Scates is one of Ohio's best, but will the Buckeyes offer?
Photo courtesy Scout.com
Joseph Scates | Dayton Dunbar High School | Dayton, Ohio
2018 Wide Receiver (6-3 175)
Offers: Alabama, Michigan State, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Kentucky
247Sports Composite Rating: 4-Star | No. 23 WR | No. 5 player in Ohio
One of Ohio’s best in 2018 is 4-star wide receiver Joseph “JoJo” Scates out of Dayton Dunbar High School in Dayton, Ohio. While Scates does not have an Ohio State offer currently, I expect that will be changing here shortly. He committed to Mark Dantonio and the Michigan State Spartans back in January, but recently announced that he had decommitted and reopened his recruitment via Twitter.
Since his decommitment earlier this week, Scates doesn’t really have a top list of schools, but said that Ohio State, Tennessee, Alabama, Nebraska and Penn State have been the schools reaching out to him the most. He recently attended Alabama’s Junior Day and came away from there with an offer that he highly coveted.
“With Bama being my dream school it made the visit even more exciting and when we arrived they showed us a good time and we had a good time," Scates told The-Ozone. "Coach Derrick (Ansley) the defensive backs coach told me they enjoyed my film and told me that I was going to leave with some good news, and once I met with Coach Nick (Saban) he broke the good news and offered me.”
The Buckeyes have not yet offered, but Scates says that they are in constant contact with him. Although they haven’t outlined to him what they need to see from him in order to receive an offer, Scates knows that he needs to keep up with his academics in order to have that opportunity. What would an offer from Ohio State mean to him?
“It would definitely be a blessing to receive an offer from Ohio State," he said. "It would likely put them in my top schools. With my mom being a diehard Ohio State fan I know she would be so excited for me to land that offer.”
His head coach at Dayton Dunbar is Darran Powell, and Powell had some good advice for Scates when he ultimately decides what his next step in life is going to be.
“My advice to JoJo is to take his time and find the right fit for himself," he said. "Build relationships with the staff, see what they have to offer you academically and on the football field. I want him to be 100% comfortable with whoever he decides to commit to. This decision will ultimately change his life forever.”
On the horizon for Scates and his recruitment will likely be a couple of visits, which he will take with running back teammate Tavion Thomas. Scates says that he and Thomas will be a package deal when they eventually do decide on a college. Thomas received a Buckeye offer a few weeks ago right after he received his offer from Alabama.
Scates is a vertical threat, running a 4.5 40 time, and he believes his strengths as a wide receiver are getting in and out of his breaks, his speed and quickness, and his ball-catching ability. He believes that he still needs to work on his short route running, however. His coach agreed with the ball-catching ability as well as what he can improve on.
"JoJo has great ball skills," Powell said. "He can locate and go get the ball with the best of them. He has improved his route running, but that’s something that you can always continue to work on.".
While Scates sees himself more along the Julio Jones mold, his head coach compared him to A.J. Green.
"He has the speed, size, hands, route running, jumping ability and just the skill set that’s hard to stop," he said. "I would say just his complete athletic ability is one that might be unmatched."
Jones and Green are two of the premier pass catchers in the NFL, so being compared to either one puts him in pretty lofty company.
Scates has a great support system and credits his coaches, teammates and family members as being his biggest supporters.
"They all tell me the same thing about staying focused and making sure I’m where I need to be academically as well as (on the football field)," he said.
When asked what the team that receives his commitment would be getting in him, Scates said that they would be getting a hard worker on the field as well as in the classroom. His coach agreed.
“Whatever school JoJo decides to go to they will get a great athlete that can impact the game anytime he touches the ball," he said. "He is also a funny high-spirited person as well."
Outside of football, Scates said with a laugh that he really enjoys dancing. We could find out in the next few months which end zone Scates will eventually be dancing in when he makes his final college choice. Right now, Alabama leads the crystal ball projections followed by Ohio State and Michigan State. If the Buckeyes do offer, I expect this to be a two-horse race between the Crimson Tide and the Buckeyes for his commitment.