Recruiting Rundown — June 1
By Tony Gerdeman
COLUMBUS, Ohio — With the Nike Football Training Camp going on in Columbus this weekend, as well as the Elite 11 quarterback camp on Monday, a ton of top prospects have been able to sneak some peeks at what Ohio State has to offer.
One of those prospects was St. Paul, Minnesota defensive end Jashon Cornell (6-4 255). Cornell is rated a five-star prospect by both ESPN and 247Sports. In fact, at one time ESPN had him ranked the #1 overall prospect in the nation.
Prior to this weekend the Buckeyes were very much on the outside looking in, but after just a day spent visiting with the Ohio State coaches, Cornell has OSU in his top three per Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports.
For a while now, Michigan State had led for Cornell, but things seem to be a bit muddier in that regard currently. According to Wiltfong, visits to Michigan and Michigan State will take place in a couple of weeks, followed by a visit to Notre Dame the week after that. Cornell's plan is to commit in late August.
Cornell isn't the only five-star defensive end on the Buckeyes' radar, as they will stay on the trail of Virginia's Josh Sweat (6-5 237) for as long as he'll have them.
Sweat is the #2 player in the nation overall per the 247Sports Composite. Nothing about this recruitment will be easy for the Buckeyes, but like with Cornell, a visit can go a very long way, and Sweat does have plans to visit Ohio State.
Justin Hilliard Gives an Update
The Ohio State coaches have continued to make a very good impression on five-star Cincinnati St. Xavier linebacker Justin Hilliard (6-2 230).
Hilliard made the trip to Columbus on Sunday, telling reporters that "two schools are sticking out", though he declined to disclose what that top two was.
On Saturday, Jashon Cornell tweeted that he could see himself playing at Ohio State with Hilliard, if that gives you any kind of idea of what one of those top two teams might be for the in-state linebacker.
Hilliard has seen his top five schools (Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan, Iowa, and Alabama) multiple times, and plans to make his decision known in late June or early July.
Following the camp, Hilliard received an invite to Nike's The Opening camp.
Running Back Impressed by OSU
The nation's #2 all-purpose back is North Carolina's Nyheim Hines (5-9 187), according to the 247Sports Composite. He is one of the fastest players in the 2015 class, and the Buckeyes are extremely interested in landing him.
Hines is participating in the NFTC this weekend and had a chance to visit with the Ohio State coaches.
Following the visits, Hines reportedly told 247Sports that he has never seen anything like Ohio State. The Buckeyes have offered, and it would appear that they have made a bit of a jump up in his recruitment.
Hines also has offers from Clemson, Florida, Notre Dame, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia Tech.
Damien Harris Makes His Return to Columbus
Five-star running back Damien Harris (5-11 205) out of Berea, Kentucky made the nearly four-hour drive to the NFTC despite not being able to participate due to elbow surgery.
Harris is the #1 tailback in the nation per the 247Sports Composite and whenever he participates in one of these camps he runs in the very low 4.4s.
There has been quite a bit of buzz this weekend that the Buckeyes are now the clear leader for Harris, though he continues to say that that is not the case and that he is wide open.
Originally thought to be a signing day decision, Harris told SBNation that he is now thinking about enrolling early. He will be releasing his top eight in the next week or so.
Four-Star Memphis Linebacker Trims List
Joshua McMillon (6-3 249) announced his top 10 this past week, and the Buckeyes made the cut. The rest of his list included Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Memphis, Michigan, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, USC and Vanderbilt, in no particular order.
Scout ranks McMillon as the #10 middle linebacker in the nation, though Rivals is projecting him as a defensive end currently. He ran a 4.92 at the Birmingham NFTC two months ago.
McMillon is probably a long shot at this point, but with the Buckeyes currently looking good for linebackers Justin Hilliard, Jerome Baker and Sh'mar Kilby-Lane, they'll be okay regardless.
Texas Cornerback Has OSU in Top Seven
Cornerback P.J. Mbanasor (6-1 176), a one-time TCU commit, released his top seven on Twitter earlier in the week, and it was littered with Midwest schools.
The seven schools on his list were Nebraska, Michigan State, Ohio State, Florida, Oklahoma, LSU and Notre Dame. He also has offers from Texas A&M, Texas and Florida.
ESPN ranks Mbanasor as the #8 cornerback in the entire class. Given his location, Oklahoma and LSU would appear to be the two best bets in this race. He does have plans to visit the schools before making a decision.
Darrell Taylor (6-4 220), a four-star weakside defensive end out of Hopewell, Virginia tells 247Sports that his decision will likely come down to Virginia Tech, Florida, Miami, Tennessee and Ohio State. He attended the NFTC in Columbus as well.
Four-star running back Mike Weber (5-10 205) out of Detroit was also at the NFTC and told Steve Wiltfong that his top three are Michigan State, Wisconsin and Ohio State. With the Buckeyes' positioning with Damien Harris, Weber's recruitment gets a bit interesting because they don't want to "scare" Harris away. However, Harris has already said that another running back commit wouldn't bother him. Something to watch here could be what happens with Weber should Ohio running back L.J. Scott commit to either Michigan State or Ohio State before Weber gets a chance to.
Donate by Check :
1380 King Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43212
Help us bring you more Buckeye coverage. Donate to the-Ozone.
Click here to email this the-Ozone feature to a friend...or even a foe.
(c) 2014 The O-Zone, O-Zone Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, rebroadcast,rewritten, or redistributed.