Sunday Recruiting Rundown — March 30
By Tony Gerdeman
COLUMBUS, Ohio — There was a bit of news this week when five-star dual threat quarterback Torrance Gibson (Plantation, FL) announced that he was moving up his recruiting timeline and was planning on committing sooner, rather than later.
While some may see that as good news for the Buckeyes, as they were believed to be the leader among his many suitors, he has yet to visit Ohio State. If a visit never comes, there is really no scenario that sees him becoming a Buckeye.
Fortunately for Urban Meyer and Tom Herman, however, he is still planning on visiting at some point. He spent last week visiting LSU, Auburn, Clemson, Tennessee and Florida, so when he finally does get around to visiting Ohio State, the Buckeyes will likely have some ground to make up.
And even if they do make up that ground, they'll still have to keep it all the way until the first Wednesday in February.
Damien Harris Cooling on Michigan?
On Friday, Mike Farrell of Rivals tweeted the following: "Hearing #Florida #FSU #Alabama and #OhioState are top four for RB Damien Harris right now from good source."
Harris (Berea, KY) released a top 10 of Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida, Michigan, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Florida State, Auburn and USC on Friday as well.
Harris decommitted from Michigan following the firing of offensive coordinator Al Borges, but new OC Doug Nussmeier has reportedly made strides.
If, as Farrell states, Michigan is no longer in his top four, then this could only spell good news for Ohio State, as it has been the Wolverines who were seen as the Buckeyes' fiercest competition for the five-star tailback.
One of Nation's Top Safeties Looking at OSU
Rashad Roundtree (Evans, GA), the #1-ranked safety in the nation per Rivals, spoke to Cleveland.com this weekend and said that Ohio State will definitely get one of his five official visits.
He had a previous relationship with new safeties coach Chris Ash, and that continues to this day. It will be a long, hard fight for the Buckeyes to not only get Roundtree out of the South, but also out of state.
The 247Sports Crystal Ball feature, which tabulates predictions from recruiting reporters all over the nation, has 19 predictions for Roundtree, and every last one of them has him headed to Georgia to play for Mark Richt and the Bulldogs.
Roundtree's recruiting process isn't expected to end anytime soon, but as long as the Buckeyes are in the picture to get an official visit, they'll stay in it as long as Roundtree will have them.
Busy Week of Visitors Yet Again
Ohio State hosted another dozen or so visitors this past week, and one of them was three-star defensive end Darius Fullwood (Olney, MD). Fullwood is the #20 weakside defensive end in the nation, and has offers from Ohio State, Alabama, Florida State, Michigan State, Miami (FL), Penn State and many others.
Fullwood (6-3 229) is also coming off of a recent visit to Penn State, and currently this race is thought to be between the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions. With James Franklin in charge in Happy Valley, you can expect this to become a recurring theme.
Tight end C.J. Conrad (La Grange, OH) also visited. He is still without an OSU offer, but appears to be willing to work for one at camp this summer per Scout.com. Conrad (6-5 225) is the #6 tight end in the nation per Rivals.
Here is what John McCallister told me about Conrad a month ago: "I've watched him grow up. I saw him last year as a sophomore. He's getting bigger and stronger. I think he's a camp guy. He's gonna have to get a lot heavier. But he plays basketball, and he's not a true basketball player, but he hustles and he's an athletic guy. I saw him dunk with two hands a couple of weeks ago, so he's got really good explosion.
"He's done really well at my combines. He'll just have to get bigger. He's probably a tight end. I don't know if his hips are good enough to play outside linebacker. But he's going to have to learn to block more consistently. He can catch. He's got really, really good hands, and he gets downfield really well."
OSU also hosted another top 2015 Ohioan in linebacker Chris Green (Toledo, OH). Green (6-0 226) is ranked the #3 inside linebacker in the nation per ESPN, and McCallister has sung his praises to me several times in the past.
In a year with some very talented 2015 linebacker prospects in Ohio, McCallister wrote that Green was the best and most active of the bunch. He also says that he is "fast, tough and loves to play the game."
Green does not yet have an OSU offer, but does have offers from West Virginia, Penn State, Syracuse, Kentucky, Illinois and Indiana. He is expected to come back to an OSU summer camp to compete for an offer per Land-Grant Holy Land.
