BEAVERTON, Ore. – We’re live at The Opening, Nike football’s recruiting showcase talking about the most important storylines affecting Big Ten teams and the players they’re chasing. Join us nightly from Nike’s world headquarters for the news and notes about your favorite school and their recruiting efforts.
Wyatt Davis, Brendon White stand out for Ohio State on Day Two
Day Two at The Opening is finished and it was kind of an up-and-down day for a few Buckeyes commitments, but it was definitely not an up-and-down day for 5-star offensive lineman Wyatt Davis. The country’s top-ranked offensive guard was an absolute beast on Saturday morning as the Lineman Challenge got underway, drawing major oohs and ahhs early when he collided – and stymied – 5-star defensive tackle Marvin Wilson. Davis won rep after rep and showed that his lofty rankings are well-deserved.
Another Ohio State commitment, athlete Brendon White, was very solid on Saturday as well. White lined up at safety and was on the field the entire day (four games) for Team Lunarbeast. He was physical and ran with some of the country’s best wideouts without much of a problem. I know the discussion/plan for White has been to move down to linebacker in college but there’s no doubt from what I saw today he’d be able to play in the secondary at a high-level if that was asked of him.
Tate Martell had a very good start to the day Saturday but didn’t have a great evening session for Team Alpha Pro. Whether it was the ever-increasing wind, the lack of a rhythm from splitting reps all day with Jake Fromm or just Martell pressing a little bit, he wasn’t his best on Saturday evening. Still, he’s had a great week overall.
Amir Riep conversation from The Opening
I had a chance to talk to – and about – Cincinnati Colerain 4-star defensive back Amir Riep over the last two days and as things stand currently, I’m going to give my best guess on the country’s 13th-ranked cornerback: I have no idea.
I spoke to Riep and he was usual guarded self about what he’s thinking and feeling.
“I’m communicating with the coaches, and I’m enjoying it,” Riep said. “There’s no top schools, but Ohio State and Michigan State, those are good fits. The coaches, the staffs and the players, I just feel like they’re good atmospheres to be in.”
Coming from Ohio there’s a definite expectation that Riep is leaning towards the Buckeyes – his 247Sports.com crystal ball reads 95 percent in Ohio State’s favor – but Riep isn’t concerned about anything other than what’s best for his future.
“Michigan State’s coaching staff,” he said. “That’s what keeps them in my mind. I’ve got to do what’s best for me. I will decide when I feel what’s best for me. Just the feeling I get. I want to be proud of where I go, even without the sport of football, I want to be like ‘I’m here, and I’m glad I chose this school.’ ”
Riep is scheduled to visit Alabama on July 17th and has tentative plans to return to Ohio State on July 22 for Friday Night Lights, though he says neither of those visits are set in stone.
“Don’t mark my word, but I’m planning on getting to Friday Night Lights,” he said. “I’m scheduled to go to Alabama, but I don’t know if that’s going to be for sure.”
Riep will make his college decision July 23.
Xavier Thomas has big day, talks Buckeyes
One of only six underclassmen at The Opening, Florence (S.C.) defensive lineman Xavier Thomas continues to be impress with his game and frame. He doesn’t look like your typical rising junior and is a well-built 6-foot-3, 240-pounds.
Ohio State received a visit from Thomas earlier this year, but right now it’s South Carolina and Clemson that are the most likely teams to land a commitment from the 2018 5-star prospect. Still, Ohio State is on his mind and has been since his March 29 visit.
“If you watch the (NFL) Draft, they have the most draft picks, that really stood out to me,” Thomas told Landof10. “(Larry) Johnson, I’m very close to him also. He talks to me about Joey Bosa and how can I come in and be just as impactful as he was.”
With recruiting already very much underway, Thomas is looking to narrow down his list soon. He’s also hoping still to return to Ohio State this summer.
“I’m planning on releasing my top four at the end of The Opening,” he said. “I’m planning on taking a couple more visits, I’m just not sure yet. I’m trying to set a date (to return to Ohio State), since they’re so far down the road. That’s 10 hours away from my home, so that’s the only thing about them. I’m going to try and get to a game there and experience their crowd, they’ve got a pretty big stadium. I’m just seeing how this season goes.”
Thomas isn’t sure where he’s headed yet, but he knows when he’s looking to make a decision.
“I’m probably going to commit at the end of my junior season,” he added.
Random notes from Day Two
- Ohio State commitment Isaiah Pryor did not participate in drills on Saturday. His ankle injury will likely keep him sidelined on Sunday as well.
- Grayson, Ga. 4-star defensive back Jamyest Williams will release his Top 5 schools on Sunday morning and the Buckeyes should be on the list. Williams told me he’s still hoping to get to Ohio State this summer.
- J.K. Dobbins showed a very nice ability to catch the ball out of the backfield for Team Lunarbeast. He’s got the ability to do all kinds of things in an offense.
- Before he headed to dinner on Saturday night, the aforementioned Thomas stopped and made a phone call to Urban Meyer. He was asked to do so by Ohio State commits in attendance, so the Buckeyes were definitely paying attention.
- Josh Myers was really solid in pass-protection drills today. He was not allowed to do one-on-one drills because of Ohio rules that prohibit practicing/camping in pads because of the hitting.
- Richard LeCounte, who will visit Ohio State officially in November, had four interceptions on the day and looked to me like the best defensive back in the country.
- Tyjon Lindsey and Tate Martell are not shy about their chemistry. Martell looked for Lindsey as a safety net at pretty much every turn.
- Antjuan Simmons was very capable in pass coverage from his linebacker position today. He’s got excellent awareness in space and quickly gets downhill when he knows where he needs to be.
- Marcus Williamson started at nickel for Lunarbeast and had a good afternoon when he got more comfortable. Williamson doesn’t always have the “swag” that big-time cornerbacks seem to exude but don’t mistake that for not being confident. He just wants to play, not talk.
- Shaun Wade was matched up all day with 5-star wide receivers and was as advertised. He’s got a little tendency to get grabby and that may turn into a few penalties down the road but 7-on-7 games aren’t exactly set up for the defense to succeed.
- Dylan Moses is a monster.
- Anthony Hines III had a good day, very active in the middle of the defense and was better in pass coverage than I would have anticipated.
Unless otherwise noted, all rankings come courtesy of 247Sports.com.
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