Recruiting never stops, and if you take a day off, you fall behind. Join us every night for a daily recap of Ohio State recruiting news, insight on what’s happening behind the scenes, and for a glimpse at what’s coming next.
Following the bouncing offers
If you love to follow college football recruiting, you must understand that – as the kids say – there are “levels” to it. There are offers and then there are “offers,” and there are committable offers and offers designed to entice a player to come to your camp to try to earn a real offer … and it’s all, occasionally, very confusing.
Then there are those who coaches who use “offers” as a way of playing a game with another coaching staff. And though it seems like that practice would be too petty for a big-time college coach to employ, there’s no doubt it happens, especially when recruiting inside of regions that are traditionally not the areas You (the royal you) recruit.
So that’s why sometimes it’s hard to know what’s real and what’s not. Take, for example, this past weekend. Alabama had a major junior weekend in Tuscaloosa and a number of top-ranked Ohio prospects were in attendance, including two players ranked inside the state’s Top 12 – Michigan State commitment Joseph Scates and Fairfield’s Malik Vann – who do not have Ohio State offers.
Alabama offered both 4-star prospects, Scates and Vann, and in doing so, have set up an interesting decision for the Buckeyes — potentially.
Scates, a 6-foot-3, 175-pound wideout from Dayton Dunbar High School, joined his running back teammate – Tavion Thomas – in collecting an offer from the Crimson Tide. Alabama was actually the preferred school of Ohio’s sixth-ranked prospect growing up, but that doesn’t mean he’s heading to ‘Bama. The truth is that we (collectively) have no idea what the real motivation is behind some of the offers.
What I do know is this: Ohio State is not going to offer a player just because Alabama did. If the Buckeyes were going to offer Scates or Vann, they would have, or they will, on their own calendar. There is no doubt that Ohio State is interested in Thomas, but they’re not going to offer Scates to land his teammate if Scates isn’t what they want, period.
I don’t know what the method to the madness is for the Tide, but I’d imagine that if either of the players offered this weekend tried to commit to ‘Bama, they’d be asked to hold off, or they would be just penciled into the class rather than written in with ink.
Brennan Eagles names Top 10
The Buckeyes have made the Top 10 for one of the country’s premier 2018 wide receiver prospects.
— Brennan Eagles (@_BrennanEagles_) February 27, 2017
Brennan Eagles, a 4-star wideout out of Houston’s Alief Taylor High School, is the country’s seventh-ranked wide receiver. Ohio State is the lone non-southern school on the list, and the Buckeyes offered Eagles in late January. In September, the 6-foot-3, 210-pound Eagles told Land of 10 that he was in very consistent communication and was pretty clear on the type of program he is looking for.
“We talk every other day,” Eagles said. “We get along really well, just getting to know each other, talking some football.”
Eagles is not getting too far ahead in his recruiting; he’s looking for the right fit as things start to heat up for him.
“I’m looking for a place that I feel welcome, that feels like family and has a good academic program,” he said. “I’m not leaning any direction right now. I’m trying to stay open-minded.”
It’s good to be in the Top 10, but until Eagles makes a visit to Columbus, it’s hard to think the interest is much more than fluff.
Lima WR/TE takes in Ohio State visit
There are hundreds of kids in every single recruiting cycle that would love the chance to visit Ohio State and spend some one-on-one time being shown all that the Buckeyes program has to offer. That’s what Lima’s Keaton Upshaw, the country’s 26th-ranked tight end, got to experience this past weekend.
— Keaton Upshaw (@UpshawKeaton) February 24, 2017
“It was amazing,” Upshaw told Land of 10 about the visit. “I got to look around the campus and the facilities and meet the coaches. I spent most of the time with (offensive coordinator) Kevin Wilson and (offensive line coach) Greg Studrawa. Urban Meyer wasn’t there because he’s on a cruise for charity.”
For the 6-foot-7, 200-pound Upshaw – who has offers from Bowling Green, Pittsburgh and Toledo – the chance to see what the Buckeyes do on a daily basis was an eye-opening experience.
