Sunday Recruiting Rundown: The Opening
By Michael Chung
The Urban Meyer recruiting express keeps right on rolling.
Since last Sunday, Ohio State added commitments #13 and 14 in Terry McLaurin and Jamarco Jones. Since Weds, June 19 the Buckeyes added four verbal commits. In addition to McLaurin and Jones OSU has landed Jalyn Holmes and Stephen Collier.
Three of the previously mentioned players will be participating in this week’s prestigious Nike camp: The Opening. In this edition of the Sunday Recruiting Rundown we will discuss the current targets that will be participating in the Opening and the possibilities that they would commit.
There are over 22 players at the Opening who are uncommitted and have OSU offers not to mention those who have committed but could flip back to the Buckeyes, but we will not discuss that second group unless there is serious news.
Some news and notes before: Rushell Shell, RB out of PA is transferring. Originally he was going to UCLA but reports are that he wants to stay close to his daughters and is considering OSU, West Virginia, and UK. OSU likely is not an option given their low scholarship availability and higher needs at other positions. OSU would also like to have space for Derrell Scott and/or Jonathan Hilliman.
If anyone thinks Marshon Lattimore and Erick Smith are OSU locks, think again. Read this article by Sam Webb of the Detroit News that offers more insight into Cleveland Glenville, Ted Ginn Sr., and the status of the recruitment of Marshon Lattimore and Erick Smith.
It looks like scholarships are thinning out, but Ohio State is still in hot pursuit of a number of targets that are participating at The Opening. Here are comments on a few.
Solomon Thomas, 6’3” 260, DL, 2014, Coppell, TX
As much as people want to say that Mack Brown has lost a step, do not be fooled! The Longhorns are still the big dog in Texas and Thomas will be hard to pry away from the lone star state. Alabama and Stanford are also two strong contenders but do not look for Thomas to be a Buckeye.
Montae Nicholson 6’2” 200, ATH/WR, 2014, Monroeville, PA
The rumors are that Michigan and Vanderbilt are his top 2 but I talked to a source close to Montae and was affirmed that there is no current leader. Says OSU is recruiting him as a WR. He grew up a Buckeye fan with Columbus origins; you can read his Ozone interview here.
Tyler Luata 6’3” 245, TE, 2014 La Mirada, CA
OSU has not offered too many TE’s but Luata is a top notch one. He could stay out west or come to the SEC and Nick Saban. Notre Dame is a possibility but the chances of Tyler coming to C-Town (Columbus) are slim. He will make an official visit Sept. 28 for the Wisconsin game and if there is any room for him for 2014 and Tyler wants to be Buckeye, I am sure he could fit in.
Dillon Bates 6’3” 215 LB, 2014, Ponte Vedra, FL
The son of Cowboy LB great Bill Bates, son Dillon has an OSU offer and has visited campus before but it looks like he will either return home to the lone star state, head to his dad’s alma mater in Tennessee, play for Nick Saban, or stay in the sunshine state. Most believe he is headed towards Tennessee; he will announce on July 3rd at The Opening. Read his Ozone interview here.
Clifton Garrett 6’2” LB 215, 2014 Plainfield, IL
For some reason, Garrett and OSU’s relationship has gone south. At one-time, OSU was ahead but most predict Garrett goes LSU or SEC. He communicated to me his relationships with other coaching staffs are just better than with OSU’s. You can read his Ozone interview here.
Nyles Morgan 6’1” 235, LB, Crete, IL
This top flight LB seems to be leaning SEC, surprise-surprise, as if the SEC needs anymore top players from the Midwest. Not sure how hard OSU will be pursuing given the commitments of Booker, Hubbard, and Berger and possible commitment of McMillan. It also sounds like Darron Lee and Chris Worley have bulked up to the point where they also maybe at LB so Morgan may not be as important as he once were.
John “JuJu” Smith, 6’1” 200, ATH, 2014, Long Beach, CA
When people think of John Smith they think of one of the leaders of the Virginia colony. Another John Smith maybe making history. He set up an official visit for the Wisconsin game. It looks like he will stay home and play for either USC or UCLA with Notre Dame in the mix but if Meyer really wants him, do not count out OSU.
Derrell Scott, 5’10” 175, RB, Havelock, NC
Scott was in Ohio last weekend for camp and came away very impressed with Ohio State. Many who were covering the camp felt Scott was one who stood out. Though OSU already has Parris Campbell in the fold and Jonathan Hilliman highly interested, Scott would have a place for 2014 if he said yes. A long time offer with OSU, Scott will likely visit OSU on an official during the season. He grew up following the Florida Gators when Urban Meyer was the coach. Read his Ozone interview here.
Artavis Scott, 5’11” 160, WR, 2014, Tarpon Springs, FL
Most have this FL speedster following his friend, Mason Cole, to the school up north and it is highly likely that he will but many believe he will stay south at a school like Clemson. One dark horse is Miami as he has strong relationships with the coaching staff. You can read his Ozone interview here.
Curtis Samuel, 6’0” 185, ATH, 2014, Brooklyn, NY
Urban Meyer loves speed and people who are “freaks” of nature. Samuel possesses sub 4.5 speed and power to boot, and could play RB, WR, or DB. As of now, OSU looks to be in good shape to land this New York speedster.
Raekwon McMillan, 6’3” 235 LB, 2014 Hinesville, GA
Though reports are starting to make OSU fans think Raekwon will stay south, it looks like unless something drastic happens, Raekwon will come up north to OSU. He will attend Friday Night Lights like he did last year. He and Dante Booker have talked about playing together and Dante is at OSU. Read his Ozone interview here.
Demetrius Knox, 6’5” 300, OL 2014, Fort Worth, TX
Knox certainly is active in communicating. He loved his visit to Miami and loved his UCLA visit even more. OSU is recruiting OL hard and players like Jermaine Eluemunor, Chad Mavety, and Damian Prince are on the radar. With Jamarco Jones committing this past week, OSU is firming up their OL but will definitely wait on Demetrius as the only other true guard in this class is Marcelys Jones.
Other prospects that have OSU offers and are participating in The Opening are: Quincy Wilson, 6’2” 185, DB, 2014 Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Austin Roberts, 6’2” 195 WR, 2014, Carmel, IN; Johnnie Dixon, 6’0” 175 WR, 2014 West Palm Beach, FL; Trevion Thompson, 6’2” 175 WR, 2014, Durham, NC; Petera Wilson Memphis, TN; Jamal Adams 6’0” 195, Carrollton, TX; Chris Lammons5’9” 170 Plantation, FL; Jalen Tabor 6’1” 190, Washington, D.C.; Kentavious Street, 6’4” 255 DL 2014, Greenville, NC, and Thomas Holley 6’5” 290 DL, 2014, Brooklyn, NY. Of this list, the most likely to be Buckeye are Quincy Wilson, Austin Roberts, Trevion Thompson, and Jalen Tabor.
That is it for this weeks round up. Tune in next week when Ozone will have interviews with Terry McLaurin and Jonathan Hilliman coming up.