The Buckeyes will be back on the practice field this week, getting their reps in before the annual Spring Game next month. The coaches will be back to dual duty coaching the players while still evaluating recruits and keeping in touch with them. We didn’t see many offers this week, but we saw a lot of players trim their lists and many included the Buckeyes. We also saw a dog stir up social media, as people tend to over react about every little thing a recruit does these days.
Getting Defensive (Tackle)
The Buckeyes were at one time a runaway leader for 5-star defensive tackle Taron Vincent’s services as he was once 100% crystal balled to Ohio State. However things have changed recently and now it is a two-team race that could be ending pretty soon.
He has narrowed his choices to the Buckeyes and the Florida State Seminoles, and might be making a decision shortly after his visit to Columbus at the end of March. The Seminoles have made up quite a bit of ground in his recruitment and it helps that they are so close to his school down at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
The Buckeyes have missed out on quite a few highly-ranked defensive tackles over the last few recruiting cycles and are hoping that doesn't happen this year with Vincent. He is expected to be on campus the last weekend in March along with his family. A good visit with Coach Meyer and Coach Larry Johnson could keep the Buckeyes at the top. While I still expect him to end up with at Ohio State, even if he announces shortly after his visit, nothing is written in stone until signing day.
Dream School = Done Deal?
Earlier this week 3-star Georgia linebacker Michael Harris told DawgNation.com that it was 100% that he would commit to the Buckeyes if he could. He said that he needed to make sure that he got the necessary test scores in order to qualify, but if that happens his commitment would shortly follow.
Harris is a one-time Ohio native and grew up a huge Buckeye fan and it seems that he will do whatever it takes to become a Buckeye. The question then becomes will Ohio State be willing to take him this early with other top prospects lurking out there. They are going hard after Ohio’s Christopher Oats and Dallas Gant, along with Teradja Mitchell out of Virginia, Payton Wilson out of North Carolina and Adrian Jackson out of Colorado. The Buckeyes should take 3-4 linebackers in this class, and right now I have Oats and Gant as in, and I recently put in a crystal ball for Harris to join them in Columbus.
When the Buckeyes missed out on Palaie Gaoteote earlier this year to USC they had to reevaluate their top targets and they reset their recruiting board. I think the Buckeyes land Gant, Oats, and Harris along with a surprise addition later in the recruiting cycle.
How Much is that Doggie in the Window?
When I checked Twitter the other day I saw that 5-star Pennsylvania defensive end Micah Parsons had just about blown it up with his tweet of a picture of his new dog.
As you can see above, his dog is named Brutus. Fans of both Penn State and Ohio State responded with all sorts of tweets to him afterward. Both fan bases read into the dog name as a recruiting story, meaning it looks like Parsons will end up in Columbus when all is said and done. He followed up the new dog acquisition with a trip to Penn State this weekend. While I have my crystal ball in for him to eventually flip to the Buckeyes, I expect Penn State to remain right in the thick of things.I did like this tweet from Tony about #PuppyScience.
Setting Up Some Visits
Virginia’s top athlete, 5-star linebacker Teradja Mitchell is scheduled to be on campus the weekend of April 8 to take in all that the Buckeyes have to offer. Mitchell is a heavy Florida State lean as of right now, but Ohio State shouldn’t be counted out of this recruitment because of the development of their linebackers into high NFL draft picks.
Mitchell visited Georgia this weekend, and the Virginia Beach star will certainly be taking more visits before settling on his ultimate decision. He has 31 offers to choose from, although it seems like Florida State, Ohio State, Alabama, and Clemson are all high on his list. Mitchell is ranked as the No. 2 inside linebacker in the class of 2018.
The Buckeyes will be hosting another visitor the week before the spring game, and that is possibly the No. 1 running back in the class of 2019. Noah Cain out of the IMG Academy down in Florida will be making the trek north to visit Columbus. Cain received his Ohio State offer back in March 4, and that was followed up with an offer from the Michigan Wolverines two weeks later.
Cain is ranked as the No. 1 running back in the class of 2019 in the early 247 rankings and the No. 1 overall player from the state of Florida. He currently lists 19 offers and he has crystal ball projections into Miami, LSU and Oklahoma right now. The Buckeyes only have to point to the success of Carlos Hyde and Ezekiel Elliott in the NFL along with blossoming star Mike Weber to show what their program is capable of producing.
Buckeyes Make the Cut
A couple of top prospects recently released their early top programs list and the Buckeyes found themselves included in the respective scrums.
Isheem Young, a 4-star safety out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania released his top 12 and the Buckeyes found themselves included along with fellow Big Ten programs Penn State and Michigan. The Buckeyes have a commitment from Jaiden Woodbey at safety so it is uncertain if they will take two in this class. Right now Young is heavily favored to end up in Happy Valley playing for James Franklin and Penn State.
Another member of the IMG Academy narrowed his list down and the Buckeyes made the cut. Four-star wide receiver Joshua Moore narrowed his over 50 offers down to 10, and along with the Buckeyes included Alabama, Texas A&M and Texas. His brother Jordan committed earlier to the Aggies, and although they would probably like to play together in college, it looks like they will go their separate ways. Joshua decided to leave Texas for his senior year and is headed to Florida to play, while Jordan will stay back in Texas to finish up his senior year.
Joshua has crystal ball projections in for the Seminoles, Longhorns, Sooners and Aggies right now.
And lastly, 3-star offensive tackle John Campbell out of Orlando, Florida listed the Buckeyes among his top 12 in his recently-released list. Campbell just last month got his Buckeye offer, so it must have resonated for him to include them in his list after such a short time. Campbell is rated as a 3-star prospect, but has quite an impressive offer list. He had 36 reported offers and cut that list down to 12 including Alabama, Florida, LSU, Miami and Georgia. The Buckeyes are hoping to get Campbell up for an unofficial visit before he narrows his list again.
The Buckeyes put out two offers last week and they went to the same family, as class of ’18 offensive tackle Max Wray and class of ’20 offensive tackle Jake Wray were the recipients of those offers. The Wray brothers reside in Tennessee and both have offers from the in-state Volunteers. Max was recently committed to the Georgia Bulldogs, however he decommitted and put himself back in the hunt for the perfect fit. Since his decommitment, he has visited Alabama, and they have taken over the lead in the crystal ball projections for his services. Max is rated as the No. 4 offensive tackle in the class of 2018, and is Tennessee’s No. 3 overall prospect.
His younger brother Jake is a 6’5” 290 pound offensive lineman as a sophomore, so I expect his recruitment to blow up as he continues to develop. He already has 15 offers to date, and again the Crimson Tide have the early lead in this one. The Buckeyes have been careful in their evaluations of 2020 prospects, only having offered two so far in Wray and Georgia offensive tackle Myles Hinton.