“I see that they take the stuff that they do seriously,” he said. “They’re all about winning and wanting to work hard. They have great coaches and players. What stood out was the relationships with the coaches and their team, and how serious they’re about winning and about the whole program. It was good being there just by myself.”
Ohio State is likely going to add two tight ends in the 2018 class, and Upshaw is hoping to be one of the players that earn a scholarship offer from the Buckeyes.
“I’ll be back for a spring practice and camp (this summer),” he said. “Coach Wilson just wants to know: Will I be able to be that tight end to get on the line and block and be in the passing game?”
Emory Jones, Brian Snead and Jaiden Woodbey all find themselves in updated Rivals 100
The fine folks at Rivals.com have updated their 2018 prospect rankings, and Ohio State’s three commitments are all positioned very well.
Emory Jones, a 5-star quarterback out of Franklin (Ga.) Heard County High School, sits at No. 14; and Seffner (Fla.) running back Brian Snead, who is on the verge of 5-star territory; checks in at No. 23 on the list. Jones was happy with his new ranking, but apparently, not satisfied.
#14 in the country ? I'm blessed, but that's not good enough…
— Emory Jones (@eXjones6) February 27, 2017
Ohio State’s most recent 2018 commitment, California’s Jaiden Woodbey, is at No. 61 on the list.
The Buckeyes are in a good position for a number of players on the Top 100 list, though, including the best prospect in The Buckeye State. Look at the players inside of the Top 20 – the 5-stars – that Ohio State remains in solid shape with:
- No. 2 | Patrick Surtain | CB | Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage | ★★★★★
- No. 4 | Jackson Carman | OL | Fairfield, Ohio | ★★★★★
- No. 5 | Micah Parsons | DE | Harrisburg (Pa.) | ★★★★★
- No. 9 | Jamaree Salyer | OL | Atlanta Pace Academy | ★★★★★
- No. 10 | Tyreke Johnson | DB | Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian Academy | ★★★★★
- No. 12 | Amon-Ra St. Brown | WR | Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei | ★★★★★
- No. 15 | K.J. Henry | DE | Clemmons (N.C.) West Forsyth | ★★★★★
- No. 17 | Palaie Gaoteote | LB | Las Vegas Bishop Gorman | ★★★★★
- No. 18 | Taron Vincent | DT | Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy | ★★★★★
- No. 20 | Anthony Cook | DB | Houston Lamar High School | ★★★★★
When you get out of the Top 20, things don’t slow down.
- No. 24 | Asante Samuel | DB | Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas | ★★★★
- No. 26 | Greg Emerson | DL | Jackson (Tenn.) Northside | ★★★★
- No. 27 | B.J Foster | DB | Angleton (Texas) | ★★★★
- No. 29 | L’Christian “Blue” Smith | WR | Huber Heights (Ohio) Wayne | ★★★★
- No. 33 | Brennan Eagles | WR | Houston Alief Taylor | ★★★★
- No. 38 | Tyler Friday | DL | Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep | ★★★★
- No. 42 | Houston Griffith | DB | Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy | ★★★★
- No. 44 | Jaelen Gill | ATH | Westerville (Ohio) South | ★★★★
- No. 48 | Solomon Tuliaupupu | LB | Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei | ★★★★
- No. 56 | Teradja Mitchell | LB | Virginia Beach (Va.) Bishop Sullivan | ★★★★
- No. 69 | Tyson Campbell | DB | Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage | ★★★★
- No. 72 | C.J. Moore | WR | Tusla (Okla.) Union | ★★★★
- No. 75 | Kamryn Babb | WR | St. Louis (Mo.) Christian Brothers College High | ★★★★
- No. 78 | Richard Gouriage | OL | Tampa (Fla.) Cambridge | ★★★★
- No. 92 | Brian Hightower | WR | Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy | ★★★★
- No. 96 | Matthew Jones | DT | Brooklyn (N.Y.) Erasmus Hall | ★★★★