Random Thoughts from the Recruiting Trail: July 17
By Michael Chung
Recruiting changes like the wind. Last week at this time it looked like Austin Roberts would be a Buckeye by the end of the month but reports are that OSU wants him to wait in order to see what NJ TE/H-back prospect Mike Gesicki will do.
Many are projecting Roberts to UCLA but after The Opening, it looked like he would commit to OSU by Friday Night Lights. If Roberts cancels his visit to Friday Night Lights, look for his name to go off the board and replaced by Mike Geisicki and/or Noah Brown
As reported last week, Terry McLaurin has been contacted by other schools after his great showing at The Opening. Miami (FL) and Ole Miss wanted McLaurin to consider visiting. McLaurin is not the only Buckeye commit receiving contacts from other schools. Kyle Trout told me that West Virginia, Wisconsin, Purdue and a few other schools have tried to flip him but Trout has told them he is all Buckeye.
Demetrius Knox says OSU is recruiting him harder than UCLA but says he likes the UCLA staff better. I still see Knox with OSU in the end but following his recruitment will not be boring. He will definitely keep the fan bases informed and do a good job of communicating.
Alex Bookser has a committable offer from Ohio State and if he decided to verbal, the staff would accept it in a heartbeat. Bookser’s top 3 are: Pitt, Penn State, and Ohio State but as of now, it does not sound like he is close to committing. I do think distance is a factor from our interaction so these three schools have an advantage.
Bookser’s favorite teams growing up were the University of Texas and Michigan. Oddly enough, Michigan was one of the few northern schools that did not offer him.
Bookser said he grew up hating Ohio State and did not like Jim Tressel but Urban Meyer coming to OSU changes his mind and now he is strongly considering the Buckeyes.
4-star safety Kendall Gant of Lakeland, Fla., a recent commit to the Georgia Bulldogs, is considering a visit to Ohio State but it looks like he is viewing these visits as a way to travel. Gant told the Atlanta Journal Constitution: “Yes, I’m going to take official visits and have fun. I’m not looking to go anywhere else, though. Georgia is my school. But I might as well have fun while I can." OSU is reserving a spot for DB Erick Smith out of Cleveland-Glenville so I doubt there would be space even if he decided to flip, which he likely will not.
Brandon Harris says all 3 schools—OSU, Auburn, LSU—are equal.
With OSU and Auburn already having QB commits, Harris says he is still strongly considering all 3 schools: Auburn, LSU, OSU, and the coaches at schools with QB commits "still like me."
From Harris's "understanding," all three schools—Ohio State, Auburn, and LSU— would accept his verbal commitment.
Sean White committing to Auburn makes one-time OSU QB target Harris a lock for Les Miles and the Tigers. Former NFL QB and ESPN Trent Dilfer said that "Sean's accuracy isn't just accurate, it's exact. His passing proficiency blows your mind."
Sources have strongly stated that Stephen Collier is OSU’s QB for 2014 and that Harris will not be committing to the Buckeyes. But there are still reports out there that Harris may choose OSU, which would blow things up. At this point, these reports of a possible Harris commitment is tabloid-ish and he will be pledging LSU Tiger and play for the Hat—Les Miles—on Thursday.
It sounds like it could be a long wait for MD OL target Damian Prince. Damian’s top 10: Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Maryland, Ohio State, Rutgers, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. Brandon Parker of the Washington Post writes, “Prince will next cut the list to six before stopping all communication with college coaches on August 8 to focus on his senior campaign with the Mustangs.”
Parker’s article also goes on to state that Maryland is recruiting him the hardest and that he almost committed to a school in June. Is that school still the leader?
To illustrate the insanity of College Football Recruiting, the Washington Post is reporting that Damian Prince has received death threats. He writes, They were like ‘If you don’t come to our school, we’ll kill you and your family’ and ‘we know where you live,” Prince recalled. “Somehow they got my number and FaceTimed me, flashing guns and saying stuff. But they didn’t block their number or anything, so they weren’t too smart.
"Obviously, it can get very, very, very crazy,” Prince said. “It bothered me at first, but I just brushed it off and once I kept declining the number, it just faded away. You just have to keep your circle small and prioritize, but I’m not going to lie; it’s hard sometimes.
Something tells me that the school with fans threatening Prince has been eliminated.