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 a glimpse at what’s coming next.
Buckeyes commitments dealing with injury bug
Ohio State has the country’s best 2017 recruiting class but as good as they are on the field a number of their commitments are currently still being held off of it.
Over the summer, at an Ohio State one-day camp in June, 4-star offensive lineman Jake Moretti injured his knee, forcing him to miss his senior season at Arvada (Colo.) Pomona High School.
On his first carry of the season, La Grange (Texas) 4-star running back J.K. Dobbins injured his ankle and has not returned to the field yet this season. There are no immediate plans for Dobbins to get back on the field this season.
Cincinnati Colerain defensive back Amir Riep has missed three straight games with a hamstring issue and has played just six quarters so far this year. He’s slated to return to the Cardinals lineup next weekend.
Five-star wide receivers Trevon Grimes (St. Thomas Aquinas, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and Tyjon Lindsey (Bishop Gorman, Las Vegas) each has missed time. Grimes had a knee issue that cost him two games, and Lindsey missed the first four games of the year with a broken clavicle. The future teammates are both expected to be on the field Friday night as Bishop Gorman and St. Thomas Aquinas square off in Vegas.
Olentangy Liberty’s Brendon White, who has been lining up at quarterback this season, sprained an ankle two weeks ago and sat out most of last Friday’s game against Pickerington North.
LSU ‘s firing of Les Miles and potential Ohio State impact
To be perfectly clear, before we dive too far into the LSU commitment list to see what impact the firing of Les Miles can have on the Buckeyes’ recruiting class, it’s important to remember this: Ohio State has 18 verbals and there’s not a whole lot of room left. To expect the Buckeyes to be uber-aggressive just doesn’t make sense.
What they will do, however, is take a look at the Tigers class – currently the fourth-ranked unit in the country – and see who could be impacted.
As it stands, the players most likely to be impacted are not committed to LSU but have been seriously considering the Tigers, including 5-star linebacker Dylan Moses and 5-star running back Cam Akers.
Moses, the country’s top-ranked linebacker in the 2017 class, is from Baton Rouge originally and was a Tigers commitment for almost two years before reopening his recruitment in August 2015. Moses has an official visit to Ohio State planned for the weekend of Nov. 26, and though I’ve been skeptical that actually happens, change/instability at LSU will definitely give the Buckeyes a little more of a push. Alabama is the school that will likely benefit the most, though I still think LSU will be in the mix come December when Moses makes his final commitment decision.
As for Akers, the Clinton, Miss., running back who was at one time thought to be leaning toward the Buckeyes, I’m not sure the impact will be as great as one would expect/hope/want. That’s because LSU is just one of a handful of major competitors vying for his signature along with the Buckeyes. The Tigers had recently been rising up his list, according to Southern sources, and they could certainly fall off/out if the next LSU coaching staff goes toward more of a spread offense, as their fans have clamored for recently. Florida State, Georgia and Tennessee – again according to sources in the South – are all ahead of the Buckeyes and so removing LSU helps, but I’m not sure it helps that much. Ohio State has Dobbins committed and it is working hard to keep him in the mix so that could explain some of the slowdown around Akers.
At defensive back, two names to watch, potentially, are 5-star safety JaCoby Stevens and 4-star cornerback Kary Vincent, though Stevens is a long shot. If the Buckeyes miss on Jeffrey Okudah, Lamont Wade and Darnay Holmes, and lose Shaun Wade to an Alabama flip, they could make a push for this duo. Stevens is a Louisiana native living now in Tennessee who picked the Tigers ahead of Alabama and Georgia. Vincent is from Port Arthur, Texas, and before committing to LSU was very vocal about his affinity for Ohio State, but he never made a trip to Columbus.
Jay Tufele lists the Buckeyes among his top seven
The Buckeyes are actively searching for a third defensive tackle in their 2017 recruiting class and, as expected, they made the cut for South Jordan (Utah) 4-star lineman Jay Tufele.
— Jay Tufele (@tufele123) September 24, 2016
The nation’s third-ranked defensive tackle, Tufele is one of the most private, keep-to-himself recruits in the country and this top-seven list reveals very little about his actual thought process or plans for his recruitment moving forward. Over the past few months, Utah, Michigan and Ohio State have been considered the front-runners, but the inclusion of a few more West Coast schools does add some intrigue, especially as Oregon – one of Tufele’s early favorites – has fallen off the list.
The Buckeyes are expecting to see Tufele for an official visit soon and have continued to work their relationship with the 6-foot-3, 300-pound lineman.