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.
The impact of Tim Beck’s departure on recruiting
Day 2 of U.S. Army All-American Bowl practice in San Antonio has come and gone and we’re talking about the news of the day, especially as it pertains to Ohio State: the coaching change made in Columbus on Tuesday. Quarterbacks coach Tim Beck, a major part of the Buckeyes’ recruiting success in Texas, is leaving Ohio State to take the role of offensive coordinator for Tom Herman and the Longhorns. Beck has helped Ohio State land two of the best players in the Lone Star State this recruiting cycle in J.K. Dobbins and Baron Browning — each of whom are enrolling early with Ohio State — but you shouldn’t expect his departure to affect them at all.
“(Tim) Beck was actually the guy who offered me first from Ohio State,” Browning, the 5-star linebacker commitment, told Land of 10.”But after a while it was Luke Fickell who was my primary contact, since he was going to be my position coach. If I didn’t decommit when Fickell left (to become Cincinnati head), I’m not changing my mind now. I understand it was a business decision and I was made aware of it on Monday.”
Browning is of course, a linebacker, so his relationship with Beck may not matter as much as the quarterback recruits: Tate Martell (2017) and Emory Jones (2018). Each of those players spoke with Land of 10 about the news today.
“Nothing has changed with Ohio State with today’s news,” Martell said early Tuesday morning. “I was aware of it. I can’t wait to enroll on Monday.”
As for Jones? He spoke similarly.
“I already knew,” Jones shared. “I’m all cool with it. I just have to talk with the new coaches and see how I feel, and just see how the offense does next season.”
While the tone of Jones’ statement seems to leave the door open a little bit for a change, he said that he’s 100-percent committed to Ohio State.
Shaun Wade hints at a secret roommate
If you watched our video with Shaun Wade earlier on Tuesday, you likely picked up on a key statement. When asked who he will be sharing a room with at Ohio State — Wade arrives in Columbus on Sunday — he mentioned his room is all set.
“I can’t tell you one,” Wade said, smiling. “But it’s me, Baron (Browning) and Tate (Martell).”
The fourth roommate, a secret roommate, will likely be the topic of conversation in a few places this week. The Buckeyes are looking at a number of potential early enrollees, but only two players who are currently uncommitted would be on that list: Jeffrey Okudah and Darnay Holmes.
You’d imagine that Martell would want to room with Holmes, a fellow West Coast product, if the country’s second-ranked cornerback picks the Buckeyes on Saturday. However, you’d also imagine that Browning and Okudah are going to room together if Okudah selects Ohio State on Saturday.
My money says the roommate is Okudah, and if something gets more concrete with Holmes, maybe those four can pool their money together and buy a futon.
Chase Young working hard, packing on the pounds
Staying with Buckeyes commitments, I spent a little time talking with Chase Young, the 5-star defensive end from Maryland on Tuesday afternoon. Young is playing for the East squad, donning No. 24, and he had a pretty darn good day on Tuesday. He was his usual dominant self in 1-on-1 situations and was excellent as usual off the edge.
“I had a good day, today and (Monday),” Young told Land of 10. “I think I’m doing pretty well. Someone told (Ohio State defensive line coach Larry) Coach Johnson on Monday that I was the best player on the field. That’s pretty cool.”
Ohio State is hoping that Young continues to dominate this week and beyond. He’ll sign with the Buckeyes on Feb. 1 and then he said it’s time to get to work on being physically ready for college, though he’s glad to stay at home and finish high school through the spring.
“I am glad I’m not enrolling early,” he said. “It’s not like I’m not working out, doing stuff. I’m up to 251 pounds now. After signing day, I’ll get my workout and diet plan and I’ll be ready to go. I’m coming to Ohio State to play and I’m going to fight for a starting job.”
Tate Martell has new recruiting targets in mind
In talking to Martell on Tuesday afternoon, I asked him if he’s added any new names to his personal recruiting list. I asked him this because of a tweet he sent out on Sunday night following the Under Armour All-America Game.
— Tate Martell (@TheTateMartell) January 2, 2017
Jeff Thomas is a 4-star wide receiver from East St. Louis (Ill.) who was offered by Ohio State in his sophomore season. He holds 17 offers but is the country’s 49th-ranked overall prospect and torched the All-American secondary he faced on Sunday.
“Jeff was a freak,” Martell told me. “His first step and acceleration was crazy. I would love to have that guy in our class and I’ve been talking to him.”
Ohio State and Thomas have not had much — if any — contact recently. There were reportedly some academic concerns early in his recruitment that caused some schools to back off, but according to one of his coaches at ESL, that’s taken care of.
“We didn’t have a football season last year due to a teachers’ strike,” the coach told Land of 10. “He kind of got lost in the sauce. His academics are OK.”
I reached out to Thomas to check on his interest in the Buckeyes.
“I’m interested in them,” he said. “But I’ve not heard from them.”
With less than a month to go before signing day, it is unclear whether or not these two sides will reconnect. Thomas has official visits planned to Louisville and Miami scheduled for the next two weekends, but no timeline for a decision. Will the Buckeyes — who would like another wide receiver — get involved? We’ll see.