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Sunday Recruiting Rundown: St. Thomas Aquinas at it Again?
By Ben van Ooyen

The Buckeyes got back to it on the practice field this week, with two full practices before heading off to spring break. There will be no spring break for the coaching staff, as they will continue to work on evaluating prospects for the next few recruiting cycles. A few more offers were extended last week, and a few more players narrowed their offer lists down, which included the Buckeyes. Let’s take a look at the week that was in Ohio State football recruiting news.

Jaelen Gill Makes Another Decision

A week after his decision to attend The Ohio State University, 4-star running back Jaelen Gill accepted an invitation to participate in the 2018 U.S. Army All-American Game. The game will be played in January of 2018, and he will be playing in the game with another Buckeye commitment in 5-star quarterback Emory Jones out of Georgia.

The Buckeyes are likely not done being represented in this game, as we saw last year when there were nine Buckeye commitments selected to participate in the contest.

My Life is Like a Rollercoaster Baby

A one-time Kentucky and South Florida commitment has “officially” narrowed his list of teams to seven. Jermaine Eskridge, a 4-star wide receiver out of Tampa, Florida released his top seven schools on Thursday and the Buckeyes again made his list.

Eskridge is no stranger to releasing his top schools lists, as last year he announced that he was down to Ohio State, Alabama and Miami (FL), then a few days later added Oregon and Florida because his mother asked him to. However, none of that mattered when a few days later after an unofficial trip to South Florida he committed on the spot, shocking quite a few people. That commitment lasted all of a month, and once again Eskridge was on the market.

Alongside the Buckeyes in Eskridge’s top schools is Alabama, Oregon, Penn State, Michigan, Florida and Florida State. He is ranked as the No. 16 athlete in the class of 2018 and the No. 44 prospect out of the state of Florida.

More Coming from St. Thomas Aquinas?

The Buckeyes have been no stranger to the high school program St. Thomas Aquinas down in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The last few recruiting cycles they have landed Joey Bosa, Nick Bosa and last year they signed Trevon Grimes from this prestigious high school program. They are hoping to dip into the program again next year to nab 4-star defensive back Asante Samuel Jr.

The name probably sounds familiar, as his father Asante Samuel Sr. was a 10-year veteran of the NFL, winning two Super Bowls during his career with the New England Patriots.

Samuel released his top five on Wednesday and the Buckeyes made the cut along with Alabama, Florida State, Miami (FL) and LSU. Samuel recently named Florida State his leader, and it is likely that he stays down south as the Buckeyes are the only team anywhere near the North on his list. He will likely take a visit to see what Columbus has to offer, but I expect him to pick Florida State when all is said and done.

#Zone6 Adding Some Members?

A pair of out of state recruits recently narrowed down their lists and the Buckeyes made the cut for both. Four-star wide out Dyami Brown out of Charlotte, North Carolina put out his list on Friday and along with the Buckeyes, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Michigan, Louisville and Alabama made his list.

Brown is ranked as the No. 12 athlete in the class of 2018, and is North Carolina’s No. 12 overall prospect.

One of Oklahoma’s best in 2018 is 4-star wide receiver C.J. Moore out of Tulsa. Moore recently released his top six schools on Twitter, and again the Buckeyes have made the cut.

Oregon, Oklahoma State, Mississippi, Nebraska and Mississippi State also made the cut for the No. 3 prospect from the state of Oklahoma.

On the horizon in the class of 2019 is 4-star wide receiver Jordan Whittington out of Cuero, Texas. Whittington already holds 15 offers from the likes of Ohio State, Oregon, Oklahoma and Texas A&M among other. He recently released his top 14 schools, and included some schools that have not yet offered.

Whittington is ranked as the No. 10 wide receiver prospect in the class of 2019 and the No. 3 wide receiver in the early 247Sports rankings.

Down But Not Out

The Buckeyes lost a battle against the Georgia Bulldogs this week when 4-star wide receiver Jadon Haselwood elected to stay home and play for UGA, rather than making a home in Columbus for a few years. Haselwood made a last-minute trip up to Columbus for an unofficial and it seems it was merely a case of making sure that his decision was 100% for the Bulldogs. While I think that he ends up sticking with Georgia for the next two years, do not expect the Buckeyes to back off of his recruitment.

Offers, Offers, Read All About It

Buckeye coaches were at it again last week extending a few offers to some of the nation’s best.

Michael Harris (6-2 213) is a 3-star linebacker out of Tucker, Georgia who recently got an offer from the Buckeyes which was one that he deeply coveted. Harris made no it no secret that the Buckeye offer was one that he was hoping for, and immediately after getting the offer three crystal ball projections came in for him to the Buckeyes.

Harris is ranked as the No. 15 overall inside linebacker in the class of 2018 and is Georgia’s No. 32 prospect.

The Buckeyes also offered a scholarship to currently unranked offensive tackle Doug Nester out of Georgia during his unofficial visit last week. Nester is a member of the recruiting class of 2019, and while his recruitment is still young, he does have a small but impressive list of offers already. Tennessee, Florida, Louisville and Virginia Tech have already offered Nester the opportunity to play at the next level.

Staying in Georgia, the Buckeyes also put out an offer to 3-star defensive back Jaycee Horn out of Alpharetta. While he is only listed as a 3-star recruit, he has an impressive offer list of over 38 schools.

Horn is ranked as the No. 55 cornerback in the class of 2018, and is Georgia’s No. 55 prospect as well. He lists Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, LSU and South Carolina among his many offers.

Much like Asante Samuel Jr. above at St. Thomas Aquinas, the Buckeyes have also had a lot of success recently at another Florida program, the IMG Academy in Bradenton. They are hoping that past success can land them the No. 5 overall prospect in the early 2019 rankings. Noah Cain is the early No. 1 running back in the class of 2019, and the Buckeyes along with 17 other programs have tried to get in the game early with offers. Miami (FL), LSU, Oklahoma, and Georgia have also offered, and right now the Hurricanes have 50% of the crystal balls for his services.

With the success of Carlos Hyde and Ezekiel Elliott and the potential success of Mike Weber in the NFL, the Buckeyes can use that to their advantage to land some of the nation’s best.

Yesterday the Buckeyes offered a former Alabama commitment, 4-star defensive tackle Dare Rosenthal out of Louisiana. Rosenthal committed to the Crimson Tide back in 2015 but backed off that pledge in April of 2016. LSU has since surged to the lead of this in-state star, picking up six crystal ball projections for him since the decommitment.

Rosenthal is ranked as the No. 11 defensive tackle in the class of 2018, and is Louisiana’s No. 4 prospect.

Clamp Squad Central

Lastly, here's a fun little read on Buckeye safety commit Jaiden Woodbey and his successes in 7-on-7 tournaments this year.

Perhaps 'Clamp Squad Central' is the new Vonn Bell Academy.

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