Predicting the Finish for 2014: November Edition
By Michael Chung
This could be a “November to Remember” for the Buckeyes. By the end of the month, OSU should have a fairly clear gauge on prospects like Thomas Holley, Chad Mavety, Avery Gennesy, Johnnie Dixon, and Raekwon McMillan. Do not be surprised if one or more from the previous list pulls the trigger on a verbal commitment this month or soon afterwards.
It was reported that this weekend’s official visit to the LSU vs. Alabama match-up by the Glenville trio of Marshon Lattimore, Erick Smith, and Marcelys Jones has been postponed. Bobbie Williams, an Alabama coach, was present this past weekend to watch the trio play, so there is likely less damage than had Bama coaches asked the three to wait like OSU did with Tyler Luatua, but this can only help OSU.
The monthly list’s streak of a prospect on the “Prediction List” committing after publication has ended when Mike Gesicki pledged his verbal to Bill O’Brien and the Penn State Nittany Lions. Before Gesicki committed, the monthly prediction list always had someone commit to the Buckeyes. Can the monthly prediction list get back on track? I would be shocked if it did not by this time next month. Without further ado, here is this months “Predicting the Finish” list:
Thomas Holley (6’5” 290 DL, 2014, Brooklyn, NY)
While most of the recruiting experts have Holley as a battle between Ohio State and Penn State, sources close to Holley indicate that Florida maybe OSU’s biggest threat. Despite a recent upsurge of Holley to PSU, my sources say Penn State’s poor showing at the Shoe did not help them in presenting a positive light to Thomas, who has doubts about the Nittany Lions. The fact that Curtis Samuel is already a verbal commit and wants to play with Holley is a big plus for the Buckeyes. Samuel accompanied Holley on his visit and sources said that was big in easing doubt from Thomas’ mind.
I have heard conflicting reports on when Holley will announce. From the sounds of the media, Holley should be announcing soon. Joseph Staszewski of the Brooklyn Courier Daily writes, “He doesn’t want his decision to take too much longer, with Lincoln still unbeaten and the favorite to win its second Public School Athletic League city title in the last three years. Holley doesn’t have any other visits planned yet, but would like to have mind made by within the next month or so. “I want to focus on the season and school, so the sooner the better,” Holley said.”
Sounds like a man who wants to get this decision over with. But a source did reveal to me that there is a chance that the official commitment will be made Jan. 2 at the Under Armour All Star game in Florida.
I think Ohio State is in great shape for the NY superstar and I do not think Thomas will be Sharif Floyd II. Urban Meyer is now a Buckeye so do not be surprised if the NY/NJ pipeline flows with Holley to the Buckeyes.
Chad Mavety (6’6” 320, OL, 2014, Garden City, NY)
Ohio State’s number one target at OL is Mavety and unless he decides to cancel his visit, I would not be surprised if Mavety ended the “5th OL Spot Soap Opera” and closed OL recruiting for 2014. He visited FSU and from all accounts, had a great time. But Urban Meyer will put the full court press on Mavety much like he did NJ WR Noah Brown, who himself has been working hard to recruit Mavety to follow him to OSU. If Mavety steps on campus November 23, which I have no reason to doubt that he would cancel the official, I think Meyer closes the deal on Mavity and closes the OL recruiting for 2014.
Mavety communicated to me that he still has no leader and he will be making his November visit so I believe he will be Buckeye soon afterwards.
Marshon Lattimore (6’0” 185, ATH, Cleveland-Glenville) and Erick Smith (6’0” 180, S, Cleveland-Glenville)
The ink on these two will be exactly the same as they are a packaged deal. Factor in Marcelys Jones, and one can fathom that OSU is in the driver’s seat. The main threat here is Alabama. Coach Bobbie Williams made the trek to Ohio to watch them play but it was later reported that their official visit has been postponed, originally scheduled for this weekend’s LSU game. With such a big game and so many recruits coming in, Saban probably could not give the attention he wanted which can only help OSU. Was the visit postponed because Saban would not have the ability to focus on the trio, whom he wants badly? Was it postponed because the Alabama staff sense OSU has a big lead? Time will tell, but I believe these two will follow Marcelys Jones to OSU.
Raekwon McMillan (6’3” 235, LB, 2014 Hinesville, GA)
Kwon knows Ohio State and Ohio State knows Kwon. It sounds like Kwon could be deciding sooner rather than later. He told the-Ozone a while back that he would make his final decision at the Under Armour All Star game Jan.2 in FL but lately, it sounds that he could even decide this month, which is great for the Buckeyes because it means Raekwon has a good idea of where he wants to go. He still has two more visits: Clemson and Alabama, but unless something colossal happens, Raekwon is coming to Columbus.
Solomon Thomas (6’3” 260, DL, 2014 Coppell, TX)
It looks like Urban Meyer and company could be starting another pipeline, this time from the state of Texas. After getting players like JT Barrett, Mike Mitchell, and Dontre Wilson from TX in 2013 and Demetrius Knox in 2014, Ohio State is looking to add this top flight DL to the 2014 fold. He visited OSU for a second time this past weekend and sources say his visit went great. The Buckeyes are in a battle with Brian Shaw’s Stanford Cardinals and Mack Brown’s Longhorns but at this point, I would not be surprised at all to see the Texas pipeline flow both Meech and Solomon up towards Ohio in 2014.
Johnnie Dixon (6’0” 175 WR, 2014 West Palm Beach, FL)
It is a three-way race between Alabama, Miami, and Ohio State. Dixon communicated to me that he has OSU “high” on his list and will announce this month. Most have him pegged to Miami and he told the-Ozone way back when that he had the best relationships with the Miami coaches. He runs a sub 4.4 which would fit in nicely with current 2014 speedsters Parris Campbell, Terry McLaurin, and Curtis Samuel. If he wanted to be a Buckeye, it would be next to impossible to turn him down. Dixon is a good student and a hard worker, traits that are a great predictor of future success.