COLUMBUS, Ohio — Urban Meyer and the Ohio State Buckeyes are never not looking for defense on the recruiting trail, and in the past week the Buckeyes made the cutdown for two of the nation's top defenders.
Sunday Recruiting Rundown — April 6
By Tony Gerdeman
Defensive end Jashon Cornell (St. Paul, MN) is currently ESPN's #1 prospect overall in the 2015 class, and recently PrepForce.com tweeted out a top nine for Cornell. Cornell amended that tweet, saying that he had a top 15.
Regardless, it looks like the Buckeyes were on both lists. Cornell visited Ohio State last October. He is looking to make a decision before the football season starts. Most believe that Notre Dame is the team to beat.
On Monday, five-star linebacker Justin Hilliard (Cincinnati, OH) tweeted out his top 10. That list consisted of Notre Dame, Alabama, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Oklahoma, Florida State, USC, Ohio State and Florida (in no particular order).
A top five will be coming soon enough, and the Buckeyes are expected to make that cut as well. Hilliard spent this weekend in Alabama on an unofficial visit, so don't expect him to be averse to leaving the state.
Your Weekly Torrance Gibson Update
Buckeye fans may have been a bit depressed given the number of non-Ohio State unofficial visits that five-star quarterback Torrance Gibson (Fort Lauderdale, FL) took over his spring break, but Gibson tweeted this past week that he will definitely be taking an official visit to Ohio State this year.
Gibson is the #1 dual threat quarterback in the nation, and he is still holding steady at 56% to Ohio State on 247Sports' Crystal Ball prediction feature. On Friday, Gibson told Cleveland.com that LSU, Tennessee, Ohio State and Auburn have a slight edge over the rest of the schools right now.
Gibson visited three of those schools over his spring break, so the Buckeyes are still in a solid position for not yet having received a visit. Once that visit comes, however, it will have to be a home run.
Ohio State hosted a number of prospects again this week, with tight end Hale Hentges (Jefferson City, MO) probably the most notable. Hentges is one of the nation's top five tight ends per the recruiting services, and he also made trips to Michigan State and Michigan this past week.
With Ohio State wanting to take two tight ends in this class, they won't give in to that state up north so easily. Expect the Buckeyes to be in it for Hentges until the end, but they are going to have plenty of competition for his services.
Gabe Megginson (Jacksonville, IL), the #16 offensive tackle in the nation per Scout, spent his week visiting Ohio State, Penn State, and North Carolina State. Along with those three schools, Megginson holds offers from Wisconsin, Vanderbilt, Michigan State, Miami (FL) and Nebraska.
Ohio State isn't looking to take in a huge haul of offensive linemen, but Megginson is certainly one that they would like to land.
Four-star running back Mike Weber (Detroit, MI) was also in town this weekend. Weber attends Cass Tech in Detroit, where 2014 OSU signee Damon Webb went to school. Weber has an Ohio State offer, but it appears that Michigan State and Michigan are the schools to beat here.
Defensive lineman Joshua Alabi, who is Weber's teammate, was also at Ohio State this weekend. Ohio State offered the three-star prospect a year ago, but his top two are Michigan State and Tennessee at the moment.
Also on campus this past weekend was Austin Clark, out of Lexington, VA. He is a four-star offensive lineman with offers from Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Virginia, South Carolina and Penn State. Rivals ranks him the #8 offensive tackle in the 2015 class. The Buckeyes are expected to be in it for a while with Clark.
A Quartet of New Offers
In their quest for taller playmakers, the Buckeyes offered a pair of 6-foot-4 receivers this week. The first was Carlos Strickland (Dallas, TX), Scout's #10 receiver in the 2015 class. He has offers from Alabama, Clemson, LSU and Notre Dame, but not Texas or Texas A&M. He tells Scout.com that he wants to visit Ohio State.
The other lanky pass catcher to receive an OSU offer last week was Auden Tate (Tampa, FL). Tate is a three-star prospect per Scout and Rivals, and is the #20 receiver in the nation per 247Sports. Tate also has offers from Miami (FL), Clemson, South Carolina and Penn State. An eventual offer from Florida State would probably shut this recruiting down, however.
Jaylon Lane (Nacogdoches, TX) is a three-star defensive back with five-star offers. Ohio State's offer was quickly followed up by a Michigan State offer. LSU, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Texas A&M have also offered. Per Rivals, Lane would like to visit Ohio State this summer.
2016 offensive lineman Tommy Kraemer (Cincinnati, OH) was also offered this past week. Kraemer (6-5 285) was on campus for a visit this past week, and plans to return for the Spring Game as well. Kraemer is likely the top sophomore offensive lineman in the state, and is definitely a prime target for the Buckeyes in 2016.
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