There was also a pair of 2017 in-state prospects on hand earlier in the week as Massillon quarterback Danny Clark and Miamisburg offensive lineman Josh Myers took in a Thursday practice.
Danny Clark, Urban Meyer,
Clark (6-4 200) has been committed to Ohio State since December, and will likely be one of the top quarterbacks in the nation when the 2017 rankings begin rolling out.
Myers (6-5 275), meanwhile, is just one of five 2017 prospects to receive an Ohio State offer so far per 247Sports. He is expected to be one of the top offensive linemen in the midwest for 2017, and also has offers from Michigan, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois and Indiana.
Myers received his OSU offer last week.
Here is what McCallister said about him way back in October: "Always reluctant to write about a freshman, but Miamisburg's Josh Myers is one to keep an eye on. Listed 6'5-255, he moves really well for a big man. Good bender. Moves laterally really well. Also plays basketball. I realize that he is only a freshman, but he starts on the OL. If he continues to progress, like I am certain he will, Josh will be one of the very top OL guys in the Class of 2017. Brother plays at Kentucky. I am sure that Josh 'gets it.'"
Even with the familial draw to Kentucky, the Buckeyes should be tough to beat in this one, but there is a long way to go until February of 2017.
Next week, one of the nation's top 2015 tight ends, Hale Hentges (Jefferson City, MO) will be visiting. The Buckeyes want two tight ends in the 2015 class, and Hentges might be at the top of their list right now. There will also be a visit from UNC commit Chris Clark (Avon, CT) later in the month.
New Offers Going Out
Another week, another batch of offers goes out to some of the top prospects in the nation. Andre James (Herriman, UT), a composite four-star offensive lineman, received an OSU offer early last week. He also has offers from Oklahoma, Nebraska, Oregon, UCLA, Miami (FL) and others. Being as far out west as he is, he will need to show some more interest in Ohio State before they really ramp up their recruitment.
In-state defensive tackle Elijah Taylor (Cincinnati, OH) out of Moeller received his Ohio State offer on Friday. He is a four-star prospect and the #19 defensive tackle in the nation per 247Sports. He also has offers from Notre Dame, Michigan State, Tennessee, Louisville, Maryland and Miami (FL).
McCallister on Taylor: "Listed 6'3-275, but bigger now. Excellent burst. Plays pad-under-pad." While Cincinnati is technically within Ohio's borders, when it comes to recruiting, it may as well be a suburb of South Bend, Indiana. As such, Ohio State will have a battle on their hands to land Taylor.
Composite #22 cornerback in the 2015 class Cameron Ordway (Pulaski, TN) received an Ohio State offer a week ago. He also has offers from Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, Florida State and the like. The Buckeyes already have cornerback Jamel Dean committed for 2015, but they're still looking for more.
Another cornerback to receive an OSU offer this past week was Jalen Julius (Orlando, FL). Julius (5-11 175) is a three-star cornerback with offers from Florida, Auburn and Ole Miss. At the Orlando Nike Football Training Camp combine two weeks ago, he ran a 4.60 40-yard dash, which was one of the 10-best times at the event.
The offer from Ohio State came just two days after the in-state Gators offered. He is also a prospect on the offensive side of the ball.
Speaking of offense, Ahmmon Richards (Wellington, FL), a 2016 receiver was offered by Ohio State this past week as well. Richards (6-2 171) also has offers from Georgia, Miami (FL), Tennessee and West Virginia. If the University of Florida offers, however, they might be tough to beat. An offer to Richards at this point is simply the Buckeyes trying to get their foot in the door.
Steven Gonzalez (Union City, NJ), a four-star offensive guard that the Buckeyes were thought to be in the lead for committed to Penn State on Saturday. Gonzalez wasn't the only prospect on OSU's radar to commit to Penn State recently, as four-star linebacker Josh Barajas (Merrillville, IN) committed to the Nittany Lions on Sunday.
The Barajas commitment marks the third time in the last two weeks that an OSU target committed to Penn State, with New Jersey receiver Juwan Johnson being the first of the three on March 16th.
Four-star center, and Ohio State legacy, James Daniels named Auburn his favorite after a visit this weekend per Rivals. He has previously visited Ohio State, so this isn't just a matter of not yet seeing what OSU has to offer.
Being an in-state prospect and a Buckeye legacy, losing Daniels to Auburn would be a blow, but there is still plenty of time to make up ground.
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