Sunday Recruiting Rundown — March 16
By Tony Gerdeman
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The search for linebackers at Ohio State is a never-ending process. Even when the targets have been placed on the 2015 class, there is still the 2016 class to worry about.
On Thursday, the Buckeyes set their gaze upon the 2016 class by offering Orange Park, Florida linebacker Shaquille Quarterman (6-1 239). That offer came just one day after the University of Michigan offered. Quarterman also has offers from the likes of Auburn, Georgia, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.
Quarterman is already ranked as a four-star middle linebacker by Scout, and many expect him to be one of the top 2016 prospects at that position when full rankings finally come out. He was named 2013 Third-Team All-First Coast by the Florida Times-Union following his sophomore season where he recorded 94 tackles. Also on that third team was 2015 Ohio State commit Ben Edwards.
What kind of shot do the Buckeyes have of landing Quarterman? Per 247Sports, he will visit Ohio State in July for OSU's Friday Night Lights, so there's clearly enough interest to make an early trip on his own dime.
To this point, Quarterman is only the second 2016 linebacker Ohio State has offered. The other is Keion Joyner (6-3 200) out of Havelock, NC. Scout already has Joyner as one of their early five-star prospects. Buckeye fans shouldn't get their hopes up, however, as Joyner is a long shot to head north.
Updates on a Pair of Defensive Backs
A little less than two weeks ago Ohio State offered Texas defensive back P.J. Mbanasor, who was at that time a TCU commit. I say "was", because one week after the Buckeyes offered, Mbanasor decommitted and reopened his recruitment.
Mbanasor (6-2 185) is a tall cornerback, which is what Ohio State is looking for these days. Most are projecting him to Oklahoma, but according to Rivals, he wants to visit OSU this summer.
Following just such an OSU visit for Washington DC defensive back Marcus Lewis (6-1 187) recently, he declared Ohio State as his leader. The four-star prospect was impressed by the coaching staff and everything that the University had to offer.
This past week, however, he told 247Sports that Florida and Ohio State are tied at the top of his leaderboard. Lewis, who is the #8 cornerback in the nation per Rivals, also has offers from Florida State, Clemson, Michigan, Michigan State and Notre Dame.
Two Visits Early This Week
Ohio State is going to have some important recruiting visits this coming weekend with 10 or so prospects scheduled to visit. Before that happens, however, they will host a pair of players on Monday and Tuesday.
The first will be Savannah, Georgia athlete Demetris Robertson (6-1 165). He could end up on either side of the ball, and he is already one of the top 2016 prospects in the state. He has offers from Ohio State, Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Florida and others.
Scout ranks Robertson a four-star prospect in their preliminary rankings, and the rest of the services will follow suit when they offer up their own rankings in the future. Robertson already has a relationship with OSU freshman linebacker Raekwon McMillan, which will only help the Buckeyes in this contest.
On Tuesday, the Ohio State coaches will host three-star quarterback Tommy Stevens (6-4 200) out of Indianapolis. The Buckeyes have not yet offered Stevens, but last month at the Best of the Midwest Combine he was named the MVP at the quarterback position.
Michigan State offered this past week, and he is scheduled to visit the Spartans next week. 247Sports ranks Stevens as the #20 dual threat quarterback in the 2015 class. With offers from MSU, Indiana, Iowa, Cincinnati, Purdue and North Carolina State, the Spartans would seem to be the favorite at this point.
Top Prospect in Michigan Set to Visit
On Thursday Bucknuts' Bill Kurelic reported that four-star athlete Brian Cole is scheduled to visit Ohio State next weekend. Cole, from Saginaw, Michigan, is ranked the #1 athlete in the nation per 247Sports. Scout, meanwhile, has him as the #5 receiver in the nation.
Cole (6-2 190), who could end up at receiver or safety in college, has offers from Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Tennessee and Wisconsin. Alabama is also lurking in the background, but has yet to offer.
Most think this will come down to a Michigan State vs Michigan battle, but a visit to Ohio State could put the Buckeyes squarely in the mix for one of the top prospects in the midwest.
Buckeyes Offer One of Nation's Top DTs
On Wednesday Ohio State offered a scholarship to defensive tackle Kahlil McKenzie (6-4 309), who is ranked fifth at his position in the 2015 class per both Rivals and Scout.
McKenzie plays for Concord De La Salle in California, but is originally from Wisconsin. Location does not appear to be a factor for him as he has visits scheduled to Miami and Florida next weekend. With his midwest ties, it wouldn't be much of a surprise to see Ohio State get a visit at some point as well.
Along with the offer from OSU, schools such as Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Miami, Florida, Wisconsin and UCLA have offered.
OSU quarterback target Torrance Gibson (6-4 200) had a pretty good day at Saturday's Bob Hayes Invitational track meet in Jacksonville, finishing fourth overall in the 200 meters with a time of 21.76 seconds. To put that number in some perspective, when current OSU redshirt freshman speedster James Clark participated in the same event as a junior, he finished with a time of 22.30 seconds, finishing 10th.
Four-star tight end Chris Clark tweeted on Friday a top 10 of North Carolina, Arizona, Arizona State, Ohio State, Maryland, Michigan, Virginia, Texas Tech, Georgia and South Carolina, in no particular order. Clark, from Avon, Connecticut, is scheduled to make a midwest swing in the next week, visiting Ohio State and Michigan. He is likely OSU's top target at the position, and certainly a need in the 2015 class.
Clark will be part of the talented contingent that will be visiting Ohio State next weekend. We'll have more on that later in the week.