March 11 Recruiting Rundown
By Tony Gerdeman
It wasn't an overly busy week on the Ohio State recruiting trail, at least in relation to its current state of constant motion, that is. Things are always moving for the Buckeye coaches, and a few new offers went out over the past week.
With the Spring Break and Spring Football season upon us, the number of unofficial visits will begin to pick up, starting with a five-star offensive lineman stopping by next week.
Until then, however, here's a snapshot of what happened this past week for a handful of Buckeye targets.
Drake Harris (6-4 180, WR, Grand Rapids, MI)
Harris, who is still technically committed to Michigan State, was in Ann Arbor for a third consecutive weekend to visit and watch a basketball game. This weekend he watched the Wolverines give away a Big Ten Championship to the Indiana Hoosiers.
Last weekend, however, he sat with Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner and took in a game between the Wolverines and the Spartans. Tim Sullivan from TheWolverine.com and the Detroit Free Press provided Harris' reaction to the trip, as well as to Michigan's 58-57 win.
|"It was great. I sat with Devin (Gardner) the whole game and really enjoyed that. I feel all of the love I'm getting from the coaches and kids on the team."
Obviously, the nature of the games and Harris's location make these visits easy to understand. However, with Gardner getting a fifth year last week, he now has two years left in his Michigan career. This could have an impact here.
John "JuJu" Smith (6-1 200, ATH, Long Beach, CA)
Ohio State offered Smith early last week, and according to 247 Sports, he currently has a top five of USC, UCLA, Notre Dame, Michigan and Ohio State (no order).
It's clearly not yet known which school he will end up attending, but it's also not yet known which position he will end up playing. Scout ranks him their #1 safety in the nation; 247 Sports has him the #3 safety; Rivals calls him a receiver, and ESPN simply labels him an "athlete", which he obviously is.
Smith would seem to be one of those kids that you get on campus and then let the play dictate where they end up.
Ermon Lane (6-3 193, WR, Homestead, FL)
Lane, who is 247 Sports' #1 receiver in the nation, received an offer from Ohio State early last week. He has offers from most of the top schools in the southeast, so Buckeye fans shouldn't get their hopes up here.
Lane was participating in a 7-on-7 tournament this past weekend, and according to Larry Blustein with the Miami Herald, the five-star prospect lived up to his billing.
Lane’s impact at the high school level has come as a dominating receiver. He is fast, deceptively strong and as athletic as you will find. His return skills will open doors at any level, and his ability to take the best defensive backs apart is what has made him one of those “must-get” prospects.
Those who have played with and against him continue to marvel at how easy he makes things look. In games, he is the one that other teams spend the week scheming against. In 7-on-7, he pretty much does what he wants.
University School quarterback Sean White has thrown for more than 5,000 yards in his first three seasons. In that time, he played with — and against — some of the best receivers in the region. This year, working with Lane, as part of the South Florida Express, White and Lane have been on the same page — often.
“I have never been around a receiver that is as talented and makes things look so easy,” White said. “He is certainly one of those receivers who makes a quarterback look so much better.”
Braden Smith (6-6 282, OL, Olathe, KS)
The five-star offensive line prospect with offers from OSU, Alabama, Michigan, Notre Dame, Clemson, Georgia and Oklahoma will be in Columbus taking a visit to Ohio State on Monday, March 18th. He will also be visiting Notre Dame and Michigan the following days.
Smith is the #2 OT in the nation per Scout, while 247 Sports has him listed as their #1 OG. Rivals rates him as their #2 OT as well. He was a First Team All-State selection last year as a junior.
Orlando "Zeus" Brown (6-7 345, OT, Suwanee, GA)
Brown recently tweeted a top seven of Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan, Oklahoma, Arkansas, South Carolina and Iowa. Given the high level of his offers, it is a bit surprising that his ratings from the services don't mirror his offers. Scout ranks him a three-star prospect, and their #35 tackle overall. He has a similar rating from 247 Sports, who has him as the #37 tackle overall, and also a three-start prospect. He won the MVP at the VTO Atlanta camp on Sunday, proving to be quick enough on his feet to hold up in a series of one-on-one showings.
Todd Kelly (6-1 190, S, Knoxville, TN) and Quin Blanding (6-2 200, S, Virginia Beach, VA)
Kelly and Blanding were a couple of Buckeye targets at safety, but both have committed to other schools recently. Blanding committed to home-state Virginia on February 27th, and Kelly committed to Tennessee this past Sunday.
The Buckeyes are still in on a few other top-flight safety prospects, including the aforementioned JuJu Smith. Cleveland Glenville's Erick Smith (6-1 190) seems headed for Ohio State's class eventually. With Urban Meyer bringing in four or five players who could end up at safety in last year's class, the position doesn't seem like that much of a concern this year. That being said, they'll still stay on both JuJu and Erick Smith for as long as it takes.
Sotonye "Soso" Jamabo (6-2 195, RB, Plano, TX)
Jamabo is a 2015 prospect who was just offered by Ohio State this past week. Aside from having one of the best names in the entire 2015 class, he also rushed for 1,697 yards and 24 touchdowns last season. Jamabo also happens to be a pretty good basketball player, and is one of the top sophomores in the state of Texas. Thad Matta has offered Jamabo as well, per ESPN. Jamabo isn't the only 2015 basketball prospect out of Texas that Matta is in on. There is also 6'7" forward Mickey Mitchell, who is the brother of OSU football signee Mike Mitchell.
Donate by Check :
1380 King Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43212
Help us bring you more Buckeye coverage. Donate to the-Ozone.
Click here to email this the-Ozone feature to a friend...or even a foe.
(c) 2010 The O-Zone, O-Zone Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, rebroadcast,rewritten, or redistributed.