Ben’s Buckeye Recruiting Mailbag: Cincinnati, Alabama and The No. 1 Class?

Recruiting Mailbag

We are nearly there. The college football season is less than 100 days away, and the Buckeyes will be back on the field in Bloomington in just a few short months. Until fall camp gets under way, however, we get to talk about recruiting. The coaching staff has been out and about over the past few weeks offering the best talent the classes of 2019 and 2020 have to offer. There is still a ways to go on the 2018 recruiting front, so we take to you the readers for your questions. Let’s get to them.

From Sloopdog:

What’s your personal take on the future recruitment of Cincinnati now that Luke is establishing his turf?

Cincinnati has always been a tough place for the Buckeyes to recruit no matter who the coach at Cincinnati was. Notre Dame is known for coming into that area and poaching some of the best talent available on a yearly basis. Now that Luke Fickell is in charge, I expect him to try and put a wall around the area. We have already seen a few Ohio State-caliber players in Malik Vann and Josh Whyle commit to the Bearcats. Neither had an Ohio State offer, though

The Bearcats are heavily in the mix for wide receiver Meechi Harris and defensive tackle Aeneas Hawkins as well. They could very well land both of them. The Buckeyes are still the main draw in Ohio and they will get who they want, assuming they put on the full court press. However, Luke is going to surprise a few people down there with the talent that he is able to bring in.

From Smartwater:

Does Alabama finish top 5? Early prediction for number 1 class? Don’t see any way for the Tide to get there.

It’s hard to imagine the college football recruiting rankings without the Alabama Crimson Tide at or near the top since Nick Saban has been in charge. The Tide are struggling a bit this year with only two recruits committed so far. I am not as knowledgeable about the scholarship chart and numbers that the Tide have available this year, but as always in the SEC I expect them to take a full class of 25. They are still in the thick of it for most of the top players in the nation, and they should find themselves back in the mix at the top when the icing is on the cake in February.

My early prediction for the No. 1 class is your own Ohio State Buckeyes. I think they will be able to take 22-25 kids this year and it looks like they are going to keep landing these four and five-star guys. If players like Micah Parsons, Anthony Cook, Teradja Mitchell, Jackson Carman, and Zamir White commit, there is no way anyone will pass the quality and rank of this class. Even without all of those names, the Buckeyes already have an average rating of 96.34 per player in the 247Sports rankings, which easily puts them in first overall.

From R1950:

If Teradja Mitchell commits to FSU, do the Buckeye offer Xavier Peters?

There may be some concerns with Peters’ academics right now, because he is quite the athlete and I am sure the Buckeyes have been paying attention to him. I do believe that Mitchell will select the Seminoles on June 2, but there is always that chance that he does select the Buckeyes. I like Peters a lot in watching him on film, and he certainly has the offer list of a stud linebacker. If Peters can get his off-field work taken care of and the Buckeyes have room, pairing Peters along with Gant and possibly Michael Harris and Christopher Oats would be quite the haul for the Buckeye linebacker corps.

From Rick W:

What are the main differences between satellite camp and regular camp?

The main difference is that a regular camp usually takes place at the campus or somewhere near the university, while a satellite camp is usually somewhere remote in location. The Buckeyes usually hold a couple of regular camps at Ohio State for prospective athletes to come and work out and try and earn an offer. Satellite camps have popped up on the scene more recently and the Buckeyes have taken part in a few of these as well. They have one coming up in two weekends when they head to Texas to take part in one at Texas Southern University with Arizona University. This will give the Buckeyes a chance to have their coaching staff in the talent-rich state of Texas, getting a look and interacting with some of the country’s best.

From 2BUCKI:

Does Ohio State have any interest in the freshman (2020) QB out of Toledo Whitmer? They just extended an offer to an out-of-state kid in the same class.

The QB you are talking about is Riley Keller, who will enter his sophomore season at Toledo Whitmer next year after being thrust into the starting role early in his freshman season. He has two offers right now from the local school Toledo Rockets and from Ole Miss. The Buckeyes did extend an offer to Jack Miller out of Arizona last week, but after the whole process that went down with Danny Clark last year, I don’t think the Buckeyes will be accepting a commitment from a quarterback that early in their high school career.

I expect the Buckeyes to be heavily involved in Keller’s recruitment eventually, but they are in no rush to get things started for the class of 2020 yet. Urban Meyer has said in the past that it can be dangerous offering an in-state player too early because they just might accept it. With an out-of-state prospect, an offer is more like getting a foot in the door.

From Crabapple Buck:

How many will sign with Ohio State in December vs February?

I would guess that we will see 3-5 guys sign in December. As I have already said, I think Brenton Cox and Max Wray along with possibly Jaelen Gill will be prime candidates. They don’t seem likely to want to flip. The only drawback to signing in December is you are locked into your commitment and can’t take any more visits. You will only see the guys who are 100% signing their letters doing so in December.

From Scipio:

Can Urban take a month and help Thad?

As much as the Buckeye basketball program needs some help right now, I don’t think Urban Meyer could even be an asset to the program. Urban knows the ins and outs of football (and maybe some baseball), but basketball recruiting would not be his forte. Hopefully Thad can right the ship and sign some quality kids in the upcoming classes.

(Editor’s Note: Wouldn’t it be fun to be in the room watching Urban Meyer try to interact with all of AAU basketball’s “third uncles” that he can’t even stand to deal with in football at a much smaller rate?)