Getting Ready for the Big Visit Dates
By Michael Chung
With the FAMU game over, OSU recruitnicks need to gear up for some big visit weekends.
Getting someone on campus is key to getting verbal commitments. The Marcus Baugh’s of this world are few and far between. Last year, the Nebraska and Michigan games were the two biggest recruiting weekends for the Buckeyes. With Ohio State visiting Ann Arbor this year and Nebraska off the schedule, the Buckeyes will have two brand new “big-time” recruiting weekends.
The Wisconsin game on Sept. 28th and Penn State Oct. 26 are shaping up to be the two biggest for 2014. With 18 commits already in the fold, there are probably 4-6 spots open. Three of those are reserved for Raekwon McMillan, Marshon Lattimore, and Erick Smith while another will be filled by an OL. In theory, OSU recruiting for 2014 is virtually over.
But one must protect oneself from the unexpected and Urban Meyer has been in this business long enough to know that anything can happen until the ink hits the paper. Therefore, he will relentlessly pursue prospective targets until the end.
It looks like TE prospect out of La Mirada, CA Tyler Luatua will not be visiting. With Mike Gesicki scheduling an official for the same weekend, some were wondering if that would cause issues with Urban Meyer and apparently it has. From Luatua’s Twitter, it sounds like OSU has asked him to delay his visit or even asked him not to. Either way, it looks like Urban Meyer wants to put a full court press on Gesicki and do not be surprised if Mike makes #19 for 2014. Gesicki should announce shortly after his last visit to Penn State Oct. 12.
Wisconsin, September 28
This list could grow or shrink depending on various factors but at this point, this is the list of notables coming to campus.
Jalen Brown (6’2” 187, WR, Phoenix, AZ)
The Buckeyes, Wisconsin, Oregon, Oregon State, and Vanderbilt are recruiting Brown. Many believe Vandy has the lead. Ohio State has recently come up empty in the desert. Mark Andrews committed to Oklahoma and QB Kyle Allen pledged to Texas A&M. AZ has not been too kind to the Buckeyes as far as recruits and it may not be too kind in the future. Do not be surprised if Jalen does not come on his official especially if Buckeyes are full at WR.
Avery Gennesy (6’5” 315, OT, Scooba, MS)
I communicated with Avery and he was still not 100% sure he was coming when we interacted but he seemed to be leaning that he will visit.
The Buckeyes are definitely in play for this Juco star and would really like a Juco in this year’s class. Most of the attention has been on Chad Mavety. If Mavety chooses elsewhere, Ohio State has offered MS OL Avery Gennesy and it sounds like if he wanted to commit now, OSU would take him. Being recruited by Tom Herman, OSU coaches like his footwork and technique but he does not plan to decide anytime soon but does say that once he commits, it will stick. He is saying he will decide no earlier than December because he wants to take his time to ensure that he chooses the right school. Kentucky is really recruiting him hard right now. Read his Ozone interview here.
John “JuJu” Smith, (6’1” 200, ATH, 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.
Johnnie Dixon (5’11” 175, WR, 2014, Palm Beach Garden, FL)
Johnnie Dixon is definitely in play and with sub 4.4 speed, would fit in perfectly with the 2014 class. Dixon interviewed with us last fall. At that time, it looked like the contenders would be Miami (FL), Florida Gators, and the Buckeyes. Miami and Ohio State are definitely up there. He told the-Ozone that he was very close to the Miami coaching staff but also grew up following Florida and Urban Meyer. It is not a surprise that he has OSU and Miami high on his list. Reports were out that OSU was recruiting him hard so it would not be a surprise if Dixon committed. He recently visited Arkansas and it appeared Bret Bielema and the Hogs made some major inroads.
Shawn Boone (5’10” 175, DB, Palm Garden, FL)
Dixon’s high school teammate also has an Ohio State offer. He has already visited during the summer and had a great time. Ole Miss, Arkansas, NC State, and FSU are also vying for his services. In an Ozone interview, he was not 100% sure he would make the visit and was going to contact OSU coaches. He had not talked to the coaches in a few weeks at the time of our conversation so it looks like Boone’s offer is not a committable one as of now. He raves about Johnnie Dixon.
Mike Gesicki (6’6” 237, TE, 2014 Manahawkin, NJ)
Gesicki is nearing a decision and come late October or early November, he should be making a commitment and this commitment will likely stick as he is one of the most diligent players I have seen in visiting various schools. He was at Rutgers this weekend and will be at Ohio State on an official this next weekend for the Wisconsin game.
Ohio State is sitting well. He told NJ.com that one of the most important factors will be game day experience: “’I'm gonna go to games, and I think the last game I have set up is in the middle of October. So after I get all the experiences going to games, I think I'm gonna get it all out.’" (Todderick Hunt, NJ.com)
What better game day experience than an evening at the shoe with over 100,000 crazy fans rocking the evening. Do not be surprised if this weekend’s visit seals the deal for Gesicki.
Penn State, October 26th
Travis Rudolph (6’0” 190, WR, West Palm Beach, FL)
The Buckeyes do not have a Florida star for 2014 and would love to have Rudolph. He is considering Alabama, Florida, Florida State, and Vanderbilt along with the Buckeyes. You always want to recruit against Alabama. Nick Saban has done well at WR. Can Rudolph continue the string of FL stars to OSU? Not since 2003 when Louis Holmes could not sign were the Buckeyes without a Sunshine State Star.
Jamal Adams (6’0” 200, DB, Carrollton, TX)
It looks like Will Muschamp’s current team is battling Will Muschamp’s former team for Adams, but he is scheduled to visit and if Meyer really wants him, will turn up the heat to get him. Demetrius Knox is already in the fold from TX and could help recruit Adams.
Raekwon McMillan (6’3” 240, LB, 2014 Hinesville, GA)
Raekwon is saying Clemson, Alabama, and Ohio State are all tied but OSU has been on top for a while and I think Oct. 26 seals the deal. ‘Kwon said he may announce Christmas day and I think Meyer will get another gift if he does.