jeremy Ruckert as his top recruit in this class. He has a knack for using the tight end successfully in the past, so that might work in his favor here. He is also the primary recruiter for tight ends Malcolm Epps, Luke Ford, and Zach Sheffer, along with Cincinnati commitment Josh Whyle.

So as of right now I don’t really see a liability on this staff in terms of recruiting. As long as Urban Meyer is at the helm, kids are going to want to come play at Ohio State. And we know Meyer is going to always bring in top level assistant coaches to teach these kids.

From Ajax:

How hard will it be to hold onto Emory Jones?

As with any recruit, you must continue to recruit that kid until they have signed. Emory Jones is no different here. Although he has come out publicly and said that he is “100% committed to Ohio State,” we all know what that really means in the grand scheme of things. He is going to continue to be recruited by programs all over the country, especially Alabama and Georgia. Just watching his social media account and the way that he interacts with the other recruits says to me that he is a pretty much done deal, and should be nothing to be worried about. On a scale of 1-10 on how hard it will be to keep him, I will say that right now I would put it at a 3, but as time goes on it will certainly get higher. The Buckeyes have a crowded quarterback room even after J.T. leaves after this season, and Jones will be battling with Burrow, Haskins and Martell for years to come. As long as he is okay with that, he will be a Buckeye.

From WI AREA Buckeye:

Gant or Mitchell? Who is most likely to be a Buckeye? Does Urban get both this month?

The easy answer here is that Dallas Gant is most likely to be a Buckeye, and that is only because Teradja Mitchell still has to visit FSU and we don’t know how that will go. Gant is deciding next week (Tuesday @ 3:30) and will more than likely be putting on an Ohio State hat. I still have my crystal ball in for Mitchell to Ohio State, and until I hear otherwise I am sticking with my guns on that one. Unless he is blown out of the water while down in Tallahassee, I see him joining Gant a few weeks later in becoming a Buckeye. I wouldn’t say that Urban gets both in the month of May, because I am not 100% sure when Mitchell will make his decision, but he will likely grab both of them in a month's period. If the Buckeyes get both Gant and Mitchell, the question will become who No. 3 will be for the class of 2018.

From Moebuck:

Who’s the next to commit?

Unless we see a major surprise like Sevyn Banks a few weeks ago, the next commitment will be Dallas Gant next Tuesday.

From ReX:

With the early signing approved, which commits would you expect to sign or wait until February?

It sounds like Brenton Cox and Max Wray might want to sign early, and it wouldn't surprise me to see Jaelen Gill do so as well. The only drawback to signing in December as opposed to February is that once you sign on that dotted line you can't visit any other schools and your decision is final. Unless you are 100% in your commitment to Ohio State or any other school for that matter, signing in December is not going to be for you.

From Sloopdog:

How strong is the Ohio talent in some of the positions of need in the ’19 and ’20 classes?

By far and away the strong position group for the 2019 class in the state of Ohio is the defensive line. I wrote about that yesterday. The names to know are Zach Harrison, Jowon Briggs, Cade Stover and Steven Faucheux. Harrison could end up being the No. 1 player in the nation before all is said and done (he is ranked No. 3 right now), and Briggs is a big defensive tackle that the Buckeyes haven’t seen from their home state in quite some time.

As for the 2020 class, it is still really early in the evaluations of these kids, but some stand outs are Miquan Grace, a defensive back out of Cincinnati, and Michael Drennan, a running back out of Dublin. There are also some quality quarterbacks in this class, led by Toledo’s Riley Keller. It will still be a while before we know exactly what is out there for the class of 2020, but we have already seen a few offers go out, though none from Ohio.

From tGW

Has Ohio State’s impressive haul at the defensive back position in ’17 scared off and ’18 recruits?

The Buckeyes have nine commitments in the class of 2018 and three of them are defensive backs, so I would say, no, these kids are not scared off by what was brought in last year. These players are seeing Ohio State’s backfield get drafted in the first round like clockwork , and they want to be the next in line. We saw Malik Hooker and Marshon Lattimore play one season of football at Ohio State, and parlay that into a first round draft pick and millions of dollars. With the talent that is coming through Ohio State right now, these kids are not going be staying for four years anymore if the chance to earn first-round money is out there. Ohio State is putting their secondaries on the NFL map, and these kids want to be the next in line for the top of the draft.

From spacebuck:

Why hasn’t Amon-Ra St. Brown committed to OSU yet?

Well, for one, the 5-star receiver out of California was just offered in February and hasn’t made a visit to Columbus. Also he is a heavy Notre Dame lean at this point with USC also right there in the mix. Ohio State has an outside shot if they can get him on campus for a visit, but as of right now I don’t think we will see St. Brown commit to the Buckeyes.

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