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Plenty of Blue-Chip Visitors for the Buckeyes This Weekend
By Ben van Ooyen

The annual Ohio State Spring Football game will take place tomorrow, and while the majority of people in attendance will be there to watch the football being played on the field, some people will be paying attention to the massive amount of recruits that will be in attendance for the event.

Most of Ohio’s top prospects will be there, and although it is uncertain if any of them are on commitment watch, there is still an outside shot we see someone leave this weekend as a new member of an Ohio State recruiting class.

The Buckeyes will have on hand three of their current class commitments in quarterback Emory Jones, H-Back Jaelen Gill, and safety Jaiden Woodbey. All three will have their assistant coach hats on trying to convince some of the top players in the nation to come play football with them in Columbus starting next fall. Gill has been a vocal leader for the Buckeyes already in his short time as a commit and that should continue this weekend and beyond. It is also very important that Jones and Woodbey are going to be on campus this weekend bonding with future teammates, as well as continuing to familiarize themselves with the coaching staff and campus.

Along with the current recruiting class, almost all of last year’s class will be in attendance as well. Ten of them will be on the field (minus linebacker Baron Browning due to injury) as they were enrolled early, however nine of the summer enrollees will also be in attendance. Blake Haubeil will be the only 2017 commitment who will not be in attendance.

There are a few guys who could pull the trigger on Saturday or Sunday and those include 2019 LB Cade Stover, 2018 RB Tavion Thomas, 2018 OL Jake Kradel, and 2018 DT Aeneas Hawkins. While I am not sure if they are ready to end their recruitment yet, it would not surprise me to see any of these guys commit this weekend. Stover would get the 2019 class off to a great start as he is poised to be a 5-star recruit for the class of 2019. Thomas would add probably the third and final back to the class of 2018. Kradel would get the offensive line recruiting started for 2018 as they hope to bring in Jackson Carman and others. Hawkins is a 4-star defensive tackle out of Cincinnati, and after landing Taron Vincent earlier would be a nice addition to the defensive line.

Let’s take a look at some of the visitors this weekend and where the Buckeyes stand.

Micah Parsons - 5-Star - Defensive End (Committed to PSU) - Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

I am not sure how this recruiting saga will turn out, but Parsons is sure making it interesting for all parties involved. He committed to the Nittany Lions last year, but this will mark the sixth time that he has been on Ohio State’s campus since his commitment. If you remember back a few weeks Parsons got a new dog and aptly named it Brutus, and the internet went wild with what that meant. So far it hasn’t meant anything, except that he likes that name. While I eventually believe that Parsons will flip to the Buckeyes at some point, I expect him to drag this saga out for quite a bit longer before deciding.

Jackson Carman - 5-Star - Offensive Tackle - Fairfield, Ohio

The Buckeyes seem to have a battle on their hands for the top prospect in their home state. Jackson Carman came out after his visit to Clemson and named them his leader, causing Buckeye Nation to lose its collective cool. While I do believe that Clemson does have a shot here, there is no way that Urban Meyer will let the top player from the state at a huge position of need leave for the state of South Carolina will he? Expect the Buckeyes to roll out the red carpet for Carman this weekend and reiterate the importance of keeping him home. This is the one must get recruit for me in this recruiting cycle.

Dallas Gant - 4-Star - Defensive End/Linebacker - Toledo, Ohio

It didn’t look like Gant would be attending the spring game this weekend, as he had planned on making the trip north to Ann Arbor for the Michigan spring game. He changed his mind, however, and will be in attendance in Ohio Stadium on Saturday. Gant is a big in-state target for the Buckeyes and they are battling it out with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish for his services. Michigan and Penn State are also still in the running for this 4-star talent. I had Gant as in the class for Ohio State since the beginning and I don’t feel any differently now, but the battle has intensified. He will be visiting Notre Dame next week, and will be making his decision on May 16th.

Anthony Cook - 5-Star - Cornerback - Lamar, Texas

With the Buckeyes' amazing success last year in Texas, they are looking to try and repeat a little of that magic this year. The biggest target in the state is 5-star cornerback Anthony Cook out of Lamar High School. Cook has shown high interest on Ohio State throughout the recruiting process and will be on hand to take in all that the Buckeyes have to offer on Saturday. I imagine he will be one of the higher priority recruits being focused on, and I imagine Ohio State and the coaching staff will point to their amazing success at getting cornerbacks drafted in the first round in the NFL.

