Sunday Recruiting Rundown

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Football Recruiting
Sunday Recruiting Rundown — February 23
By Tony Gerdeman

COLUMBUS, Ohio — When Jacksonville safety Ben Edwards (6-0 196) committed to Ohio State nearly two weeks ago, it was viewed by most as a surprise. Auburn was thought to be the heavy favorite in his recruitment, and his selection of the Buckeyes caught people off guard.

Well, fast forward to the present day, and it shouldn't be a surprise that Edwards has decided to take further recruiting visits, including a trip to Auburn in his future.

Edwards spoke with Land-Grant Holy Land and said that Ohio State is still his number one school, but also that he considers himself a "soft verbal" at this point.

Getting such an early commitment from a coveted player out of Florida, Urban Meyer surely knew that this wasn't the end of Edwards' recruitment, but rather the beginning.

Technically, Edwards is still a member of the 2015 recruiting class, but if Ohio State wants to sign him, they will treat him as if they are currently trailing another school.

Running Back Updates

Cleveland Benedictine athlete Jerome Baker (6-1 205) had a pretty busy last week or so as he took a visit to Penn State and was also offered by Georgia. Baker could end up at a number of positions, which is why he is Rivals' #2 overall athlete in the nation.

Mark Richt and the Bulldogs also offered another Buckeye target this week in Orlando's Dexter Williams (6-0 192). Williams now has offers from SEC schools Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Florida. Williams is considered an Ahtlete by Rivals and is ranked as a five-star prospect by Rivals.

Speaking of Williams, he transferred high schools last week, moving from Orlando Olympia to West Orange, reuniting with his former head coach Bob Head, who took over West Orange prior to this past season.

The biggest running back target on Ohio State's board is still Damien Harris (5-11 205). Harris is visiting Michigan today and will attend the basketball game against Michigan State. Harris, who rushed for over 2,600 yards and 42 touchdowns last year, also received offers from Florida State and Alabama.

Hubbard, Ohio running back Larry (L.J.) Scott (6-1 217) received offers from Alabama and Auburn last week. The #5 running back in the nation per Rivals (and #8 per Scout) does not yet have an offer from Ohio State or Michigan.

Pennsylvania tailback Andre Robinson (5-9 205) out of Bishop McDevitt in Harrisburg has set up a visit to Ohio State on March 22. The Buckeyes offered Robinson, who is rated the #8 running back in the nation by 247Sports, a few weeks ago. Robinson is from the same high school as current Buckeye Noah Spence, and has known current OSU assistant Larry Johnson for a couple of years now.

Wide Receiver Updates
The nation's #2 receiver per 247Sports' Composite ranking is Christian Kirk (5-10 195), and he is scheduled to be on Ohio State's campus on Thursday of this week. Kirk, who is from Scottsdale, Arizona, will be visiting Columbus when the high temperature is expected to be 32 degrees.

The Buckeyes offered Columbia (MO) receiver Alex Ofodile (6-3 185) last week. Ofodile is a four-star prospect who is a Mizzou legacy. He has offers from the likes of Alabama, Florida State, Notre Dame and Oklahoma. He is already committed to the 2015 Army All-American Bowl. Ofodile is expected to visit OSU at some point.

Ohio State offered another four-star receiver last week in New Jersey's Juwan Johnson (6-5 200). Obviously, Johnson's size stands out, and the Buckeyes would love to add a big, athletic wideout like him. Johnson also has offers from most of the Big Ten and east coast.

Frostproof, Florida receiver Kaleel Gaines (6-0 175) named Ohio State his leader this past week per 247Sports. Gaines is a three-star prospect at the moment and has offers from Ohio State, Florida, Auburn, Miami and Notre Dame, among others. Last season Gaines led his team in rushing with 667 yards and was third on the team with 243 yards receiving. He also finished with 77 tackles. He is the brother of 2016 quarterback target Xavier Gaines.

New Offers Handed Out
The Buckeyes extended an offer to Tampa quarterback Dwayne Lawson (6-5 210) 10 days or so ago. Lawson, the #11 dual-threat quarterback in the nation per ESPN, has offers from in-state schools Florida and Florida State, so the Buckeyes will be fighting an uphill battle here.

In fact, it might be more of a situation where they are just throwing their hat into the ring so as not to come on late if they miss out on previous targets. It's a "safe offer" because there's almost no chance of it being accepted at this moment.

Three-star offensive lineman Venzell Boulware (6-4 270) out of Georgia received an offer from Ohio State two days ago. A three-star prospect currently, Boulware isn't yet ranked by all of the recruiting services. He is, however, in possession of offers from Clemson, Florida, Alabama, Ohio State and Ole Miss, so he'll be finding his way into the rankings pretty quickly. The Buckeyes will now work on getting Boulware up for a visit.

Quick Tidbits
Trotwood-Madison High School, which has been one of the top football programs in the state of Ohio of late, announced on Friday that Jeff Graham had accepted the vacant head coaching position following Maurice Douglass's departure to coach Springfield. Graham, a former Ohio State wide receiver, had been the Rams' offensive coordinator for the last five seasons.

Five-star quarterback Torrance Gibson (6-4 200) out of Fort Lauderdale tweeted during the week that he would be releasing his top 15 soon. The Buckeyes are expected to be on that list when it does come out.

Gibson participated in a 7-on-7 tournament this weekend and was reportedly very effective at wide receiver. He has been relatively outspoken about his desire to play quarterback at the next level, but this is yet another example of the type of athlete that Gibson is.

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