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.
No Cam Akers for Friday Night Lights
One of the bigger expected – or hoped for – names to attend this weekend’s Friday Night Lights camp at Ohio State will not be in attendance.
Per 247Sports.com analyst Alex Gleitman, 5-star running back Cam Akers can not make the visit to Columbus this week.
— Alex Gleitman (@alexgleitman) July 19, 2016
Last week, Landof10 reported from The Opening that Akers wasn’t sure he’d be able to make the trip and it appears that is now the case.
The country’s second-ranked running back has been to Ohio State twice in the last year and while it’s not great for the Buckeyes recruiting efforts that he’ll not be present, it’s certainly not any sort of death knell for their pursuit. There is real and honest interest from Akers and the Buckeyes know that.
What’s interesting about Akers right now is that there are people at multiple schools – Ohio State, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida State, and LSU among them – that feel comfortable they’re in a good spot to land the 5-foot-11, 213-pound back from Clinton, Miss.
Akers has stated repeatedly that right now he’s only got one official visit planned – to Ohio State – so that’s likely to be the next time he’ll be on campus in Columbus. If you’re an Ohio State fan, you may want to prepare for a few more months of battling before this battle is over.
Tuesday Amir Riep update
I don’t know that we’ll talk about Amir Riep every day this week, but it certainly isn’t a horrible idea considering the fluidity of recruiting and all that, right?
Anyway, first things first. According to a source close to Alabama, Riep did not make a planned visit to Tuscaloosa over the weekend, which was expected after his Friday trip to Louisville. That’s a bit of good news for Ohio State and Michigan State, because whenever the Crimson Tide are involved there’s something to be worried about: they’re the best program in the country and a certifiable force in recruiting.
Second, there are now multiple sources that are suggesting Riep – the country’s 13th-ranked cornerback – will not make a return visit to Michigan State this week as has been expected. That is very good news for the Buckeyes, but not great news for Michigan State, obviously, especially as he’s still 100-percent expected to be at Ohio State for Friday Night Lights.
Lastly, and while it could certainly be a coincidence, Michigan State has extended a scholarship offer to another 2017 Ohio cornerback – Fairfield’s Josiah Scott – a 3-star prospect that is almost assuredly going to commit to the Spartans within the next weeks.
Everything that is happening seems to be trending towards victory for OSU come this weekend as Riep makes his college choice at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.
Jaylen Kelly-Powell, Michigan group making weekend visit
Ohio State will see a couple of Michigan’s finest prep football players this weekend for Friday Night Lights, starting with 4-star defensive back Jaylen Kelly-Powell out of Detroit Cass Tech.
— Jaylen Kelly-Powell™ (@JKellypowell) July 19, 2016
Kelly-Powell, who represented the Technicians at The Opening in Oregon, has long been a favorite of Ohio State assistant coach Kerry Coombs. Clearly, as you can see from his tweet, that affection is reciprocated as “my guy” alludes only to the energetic Buckeyes coach. This visit, which will be made with a few of Michigan’s up-and-coming prospects, has been in the works for a while, according to the country’s 20th-ranked safety.
“I’m coming with Patrick Lupro, Julian Barnett and Devontae Dobbs,” Kelly-Powell told Landof10. “We’re going to Missouri the next day. We’ve been planning this a while, we just needed to work around the other trips around it.”
Lupro is a 3-star 2018 cornerback from Belleville (Mich.), where he’s coached by former Cass Tech assistant Jermaine Crowell. The Tigers are a developing program in Michigan and it’s Lupro – along with the pair of 2019 prospects in Dobbs and Barnett – that are helping build their brand. Barnett visited Ohio State for a June one-day camp and was very impressive and was asked to return to Friday Night Lights so the Buckeyes could get a bit better look.
As for Kelly-Powell, he has been in Columbus multiple times in the last two years but it seems less and less likely he’ll end up a Buckeye. Michigan has the scholarship room, the academic prestige and the football prowess he’s looking for and they’re right down the street, though there’s some intrigue right now around Nebraska, where the 6-foot-tall, 175-pound defensive back visited in June and was unexpectedly blown away.
Tyjon Lindsey officially – officially – visiting this weekend
Just to reiterate the report from last Sunday night in Oregon, 5-star wide receiver Tyjon Lindsey will visit Ohio State this weekend for Friday Night Lights in Columbus.
— Tyjon A. Lindsey ® (@tyjonlindsey) July 19, 2016
Lindsey, the country’s fifth-ranked wide receiver and likely the best slot receiver in the nation, has been in Columbus only once – in March – but the Buckeyes have been the favorite to land him since that visit thanks to his relationship with wide receivers Zach Smith and Urban Meyer.
This weekend will give Lindsey a chance to work alongside his longtime friend Tate Martell and fellow 5-star wide receiver Trevon Grimes for the second time in two weeks after being on the same team with them in Oregon. He will head to Ohio State after making a visit to Auburn and Alabama this last weekend.
I continue to think Lindsey will pick Ohio State over Nebraska when he makes his college decision on August 22, but this weekend will go a long way towards solidifying that choice. He will want to make official visits after a commitment is made, but whether or not he will remains to be seen.