Sunday Recruiting Rundown Jan 12
By Michael Chung
We are three days away from the end of the recruiting dead period and three days away from all “h___” breaking loose on the recruiting trail. Ohio State will try to add one to two more recruits but the 2014 recruiting season is nearing the finish line.
In this issue of the Sunday Recruiting Rundown, we will examine the players that are scheduled to visit and discuss whether or not there is a realistic chance they can be part of the class. Players can show up for official visits without the knowledge of the public so the following players are those that have gone on record as stating they will visit Ohio State on an official. Players can also cancel their visits so the following list will likely change after the dead period.
Ohio State was in great shape to take a DL or two but with Mike Vrabel headed to the NFL Houston Texans, the chances of adding another top DL took a huge hit. Buckeye nation can rest assured that Urban Frank Meyer will not allow this blow to deaden his chances and will work relentlessly to fill Vrabel’s spot with someone just as qualified. Here is the list of scheduled visitors until National Signing Day.
David Njoku (6’4” 215 ATH/WR, 2014, Cedar Grove, NJ)
He is built much like Noah Brown and is from the same area of the country. Ohio State has been very active in the NY/NJ area, wooing Curtis Samuel and Noah Brown and tried to nab the likes of Mike Geisicki and Chad Mavety. Ohio State has not given up on Mavety, who will play RT at FSU.
At this point I do not see Njoku and Ohio State as a fit but with Urban Meyer, one never knows. Temple, Rutgers, Miami (FL), Penn State, and the Buckeyes are all in his scope. Another thing that will prevent Njoku from coming to Ohio State: an offer from Ohio State has not been extended. It does not mean one will not come but at this stage of the game, do not look for too many new offers, especially with OSU being well fortified at WR.
Derrick Nnadi (6’1” 300 DT, 2014, VA Beach, VA)
I felt Ohio State had a great shot at Nnadi, but that was before Mike Vrabel left for the NFL Houston Texans. Most have Nnadi staying home in the state of Virginia but sources at the Army bowl say he is 50/50 and Ohio State is one of those 50’s. If there is one more player Urban Meyer wants in this class, it will be Nnadi and he will work hard to get him to OSU. PSU was another destination many felt had a shot at Nnadi but with Larry Johnson out, it looks like right now, big advantage to Virginia Tech. OSU can make up big ground if he does not cancel his official visit.
Demetrius Knox told me Nnadi is a beast to block and has become a close friend. Nnadi spent time with OSU commits in San Antonio so do not be surprised if this prized Virginian cavaliers to Columbus, OH if he makes his official visit.
Jermaine Roberts (5’9” 175 DB, 2014, New Orleans, LA)
UT has already seen three verbals de-commit since Charlie Strong took over, could Roberts be another? He is a Longhorn verbal but if there is any school that can sway him, it is Ohio State. The Buckeyes would always like to add some southern speed and dip into SEC country, and Roberts fits that mold. Strong has been cleaning house and one coach not retained was DB coach Duane Akina, a Longhorn legend. Roberts is Ohio State’s for the taking now and do not be surprised if this Longhorn follows Demetrius Knox in de-committing from UT and hooking on with OSU.
Solomon Thomas (6’3” 250 DL, 2014, Coppell, TX)
I really liked OSU's chances with Thomas before Mike Vrabel departed. As Tony Gerdeman pointed out, the first name that Thomas mentioned when he interviewed with Ozone was Vrabel. Thomas said, ““I like Coach Vrabel. He's a really good coach and he's really good with his players. He just knows his stuff from playing in the league for 13 or however many years he was in there.” At this point, I would give Stanford the lead but their current DL coach does have some OSU connections; would Urban hire him to Ohio State? I like OSU’s chances a whole lot more if he comes back for his official visit and Ohio State has their DL coach in place.
Malik McDowell (6’7” 290 DL, 2014, Detroit, MI)
Malik is a very physically imposing person, towering over you and has a tough demeanor. No player has intimidated me more during an interview than Malik. He has a quiet confidence about himself and Demetrius Knox said Malik has improved since the summer. He did not tip his hand at all during the interview and I think he will stay home and play from Hoke or Dantonio but if he shows up January 31st, OSU has a chance.
Update on Potential Commit
Brady Taylor (6’5” 275 OL, 2014, Columbus, OH)
Experts have chimed in that they believe Brady Taylor will be part of the 2014 class. He is currently a Virginia Tech commit and is at a position of need, offensive line. I spoke to Taylor this week and have the impression he will not be part of the class and will remain committed to Va Tech. Ohio State does have a chance but as of our interview, OSU had not offered Taylor and Brady mentioned that with one month left to National Signing Day, the chances of him flipping will be slim. If OSU wants him, they’d better offer ASAP but even if they do, I think Taylor will stick to his commitment. He wants to major in Dietetics and Va Tech is top 5 in this major so he is already thinking through life beyond football.
New Name (Expect this list to grow)
Shattle Fenteng (6’2” 200 DB, 2014, Hutchinson, KS)
He is currently committed to Georgia but the Bulldogs recently lost one of their coaches due to personal reasons. Michael Carvell of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that Ohio State has interest. He can play corner back and at 6’2”, would pose big problems for WRs and take away some height advantage some WRs have. But there is no visit scheduled so unless Shattle schedules, he will likely stay in the SEC. He was a former teammate of current Ole Miss DL Robert Nkemdiche so the Running Rebels may make a run at Fenteng.