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.
Top-15 running back waiting for first offer
On Sunday afternoon we talked running backs for the class of 2018. The final name on the list was Demetrious Flowers, a 6-foot-1, 210-pound running back from St. John Bosco in Bellflower, Calif. That school, as you recall, is the home of 2017 5-star Buckeyes signee Wyatt Davis and 2018 4-star defensive back commitment Jaiden Woodbey.
So who is Demetrious Flowers? He’s the country’s 15th-ranked running back, according to the 247Sports.com composite rankings, but as of Monday he has zero scholarship offers.
“I have no clue,” Flowers told Land of 10. “I’m just hoping to pick one up soon. I’ve been hearing from a couple of schools. My grades are better than what they’ve been, just no schools have pulled the trigger.”
As a junior for the state championship winning Braves, Flowers ran for 955 yards on 118 carries while scoring 22 touchdowns.
With teammates heading to Ohio State, the Buckeyes are one of the schools Flowers is hoping to hear from.
“In no particular order, some of my favorites are Alabama, Ohio State, LSU and UCLA,” he said. Regarding the Buckeyes, he’s been hearing good things from Davis and Woodbey. “They’ve been telling me about the facilities there and just how it feels like a ‘home’ type of atmosphere. I saw their offensive line coach (Greg Studrawa) when he was in with Wyatt and he said they would keep an eye on me.”
Ohio State getting to know 2018 offensive lineman from Pennsylvania
One of the positions that offers the most intrigue in any recruiting cycle is the offensive line. There are so many players out there, tucked in so many nooks of America, that its difficult to break down each and every one. Ohio State is likely to take five to six offensive linemen in 2018 if recent recruiting patterns hold. And outside of Fairfield, Ohio’s Jackson Carman, there are more question marks than answers.
So, in this quiet period of recruiting, it’s time to get some answers by getting to know players before the spring evaluation period. One of the offensive linemen the Buckeyes are spending some time looking into is Jake Kradel from Butler, Pa.
Kradel holds nine scholarship offers currently, with Syracuse, Boston College, Minnesota and Rutgers among them. The 6-foot-4, 290-pound Kradel has been talking to Ohio State’s Greg Studrawa and Billy Davis.
“I‘ve talked to coach Davis and coach Studrawa,” Kradel told Land of 10. “It hasn’t been like every day, but here and there. I will be taking a visit there this spring. They said they all loved my film, but I think they want to see me in person to see what kind of person I am and how big I am.”
It’s been primarily Studrawa, Ohio State’s second-year assistant coach, who has been talking with Kradel.
“We have exchanged a decent amount of texts,” Kradel said. “I feel pretty comfortable talking with him, and I’m sure we will continue building that relationship and once I get up on campus it will be a different story.”
At Butler Area High School, Kradel – like most of the best high school linemen in the country – plays offensive tackle. That will change in college.
“I’m going to be an interior lineman, but I have played tackle the last two years,” he said. “I feel I’m way better as an interior linemen and that’s what all the colleges are projecting me out to be. I play (tackle) because I was the biggest and it was a team need.”
Buckeyes offer Alabama’s best prospect
Ohio State has not had much luck recruiting the southern U.S. (outside of Florida and Georgia) but its staff is working hard to take advantage of its national appeal. To that end, the Buckeyes offered Alabama’s best 2018 prospect over the weekend.
Blessed to receive an offer from Ohio State University . ?? pic.twitter.com/VzjwQPeosi
— Justyn Ross . ?? (@_Jross5) February 11, 2017
Justyn Ross is the country’s 31st-ranked overall prospect and fourth-ranked wide receiver out of Phenix City and, yes, he has an Alabama offer already. He is, according to well-placed sources connected to Alabama recruiting, close friends with 2017 4-star prospect Markail Benton, a teammate of his at Central High School who signed with Alabama two weeks ago. The Ohio State offer was the 21st for Ross.
Usually when a player from Alabama gets an offer from Alabama (or Auburn, and in this case, both) he will make a decision quickly between the two schools. Ross is, according to the same source, favoring the Tide and the Tigers but is in no hurry to make a college choice. His reasoning? He’s waiting for his mother to come home.
Alabama’s No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2018, is in no rush to make a commitment mainly because his mother is stationed in Kuwait with the National Guard, and she won’t get back to the states until June 2017.
Just because she’s located over 7,000 miles away, it doesn’t mean she’s not aware of what’s going on with her son’s recruitment.
“She’s still in group text conversations with coaches, so she’s still very involved with my recruitment,” Ross told SEC Country. “She’s told me that when the day comes to commit that I’m going to be the one to make the decision and not her.”
It’s early in the process but it appears to be a battle the Buckeyes are unlikely to win.