Sunday Recruiting Rundown Sept. 15
By Michael Chung
Even though the Buckeyes were in Berkeley and no visitors were on campus this weekend, recruiting never takes a break. Kerry Coombs told The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Ari Wasserman “I think recruiting is a 365-day process at Ohio State,” Coombs said. “There's not a day that goes by that we don't talk about, focus on and participate in some recruiting activities here. That is – I won’t say it’s unique, but I would say there are very few programs anywhere that recruit as hard or as often as we do.” This means that those who cover Ohio State recruiting have a similar schedule.
The week began with a bang when Noah Brown made it official on Monday that he would become commitment #18 for the 2014 class. Who will be #19? I will try to guess the answer to this question in a coming article but you are all free to guess.
Joe Mixon was scheduled to be at the Cal game. He has an OSU offer but this is a Cal recruiting visit. Any chance the Buckeyes showed him anything?
Despite Ohio State being on the road to Berkeley, CA, and no scheduled visits to tranquil campus, recruiting still is making waves.
Raekwon McMillan (6’3” 240, LB, 2014 Hinesville, GA)
Raekwon is starting to make the rundown nearly every week. Pretty soon, we will have to have a separate column titled “Where is Raekwon?” It was reported last week that Raekwon had Ohio State and Clemson neck-and-neck. ‘Kwon told Mike Herndon of Alabama.com “Clemson was on the come up when they first started recruiting me and now they are right there at the top," he said. "They have been telling me for a long time that I do not need to go to an SEC school to play for a good defense and beat good teams. They really showed what they have been teaching me throughout my recruitment there - that I can achieve all my dreams and get to the NFL at Clemson."
But this week, McMillan told Michael Carvell of the Atlanta Journal Constitution that Alabama has joined Ohio State and Clemson as his leaders. McMillan also told Carvell that he will enroll early wherever he commits to and will announce either at the Under Armour All Star game or Christmas day.
I do not think Buckeye fans need to push the panic button yet. As long as Ohio State is mentioned as a leader, Buckeye nation can relax. The fact that Kwon will enroll early and is even considering announcing earlier than before tells me he is already close to making a decision. Something cataclysmic would have to happen for ‘Kwon to go anywhere but north to Columbus. This is recruiting and anything can happen but I think Christmas will be kind to the Buckeyes.
Mike Gesicki (6’6” 237, TE, 2014 Manahawkin, NJ)
As I wrote last week, Gesicki personally informed me that he had a committable offer. His recruitment is starting to wind down and there should be a final decision coming late October or early November. Gesicki informed me that there is not a specific commitment date, which tells me he is still thinking hard. Mike has definitely been doing his homework, he told Tyler Donohue that he has “visited Yale, Miami, Florida State, Duke, Wisconsin, Rutgers, Penn State… I might even be missing one. I was able to travel the country a little bit and narrow my main school choices down to where I could really see myself going.”
He goes on to tell Donohue in regards to what he is looking for in a school: “First off, academics is most important because if football doesn’t work out for me and I can't do what I want to do at the next level, I need to have a great degree so I can go out in the world and compete for a great job. The next thing is the coaches, players and “family” atmosphere. Can I see myself living there for four or five years and fitting in? The final thing I’m looking at is the actual football program. Do I fit in with the offense? How do I like the system? Could I see myself maybe playing there as a freshman? It’s about where I can fit in and make an impact on a college football team.”
In the end, I see Gesicki following Brown on the NY/NJ pipeline to Columbus and being #19 for 2014. But a lot can happen between now and Oct. 12, which will be his last visit.
Noah Brown (6’2” 210, WR, 2014 Sparta, NJ)
Brown ended his recruitment almost a week ago after visiting for the SDSU game. It was a small crowd of visitors for the day but Brown wanted to decide before his game on Sept. 12 (which was postponed to the next day). He told Todderick Hunt of NJ.com that “spending time with coach Meyer, the players and also coach (Zach) Smith, it just really reassured me that Ohio State was the place that I belong.
Brown also told Hunt that he “had a good feeling about them (Ohio State). I just wanted to spend more time with coach Meyer. Before this past weekend, I hadn't really spent any time with the players or anything like that, or really gotten to see in-depth how coach Smith teaches his wide receivers. So getting to see those three things really made me feel comfortable and know that was the place.”
It was clear that Meyer wanted Brown bad and spent lots of time with the recruit. Brown tells Todderick Hunt “I spent a lot of time with coach Meyer. When I first got there, I met with him, talked with him for about 30 minutes. I ate dinner with him after the (San Diego State) game. And then on my last day, I had a pretty good long talk with him, as well. So I spent a lot of time with coach Meyer.”
With Brown in the fold, this could end the recruitment of Johnnie Dixon, who was on an official to Arkansas. the-Ozone will try to reach Dixon to confirm whether or not OSU is still recruiting him.
Mitch Hyatt (6’5” 270, OL, 2015, Suwanee, GA)
Hyatt could be the number one player out of Georgia for 2015 and some think he could be the number overall prospect. This is all good but the news does not look good for Ohio State. Hyatt released his top 5 and Ohio State is notably missing: Clemson, UGA, South Carolina, Auburn, and Louisville. Most consider him a Clemson lock because his uncle played there. He is considering coming to Columbus for the Wisconsin game and if that is the case, Ohio State will get back into the game for the potential #1 prospect for 2015 but all indications are that Hyatt is not leaving the south; still, there are still almost 17 months till NSD 2015.
Solomon Thomas, (6’3” 260, DL, 2014, Coppell, TX)
Thomas still has a top-eight list and Ohio State is still on it: Alabama, Arkansas, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Stanford, Texas and UCLA. With Thomas also not officially eliminating LSU and TCU, it could be a long time before Thomas makes a decision. With all the turmoil surrounding the Texas football team and Manny Diaz being fired, this could be a primetime for someone like Urban Meyer to swoop in and gain a better foothold in Texas. With Mack Brown on the hot seat, it could be anyone’s game for Thomas. In the end, I do not see Brown fired nor do I see Thomas leaving the lone star state but Meyer would love to add one more DL and would love to go into the heart of Texas to find Thomas.
That is all for this week, myself and Ozone contributor Craig Henman will have a special story on the first 2015 commitment Eric Glover-Williams this week and hopefully much more afterwards.