Sunday Recruiting Rundown, July 21
By Michael Chung
The calm before the storm, no players were scheduled to visit this weekend but this coming Friday is Friday Night Lights, a football camp Urban Meyer started at the University of Florida. Close to 65 prospects will be in attendance.
Noah Brown will be on campus Wednesday for a visit and targets like Raekwon McMillan, Marshon Lattimore, Erick Smith, Curtis Samuel, and Eric Glover-Williams (2015) and at least ten verbal commits for the 2014 class will be on hand for the festivities. Though recruiting is fairly tranquil this weekend, look for it to squall by this time next week. Here is our pre-storm recruiting rundown.
Austin Roberts (6’1” 210, WR/TE, 2014, Carmel, IN)
What a difference a week makes. At this time last week, it looked like Austin Roberts was going to be a Buckeye. He had a great showing at The Opening and it sounded like this Carmel Indiana WR/TE prospect was on his way east to Columbus. But the tide turned in a huge way and reports surfaced early that this young man was going west to UCLA. Apparently, Roberts had been a silent commit for a while but made it official this week. A source believes that Roberts wanted to be Buckeye but the OSU coaches are waiting on Mike Gesicki’s decision and apparently Roberts did not want to wait. He was scheduled to attend Friday Night Lights and many believed he would commit to OSU then but since his verbal pledge to the Bruins, he has since cancelled his visit to FNLs.
Demetrius Knox (6’4” 290, OL, 2014, Fort Worth, TX)
Recruiting analysts will be sad the day this guy makes a commitment as news always surrounds him. Knox was in Ohio this past week visiting family and also attended the Top Gun football camp held at Dublin Jerome High School. The camp is part of the group Football University: “Football University is an invitation-only, one-of-a-kind football training experience focusing on developing and enhancing the playmaking ability and skill of elite-level athletes in 6th to 11th grade. The training is provided by the NFL's top coaches and players.”
The controversy arose when it was thought that Knox would be visiting Ohio State, which he did not. Everyone is predicting Knox is going to this school or that school but Knox himself asserts he does not know: “Makes me mad when someone thinks they know where I'm going to go... Please tell me! Because I don't even know.” One place Knox is not going to is Michigan, tweets like: “How bout playing in front of 114,000 at the Big House? Pretty cray, huh? (Question asked to Knox)
And losing to Ohio State??” ( Knox’s answer) No matter where he goes to school Buckeye fans will forever be endeared to Knox with his public denunciations of TTUN.
Damien Mama (6’5” 350, OL, 2014, Bellflower, CA)
Mama came onto to the scene at The Opening where he reportedly dominated the competition. Rivals rank him as a 4-star and number five offensive guard in the country but many believe Mama is the best OG in the country and his performance at The Opening solidified it. He recently released his top 13 and Ohio State made the cut: Alabama, BYU, Cal, Florida, Florida St., Ole Miss, Miami, Notre Dame, Ohio State, UCLA, USC, Washington, Wisconsin.(Top 13)Alphabetical order” One notable school that is missing is Michigan. Urban would love to add Mama to the 2014 class but with 13 schools to choose from, the inn could be full by the time Damien is ready to decide.
Alex Bookser (6’6” 295, OL, 2014,Mt. Lebanon, PA)
Alex made his second visit to Ohio State this past week and it sounded like it went really well. He was hosted by Luke Fickell and was able to see much more of the campus than his first visit. His offer is committable so if he ever pulls the trigger, the Buckeyes will take him. Urban Meyer was not there but his presence at OSU is what even put the Buckeyes on Bookser’s map. Alex grew up liking the University of Texas and Michigan whom OSU dominated under Tressel. He is rated a four-star prospect by 24/7 and a four-star prospect on the 24/7 composite and has offers from Alabama, Michigan State, Northwestern, Tennessee, and Virginia but the two main threats to obtaining Bookser’s pledge will be Pitt and Penn State. You can read his Ozone interview here.
Brandon Harris (6’3” 185, QB, 2014, Bossier City, LA)
Well the drama is finally over for this one time QB target of the Buckeyes but once the coaches’ evaluated Stephen Collier, they knew who their man was. Harris did as expected when he pledge to his home state Tigers of LSU. He tried to create some drama as he was going to be announcing on ESPNU but the drama was over once Sean White committed to the Auburn Tigers. Harris tried to communicate to me that OSU and Auburn would take him but my sources said there was no chance Harris would be allowed to commit if he wanted to, as the OSU coaches are 100% behind Stephen Collier.
Roderick Johnson (6’7” 310, OL, 2014 Florissant, MO)
Another name not being talked about too much is Roderick Johnson. He has an Ohio State offer along with schools like Alabama, Florida, FSU, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, and Wisconsin. He is not sure of his top 5 as of now; this one could last a while. But it does not look good for Johnson and OSU. He says he does not talk too much to OSU coaches and that they have not asked him to commit and also said he was not sure if his offer was "committable." In the end, unless something odd happens, I do not see Roderick roaming the field at OSU.
Ozone readers had a good discussion this past week on football camps and many from current HS football players, parents, and educators chimed in. If you did not have a chance to read the article as well as the discussion, you can read the article here and chime in if you have an opinion on whether or not a reform in HS football camps can help the future of these young men.