The week came and went with zero commitments for the Buckeyes, but it was still a productive week on the recruiting trail. Some prospects made their decisions, some cut their lists, and others were handed offers. While the focus is still on 2018 and getting the best class in the nation come February, Ohio State is starting to turn its attention more and more to 2019 and 2020 classes.
The Buckeyes did lose out on one prospect this week, as 4-star North Carolina linebacker Payton Wilson selected the in-state Tar Heels over the Buckeyes. Wilson visited Ohio State back in April and seemed to come away impressed, but the lure of playing right down the road in Chapel Hill was too much to overcome. He announced his decision at his high school in Hillsborough.
While the Buckeyes missed out on Wilson, they are hoping that good news at the linebacker position isn’t far off as Dallas Gant and Teradja Mitchell (possibly) are both scheduled to make their decisions in the month of May.
The trend of kids staying home continued when 3-star Atlanta defensive back Chris Smith committed to Georgia. Ohio State made the top six for Smith back in April, but the lure of playing for the Bulldogs was too much for Smith. Don’t be too broken up, however, because I am not sure the Buckeye coaching staff would have taken a commitment from Smith with so many other top targets still out there.
And finally, 4-star wide receiver CJ Moore out of Tulsa, Oklahoma surprised a few people when he selected the Oklahoma State Cowboys on Monday. Moore had also included the Buckeyes in his latest top six list, however it seemed to be a longshot to get his commitment. Again the Buckeyes have quite a few targets out there at wide receiver, so the loss of Moore to the Cowboys shouldn’t hurt that much.
Georgia Linebacker Releases Top 7
At one time, it seemed like if 3-star linebacker Michael Harris made a trip up to Columbus, then a commitment was going to follow quickly. Harris said in the past that he would “100% commit” to the Buckeyes if he had the chance. While a commitment hasn’t come, and it doesn’t appear that it will now, Harris still included the Buckeyes in his initial top seven.
TOP 7 . Always subject to change but this is where I feel best at. Thank God for the blessings. Please Respect My Decision. pic.twitter.com/Rt3LG4OCol
— Money Mike? (@Illionairemike) May 6, 2017
Along with the Buckeyes, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Auburn, and Alabama are his finalists and some crystal ball projections have come in for the Auburn Tigers this week. It is still possible that Harris could find himself in this class, especially if Teradja Mitchell makes a decision to attend Florida State.
What can Brown do for you?
It has been a pretty quiet recruitment for 4-star offensive guard Verdis Brown who is playing his final year at the IMG Academy. Originally from the Chicago area, Brown has received 19 offers to date and recently narrowed his list to 10, with Ohio State making the cut.
Brown has a 100% crystal ball projection to the Buckeyes currently, and last made a visit to Columbus for the Michigan game last year. He has since visited Illinois and Tennessee. The Buckeyes have landed only one offensive line commitment for the class of 2018, and will be looking to add at least 2-3 more, so Brown would be a nice addition to this class.
In-State Star Heads to Lexington
Cleveland, Ohio offensive lineman Darian Kinnard surprised a few last week when he elected to commit to the Kentucky Wildcats. Kinnard had two crystal ball projections in for the Buckeyes, although he didn’t have an offer. With the Buckeyes going after so many national recruits on the offensive line, as well as Ohio’s Jackson Carman, it was going to be a longshot for Kinnard to get an offer from the Buckeyes. If the Buckeyes happen to miss out on Carman and some other targets, then maybe they circle back to Kinnard late and try and get him to flip.
On the Outside Looking In?
The Buckeyes made the top 11 for 4-star defensive tackle Rick Sandidge out of Concord, North Carolina. Sandidge has 23 offers to date and right now is 100% crystal ball projected to South Carolina. He recently went on a state of Florida visit tour, hitting up Miami, Florida and Florida State. All three of those schools along with Ohio State, South Carolina, and in-state schools UNC and NC State made his list.
The Buckeyes have already landed Taron Vincent at defensive tackle and are hoping to land one more to pair him with on the interior. Cincinnati’s Aeneas Williams appears the most likely at this point to join him.
Emory Jones got some good news this week, as he was upgraded to a 5-star recruit again by the 247Sports composite rankings. Jones had been bouncing between a 4-star and 5-star since the rankings came out, and he is now ranked as the No. 24 overall player in the rankings and the No. 2 dual-threat quarterback in the class of 2018. He is one of two 5-star recruits for the Buckeyes, along with defensive tackle Taron Vincent.
Top TE Earns More Honors
Four-star New York tight end Jeremy Ruckert is racking up honors on his way toward making a college choice. He recently earned a trip to the Opening finals in Oregon and followed that up with an invitation to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He is also expected to play in the Polynesian Bowl in Hawaii. In regards to his commitment, he is expected to make a selection prior to his senior year and the Buckeyes along with Wisconsin, Michigan and Notre Dame are the teams battling it out.
Another week, another list of offers going out, mainly to 2019 kids, and even a few 2020 kids.
OSU offered a couple of Texas teammates in 4-star safety Brian Williams and 4-star wide receiver Marquez Beason out of Dallas. Williams lists 25 offers to date, with Arkansas and Alabama recently receiving visits from him. Beason has been committed to Nebraska since April. Since his commitment to the Cornhuskers, he has received eight more offers, including one from Ohio State.
Depending on how the tight end recruiting for 2018 finishes, the Buckeyes will be on the lookout for one or two for 2019. They already have a few offers out and this week they added a couple more.
Keon Zipperer out of Lakeland, Florida received one of those offers, as Kevin Wilson was down in Florida this week. Ohio State becomes offer No. 12, along with Florida, Florida State and Miami. Zipperer said in an interview with 247Sports that North Carolina and Florida are the two schools sticking out right now.
The Buckeyes also offered 4-star Austin Stogner out of Plano, Texas this week. Stogner lists 20 offers to date and picked up offers from Ohio State, Michigan, and Iowa all within a couple of days. He has one early crystal ball projection in for Texas A&M, but his recruitment seems pretty wide open right now.
The No. 5 running back in the class of 2019 is Deondrick Glass out of Katy, Texas. A friend who lives down there told me about him a while back, and he has been on my radar since. He picked up an Ohio State offer last week, which was No. 11 for him. I posted on Twitter a highlight video of him, and he seems to have all the tools to be a great back in college.
— Katy Football (@Katyfootball) May 2, 2017
Along with Glass, the Buckeyes offered Washington, D.C. running back Joachim Bangda. His profile right now is pretty light, but his early offers are from Alabama, Maryland, Michigan State, and the Buckeyes. He is unranked right now in the early rankings, but he is one to watch with an early offer list like that.
And finally we end with an offer to an offensive tackle out of Tennessee from the class of 2020. Knoxville’s Bryn Tucker becomes one of a select few to have been offered this early by the Buckeyes. He joins fellow Tennessee offensive lineman Jake Wray as the two 2020 linemen to earn offers from the Buckeyes. Tucker currently has six offers and one crystal ball projection for the in-state Volunteers.