Tyreke Smith - 4-Star - Defensive End - Cleveland, Ohio

Another one of Ohio’s best will be in attendance on Saturday as 4-star defensive end Tyreke Smith will make another return trip to Columbus to take in the festivities. Smith hails from the same high school that produced 2017 receiver signee Jaylen Harris. Smith has told me repeatedly that he has no intention of making a decision any time soon and that he will be taking some official visits. While I think that he ultimately picks the Buckeyes, each visit he makes to Columbus will only build on the relationships and comfort that he has with the program.

Brenton Cox - 4-Star - Linebacker - Stockbridge, Georgia

The Buckeyes have also been recruiting Georgia well over the past few seasons, and they are hoping to find another Raekwon McMillan out of the Peach State in 4-star linebacker Brenton Cox. Right now it looks as if Georgia is the team to beat for his services as he has a 100% crystal ball projection to the Bulldogs. Current Buckeye commitment and fellow Georgian Emory Jones will likely be with Cox during this visit and will try and sway him to the Buckeyes. While this is a recruitment that I don’t see ending up for the Buckeyes in the end, we always have a few surprises when Urban Meyer is the head coach and this might be one to watch this year.

Players Visiting (Subject to Change)

2018 Commitments

Emory Jones - 4-Star - Quarterback - Franklin, Georgia
Jaelen Gill - 4-Star - Running Back - Westerville, Ohio
Jaiden Woodbey - 4-Star - Safety - Fontana, California

2018 Prospects

Zamir White - 5-Star - Running Back - Laurinburg, North Carolina
Jackson Carman - 5-Star - Offensive Tackle - Fairfield, Ohio
Anthony Cook - 5-Star - Cornerback - Lamar, Texas
Micah Parsons - 5-Star - Defensive End - Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Solomon Tuliaupupu - 4-Star - Linebacker - Santa Ana, California
Tavion Thomas - 4-Star - Running Back - Dayton, Ohio
L’Christian Smith - 4-Star - Athlete - Dayton, Ohio
Fredrick Scruggs - 4-Star - Offensive Guard - Erie, Pennsylvania
Brenton Cox - 4-Star - Linebacker - Stockbridge, Georgia
Tyreke Smith - 4-Star - Defensive End - Cleveland, Ohio
Aeneas Hawkins - 4-Star - Defensive Tackle - Cincinnati, Ohio
Leonard Taylor - 4-Star - Tight End/Defensive End - Springfield, Ohio
Dallas Gant - 4-Star - Linebacker - Toledo, Ohio
Xavier Peters - 4-Star - Linebacker - West Chester, Ohio
Amari Burney - 4-Star - Safety - Clearwater, Florida
Isheem Young - 4-Star - Safety - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Jordyn Adams - 4-Star - Athlete - Cary, North Carolina
Dyami Brown - 4-Star - Athlete, Charlotte, North Carolina
Jaycee Horn - 3-Star - Cornerback - Alpharetta. Georgia
Jermaine Eskridge - 3-Star - Athlete - Tampa, Florida
Meechi Harris - 3-Star - Linebacker - Xenia, Ohio
Jake Kradel - 3-Star - Offensive Guard - Butler, Pennsylvania
Brian Asamoah - 3-Star - Linebacker - Columbus, Ohio
Donald Johnson - 4-Star - Cornerback - Indianapolis, Indiana
Roen McCullough - NR - Long Snapper - Columbus, Ohio
Darnell Shields - NR - Safety - Lakewood, Ohio

2019 Prospects

Jadon Haselwood - 4-Star - Wide Receiver - Ellenwood, Georgia
Doug Nester - 4-Star - Offensive Tackle - Huntington, West Virginia
Zach Harrison - 4-Star - Defensive End - Columbus, Ohio
Cade Stover - 4-Star - Linebacker - Mansfield, Ohio
Jamir Thomas - 4-Star - Linebacker - Massillon, Ohio
Moses Douglass - 4-Star - Cornerback - Springfield, Ohio
Ronnie Hickman - 4-Star - Athlete - Wayne, New Jersey
Jowon Briggs - 4-Star - Defensive Tackle - Cincinnati, Ohio
Cameron Phillips - NR - Safety - Houston, Texas
Charles Turner - NR - Offensive Tackle - Canton, Ohio
Isaiah Gibson - NR - Defensive Tackle - Springfield, Ohio

2020 Prospects

Michael Drennen II - NR - Athlete - Dublin, Ohio
Miquan Grace - NR - Cornerback - Cincinnati, Ohio
Lejond Cavazos – NR – Safety – Cibolo, Texas

2017 Signees

Trevon Grimes
Jaylen Harris
Ellijah Gardiner
Thayer Munford
Chase Young
Haskell Garrett
Jerron Cage
Pete Werner
Amir Riep

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