After receiving two commitments from 4-star prospects on Friday evening (2017 defensive end Chase Young and 2018 running back Brian Snead), the big weekend for Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes isn’t over yet. Moment ago, Ohio State landed their 16th pledge for 2017: Colerain (Cincinnati) 4-star defensive back Amir Riep, on his 18th birthday, has committed to the Buckeyes.
The country’s 15th-ranked cornerback – and 119th-ranked overall prospect – picked Ohio State over Michigan State, Alabama, Florida and almost 45 other offers.
It’s been a wild few months for Riep. He burst onto the national recruiting scene in the winter and racked up offer after offer following a big junior season for the Cardinal. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Riep intercepted seven passes in 2015 and also forced three fumbles while also racking up 55 tackles. Riep was offered by Ohio State on January 31 when he visited the school during one of the Buckeyes junior weekends.
— Amir Riep (@Riep_Amir) January 31, 2016
Ohio State assistant Kerry Coombs, a former head coach at Colerain, has been the primary recruiter for the Buckeyes, but even with that connection this was never a sure thing. Michigan State offered him months earlier and the Spartans defensive backs coach, Harlan Barnett, is another Cincinnati native that had developed a very strong relationship with the talented cornerback. That connection had – according to a number of sources – the Spartans out in front of the Buckeyes until as recently as mid-June. That though, is when things started to shift back in Ohio State’s direction.
Riep made two separate visits to Columbus in a one-week span in June, camping with the Buckeyes but also spending a lot of time getting to know Ohio State commitments Isaiah Pryor and Marcus Williamson, who he worked alongside during his time there. Those relationships strengthened at Nike’s The Opening, where Riep and Buckeyes linebacker commitment Antjuan Simmons spent nearly every minute together. Following The Opening, plans for a visit to Alabama – and a return trip to Michigan State – emerged as Riep suggested he needed a closer look at those schools before his decision could be made.
As it turns out, neither of those trips were necessary and neither of those trips happened. What did happen was one more visit to Ohio State. Riep attended Friday Night Lights with the Buckeyes just hours before his commitment, taking advantage of another opportunity to get closer to Urban Meyer, Kerry Coombs and a host of Ohio State verbals and targets.
As noted, Riep is the 16th commitment in Ohio State’s top-ranked 2017 recruiting class and the sixth player in the class from the Buckeye State. The Colerain star is the third cornerback to commit to Ohio State for 2017, joining 5-star prospect Shaun Wade out of Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian Academy and IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) standout Marcus Williamson.