Random Thoughts on the Recruiting Trail, Aug. 23
By Michael Chung
PA star ATH Montae Nicholson informed me that Ohio State has pulled back from his recruitment. He said this happened a while ago. I asked him if coaches informed him of the decision and he said there was never any conversation between the two parties. Nicholson is in good spirits and mentioned to me that things happen for a reason.
I know Billy Price’s move to the OL was totally based on him being a team player. Having interviewed him in the past, I know his heart is on the DL but he told me way back that he would be open to moving to the OL for the team and has done it. the-Ozone contributor John McAlister felt all along center on the OL was his best position. One nice thing about recruiting DL is that many of them are athletic enough to switch sides. For a deeper insight into the type of person Billy is, you can read his Ozone story here and you will see why he is PRICE-less to OSU.
It is not a surprise that Marcelys Jones will visit Alabama and it is a good thing. Alabama has been known to have the best OL the past few years and OSU needs to recruit against them head-to-head. I wrote about this in an article based on Sanjay Kirpalan's piece.
According to Kirpalani, Saban’s offensive tackle recruits avg. 6’5” and 305 lbs. while the avg. size of the top 50 OL recruits according to 247SPORTS is just over 6’5” but only 287 lbs. Offensive guards and centers for the Crimson Tide average 6’3’ 296 lbs. while the top 50 recruits according to 247 Sports averages 6’3.5’ but only 289.5 lbs.
Marcelys Jones stands 6’4” and weighs 350 lbs., well with-in the Saban-metric threshold. Kyle Berger once told me he stood next to Marcelys and called him a “monster.” In Berger’s eyes, Jones was a mountain of a man (as well as his cousin Donovan Munger).
Recruiting has been a little quiet on PA OL target Alex Bookser. He communicated to me that he has not really talked to OSU since his last visit and has mainly been focusing on preparing for the season, but it sounds like he will come to Ohio State for a game so he is still looking at the Buckeyes.
Distance could be a factor for Bookser and if that is the case, Pitt wins hands down. Ohio State is a little less than three hours from his home but Pitt is a little less than thirty minutes. Ohio State has at least one and maybe two more spots for OL and Bookser has a spot if he wants it.
Bookser did not like Ohio State growing up and was not a fan of Jim Tressel but says that Urban Meyer becoming head coach was one of the main reasons he is even considering the Buckeyes.
Juco OL Chad Mavety tells me he has slowed down recruiting a bit in preparation for the upcoming season. When I asked him when he would announce a top 3, he told me he had no idea. From the looks of his recruitment, it looks like his top 3 are FSU, Alabama, and Ohio State. Syracuse could also be a factor.
The recent boon in Rutgers recruiting could help the Buckeyes. Fresh Scarlet Knights pledges WR Saeed Blacknall and RB Jonathan Hilliman have stated that they are trying to recruit current Michigan commit DB Jabrill Peppers and ND commit OL Quenton Nelson back home to NJ (Todderick Hunt, NJ.com). Nelson had reportedly been “hanging around” OSU recruits at The Opening. If doubt were placed in their minds, maybe Nelson would not only consider staying home but also come to tOSU. Peppers leaving Michigan would really hurt the Wolverines.
But it could also backfire because they also want to recruit current OSU targets WR Noah Brown and TE Mike Gesicki (Todderick Hunt, NJ.com). A class of Hilliman, Nelson, Peppers, Brown, Blacknall, and Geisicki, all of who have/had OSU offers, could prove to be a foundation for future greatness in New Jersey and be a blessing for the B1G to have another upper echelon team.
After Curtis Samuel committed to the Buckeyes, the speed at the WR/RB position took a step up. As of now, OSU has 4 players, current/committed at skill positions who run sub 4.4: Dontre Wilson 4.33; Curtis Samuel 4.36, James Clark 4.38, Devin Smith 4.33, while Philly Brown and Evan Spencer run a 4.4. Other fast times: Bradley Roby 4.26, Braxton Miller 4.32, Dorian Grant 4.32, Mike Mitchell 4.39, and Ryan Shazier 4.35.
Both Parris Campbell and Terry McLaurin have been clocked around 4.4 but they are young and Campbell is only 16. Do not be surprised if they are quick members of the OSU sub 4.4 club. OSU will soon be known as “The Ohio Speed U (TOSU).”