Dec. 16 Sunday Recruiting Rundown
By Michael Chung
After a very busy and fruitful weekend of Dec. 9, one where the Buckeyes saw both Gareon Conley (Massillon Washington) and Donovan Munger (Shaker Heights) commit, the weekend of the 16th was relatively quiet on the visit front.
Five-star linebacker Mike Mitchell had a “great” visit the same weekend as both Conley and Munger, but the Ohio State coaches continue to scour the country trying to bring the very best back to Columbus.
Cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs and defensive line coach Mike Vrabel were at Detroit Cass Tech to talk to recruits like Damon Webb, Jayru Campbell and, of course, David Dawson. Co-defensive coordinator Everett Withers checked in on Chris Worley in Cleveland.
With the “recruiting dead period” going into effect on Monday, the recruiting season gets a well deserved and needed break, but there is plenty to talk about in this week’s Sunday Recruiting Rundown.
Kenny Lacy (OL, 2013, Phoenix, AZ)
The Buckeyes offered UCLA commit Kenny Lacy and it looked like he was going to give Ohio State a chance. He was offered by Meyer and his staff at the end of November, not too long after OSU missed out on Dorian Johnson, and had scheduled to visit on January 11. Lacy originally committed to play for UCLA after his visit back in September, but he had been looking around at schools like Ohio State, Michigan and Oklahoma, but the 6-6 lineman recently re-affirmed his commitment to the Bruins as being 100% solid. He told Scout.com he does not plan to take any more visits, so it looks like Meyer will have to keep looking for another offensive lineman.
David Dawson (2013, OL, Detroit, MI)
The Buckeyes find themselves in a similar situation with Dawson, who cancelled his Ohio State visit claiming it was because of an ACT test. Now it looks like he will be headed back to Michigan. According to Rivals.com, Dawson has decided to re-commit himself to play for the Wolverines, despite the fact he texted me this past week saying Ohio State was not out of it and that he will take his visits.
He also texted that Alabama is a serious contender for his services, but it appears the allure of playing with close friends and former Cass Tech teammates in Ann Arbor was simply too much of a draw for Dawson.
He was scheduled to be in Columbus on Jan.18, but that seems highly unlikely at this point. He could have taken his visits to OSU and Alabama before re-committing, but the fact he did it now all but signals the end to this 2013 offensive lineman’s recruitment.
Mike Mitchell (2013, LB, Plano, TX)
With Skai Moore committing to Rutgers this week, the Buckeyes must think they are in good shape with some of their other options at linebacker. Urban Meyer was not recruiting Moore as hard as guys like Mike Mitchell, Trey Johnson and James Hearns. It looks good for Mitchell to commit to OSU following his visit to Columbus. He has not scheduled any other official visits but had a great time at OSU. With Thad Matta offering his younger brother for basketball, it looks good that for OSU to land this LB prospect.
Trey Johnson (2013, LB, GA)
Just about everyone has been high on the Johnson to Ohio State talk since he de-committed from Auburn, but it’s not a done deal yet. Florida, Penn State and USC are also very much in the mix for this 4-star linebacker, but things are looking better and better for the Buckeyes. He hasn’t been able to get down to Gainesville and recently announced he will make his decision public at the Under Armour All-American game on January 4.
Vonn Bell (2013, DB, GA)
Officially, nothing has changed with this 5-star defensive back. Reports are that Bell was 100% focused on winning the state playoffs and would not be talking to the media. It continues to look like Bell is ringing the Crimson Tide’s buzzer, but things may not be as finalized as they looked a week ago. Urban Meyer paid Bell a visit for his state playoff game in Atlanta and it reportedly left a big impression on the young defensive back. Alabama still has the lead here, but keep an eye on Bell if he doesn’t make a commitment soon. The longer it goes, the better Ohio State’s chances.
Jeb Blazevich (2014, TE, Charlotte, NC)
Blazevich tweeted his top 6 this week: Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Ole Miss and Georgia. He is not listing any leader but part of me thinks he stays South. He is a solid mature kid who is not only a great athlete but also has character and would be a great leader on any team he plays on. He is not giving interviews until after finals week so The-Ozone will try to catch up with him for a follow-up interview when he is free. You can read his Ozone interview here.
Parrker Westphal (2014, CB, IL)
This prospect is so important that two coaches are recruiting him hard. One is Mike Vrabel, the other is Kerry Coombs. Westphal surprised both of them at the Michigan game in Columbus, saying that they were both shocked to see him. His visit to OSU was great and was very impressed by the game day atmosphere. He plans to official visit later. Ohio State will have limited spots for the 2014 class but one spot will absolutely be for Westphal if he decides to commit.
Clifton Garrett (2014, LB, IL)
There are a few “must gets” in the 2014 class, but Garrett seems to be one of them. He has visited Ohio State and clearly has interest but has yet to name a leader or top 5. Ohio State will take at least 3, more likely 4 LBs for 2014 and if Garrett commits, will be offered a spot. He is a friend with OSU targets Raekwon McMillan, Dante Booker, and Drew Barker so there is hope that a future nucleus for a championship run is in place.
Kyle Berger (2014, LB, Cleveland, OH)
Though Urban Meyer has flipped much Ohio talent like Taylor Decker, Kyle Dodson, Se’Von Pittman, and Gareon Conley, he does not want to make this a habit. Meyer and Ohio State was the first school to offer Berger. He had a great visit for the Michigan game and plans to come down soon for another. He plans to be a Pre-Med so maybe he can follow former OSU great and MD John Frank. Has interest in Michigan and Stanford but neither has offered. Since OSU offered, Berger has picked up offers from Michigan State, Cincinnati, Illinois, and West Virginia. You can read his Ozone interview here.
*That is all for this week. With the “recruiting dead period” enacted until January 3, Ozone will also take a hiatus from the Sunday Recruiting Rundowns unless breaking news happens. Ozone will also try to have coverage of the US Army All American Bowl in San Antonio where OSU targets: Shelton Gibson, Marquez North, James Quick (announcing), Tony Stevens, Tim Kimbrough, and Mike Mitchell along with 2013 commits Evan Lisle, Eli Woodard, Michael Hill, and Ezekiel Elliott will be on display.