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.
OK, here’s another update on Darnay Holmes before a decision is made
I do not own a dream board, nor am I a believer in the idea that you can speak something into existence, but somehow, I feel like I did just that in the last 24 hours. On Wednesday evening, I wrote in this very notebook that, barring someone telling me directly that Darnay Holmes was not choosing Ohio State on Saturday, I was riding out my crystal ball selection to the Buckeyes.
My 247Sports.com “crystal ball” has been on Ohio State since December, and I’m not going to change it. I’ll go down with the ship if he chooses one of the hometown schools, knowing full well that he could. USC offers him a unique opportunity to win at home, and he’s maintained great relationships at UCLA for a while, but I’m going to stick with the Ohio State selection unless I’m told directly he’s not picking the Buckeyes.
So, today, Thursday, while watching the West team practice here in San Antonio, I was told exactly that. I was told, point blank, that Holmes now — after weeks of favoring Ohio State — would not pick the Buckeyes on Saturday.
Ugh, right? Right.
But here’s the thing — and maybe it’s the fear of buying into smokescreen as a decision approaches — I just don’t know that I believe it. Sources close to the Ohio State side of things believe the country’s second-ranked defensive back per 247Sports wants to put on the hat with a Block O on Saturday, they’re just not sure if his family is going to let that happen. Holmes’ parents seem to be split in their opinion and those opinions seem to conflict with his.
The truth is that there’s no guarantee that mom’s opinion or dad’s opinion is the same as their son’s. There may be a personal favorite for each of the three parties and somehow, between Thursday night and Saturday morning, they’re going to need to reach a consensus. I could be reading this completely wrong but I think it’s a classic “head over heart” situation with the player’s head saying “go to Ohio State” and his heart saying “listen to what mom and dad want.” And I’m not sure there’s a way to avoid that at this point.
I’m going to stick with Ohio State here anyway, but this is much more interesting than it was two days ago.
Josh Myers’ struggles continue, but don’t freak out
We’ve talked about it a bit during the last few months, but the US Army All-American Bowl practices continue to show that Josh Myers isn’t really the finished product Ohio State fans may be expecting him to be. The country’s 10th-ranked prospect — as we mentioned on Tuesday morning — is a physical freak. He’s got the size, athleticism and sheer power that makes offensive line coaches drool but he’s behind the curve in pass protection.
On Thursday it showed as Myers didn’t have a very good practice. As the final rankings for the 2017 get shifted following this event, there’s a pretty good chance that Josh dips a bit. But I implore you: don’t freak out. On Sunday, the 6-foot-6, 310-pound Myers arrives in Columbus and there will be zero concern for his recruiting ranking. He will get to work on developing his game, and his body, and he will be a special player in Columbus. Right now though, he’s learning another side to the game and you may see him struggle a bit on Saturday.
So don’t freak out, OK?
Tate Martell continues to lead the West
On the flip side of the “don’t freak out” coin is Tate Martell. The 4-star quarterback continues to showcase his skills here in Texas and has been widely regarded as the top quarterback in attendance throughout the week. On Thursday, Martell was accurate throwing the ball and proved to be a serious challenge for the East defense thanks to his running skills.
Tate Martell shows his escapability at West practice: pic.twitter.com/1fm3L9Hfbj
— Andrew Lind (@AndrewMLind) January 5, 2017
Martell is likely to be the starter for the West squad — he’s been leaps and bounds better than TCU commitment Shawn Robinson throwing the ball and Michigan commitment Dylan McCaffrey didn’t arrive until Tuesday — and is a good choice if you’re trying to predict the game’s MVP. He’s had a much better week in San Antonio than he did this past summer in Oregon at The Opening. Speaking to one source who’s watched the West most of the week, Martell has been his favorite quarterback on either side.
“You know what I love about Martell?” the source, close to the Army All-American Bowl said. “It’s that he just does everything. His arm strength is seriously underrated — I think only Hunter Johnson has more ‘zip’ out here than he does — and he almost never turns the ball over. He had 1 interception this season in high school and it was a fluke play on a tipped ball. I’ve never seen a guy at his level run an offense the way he does and his teammates love him.”
With the announced return of J.T. Barrett to the Buckeyes lineup, it’s almost a guarantee now that Martell redshirts in 2017. So don’t freak out about how good — or bad if that’s the case — he looks on Saturday. He’s going to head to Ohio State on Sunday and work hard to be the man in Columbus.