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.
Brenton Cox making a key visit elsewhere?
After a pretty good week on the recruiting trail — if you’re an Ohio State fan — in which the Buckeyes added commitments No. 11 and No. 12 for 2018, the weekend brought a little bit of unease as news broke that one of the Buckeyes’ highest-ranked commits was far, far from Columbus.
Ohio State verbal Brenton Cox, a defensive end commitment from Georgia, was in Alabama on Sunday morning and — according to SEC Country’s Chris Kirschner — is expected to stay in Tuscaloosa until Tuesday.
Buckeyes fans no doubt remember that in the 2016 recruiting cycle, 5-star defensive end commitment Terrell Hall was “solidly” committed to the Buckeyes until a trip he and his family took to Alabama in July 2015. Hall showed up at to Ohio State’s Friday Night Lights camp later that week and reportedly wore Crimson Tide-inspired apparel to the Ohio State athletic facility the day after. That, as you can imagine, signaled quite plainly that the relationship between the two sides was not as solid as it was reported to be.
The situation with Cox, who passed on Georgia to pick the Buckeyes, is of course something to pay attention to, but it’s not something to worry about — at least not yet. Cox talked to Ari Wasserman of Cleveland.com after the visit was announced on Saturday afternoon. His message? Relax.
Cox, however, is urging Ohio State fans to not fret.
“I mean, it doesn’t matter because I’m done with recruiting,” Cox said. “I’m straight. I was just going just to go. … I’m not looking to de-commit or go to Alabama. I’m going to Ohio State.”
That is the correct way to respond to questions about a visit to another school, but make no mistake, it’s not ideal to have your committed players going anywhere else. Most especially ‘Bama.
Recruiting in 2017 means you have to recruit your commitments just as hard as the players who haven’t made a college decision.
Zamir White at ‘Bama … how to look at that as a positive
There is another big-time player Ohio State has serious interest in who made a trip to Alabama this weekend.
— Zeus34 (@zeus1_34) June 3, 2017
That is 247Sports’ No. 1-ranked running back in 2018, Zamir White. White’s trip from North Carolina to Tuscaloosa was not publicly revealed until Friday, though whether or not it was planned before that is not yet known. But there are some rumors that the 6-foot-1, 220-pound White will make a visit to Georgia the weekend of June 10, as well.
White is expected to announce his college decision on June 27, his mother’s birthday. And though there has been no plan (yet) for a visit to Ohio State (or Clemson, or North Carolina) revealed, back-to-back travel weekends does at least provide some hope that one more return to Columbus could be in store before he makes a commitment.
Hope springs eternal.
Jaelen Gill is healthy and winning awards
Nine months after breaking his right leg in a game while playing for Westerville (Ohio) South High, Ohio State commitment Jaelen Gill is back to full speed. The 4-star running back proved that in early April when he was invited to the Rivals 5-star Challenge and Nike’s The Opening. He did so again this weekend in Baltimore at an Under Armour event.
— Gerry Hamilton (@HamiltonESPN) June 4, 2017
The IllSpeed finals apparently tests a number of the country’s fastest-quickest-most-twitched-up athletes and pits them against one another in combine-type drills, obstacle courses and more. Despite that broken leg in September, Gill won the event.
— Gerry Hamilton (@HamiltonESPN) June 4, 2017
There are times when in-state Ohio State commitments get overlooked by recruiting fans and analysts because they are expected to commit to the Buckeyes. Gill is a big-time talent and Buckeyes fans should be thrilled he’s got a future secured in Urban Meyer’s offense. He’ll fit it like a glove.
Tavion Thomas no longer includes Ohio State in his top schools
We’ve been hinting at it for a few months now, but there’s no doubt that things had be decelerating between Ohio State and Dayton (Ohio) Dunbar 3-star RB Tavion Thomas. Offered by the Buckeyes in February, Thomas was one of the country’s hottest prospects in the early part of 2017. But as a number of players before him have discovered, things can change rapidly. It now appears the relationship between the country’s 18th-ranked running back and Ohio State is officially dead.
Top 7 🏈 videos cumin soon 😁🏈 pic.twitter.com/5RSL52c4ZV
— lackofworries🎈🎈 (@tavionthomas937) June 3, 2017
Thomas no doubt has Ohio State-level talent. But the Buckeyes have turn their focus back to the aforementioned White, and concerns about program fit amid off-the-field question marks persist. Whether that changes moving forward is up in the air, but right now it won’t be Ohio State for Thomas.
(Or his teammate, Joseph Scates, so stop asking.)