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.
Darnay Holmes checking out Michigan State, Michigan
After a visit to Ohio State in late July, Calabasas (Ca.) 5-star defensive back Darnay Holmes is back in the midwest as of today. The country’s second-ranked cornerback is in Michigan, where he’ll check out both Michigan State (Friday) and Michigan (Saturday).
Holmes probably isn’t going to Michigan State, if we’re being real. However, the interest between the Wolverines and the 5-foot-10, 190-pound defensive back is something that is definitely worth paying attention to. He’s said all along that he intended to visit Ann Arbor at some point this summer, so that’s not really a surprise, but the timing does underscore his interest. With a month before he could have made an official visit, Holmes is back in the Midwest on his own dime and can still return for an official in the next two months or so before he makes a college decision. He’s very close with Michigan freshman cornerback David Long – who he describes as a brother – and that relationship is strong enough to at least get him considering Jim Harbaugh’s team in his future.
Along with Shaun Wade and Jeffrey Okudah, Holmes is right at the top of Ohio State’s wishlist at defensive back. He’s been to Columbus two times in the last year and says he’ll be back for an official visit, but there’s not a real positive “we think he’s coming here” vibe from the coaching staff by any measure. I am going to go out on a bit of a limb here and suggest that after his visit to Michigan this weekend that Holmes’ list starts to change a bit with Michigan – along with UCLA – getting some “run” as the potential favorite.
What do the Buckeyes have to do to change that? It’s hard to say. Holmes has told Landof10 previously that he’s got a better relationship with Greg Schiano than perhaps any other coach, but the truth is that with Wade and Amir Riep committed – and Jeffrey Okudah leaning Ohio State’s direction – it’s hard to sell him on “need” for the Buckeyes. He’s talked about wanting to play alongside the best class in the country, but the key word in there is “play” and that’s certainly going to be held against Ohio State.
A little more info on the situation with Jaylen Harris
On Thursday, Cleveland Heights’ 2017 wide receiver Jaylen Harris, Ohio’s top wide receiver, released his Top 5 schools: Ohio State made the list.
That’s not unusual, of course, because the Buckeyes offered him over a year ago and the two sides – in his words – “talk every day” but there are still some questions about what happens next. Harris told Rivals.com analyst Josh Helmholdt that he goes back and forth every day with when he wants to make a decision, sometimes thinking he’s tired of the recruiting and wanting to commit prior to the season, other times waiting it out.
If you’re scoring this one at home and want Harris as a future Buckeye, then you should be rooting for him to wait it out. The Buckeyes have no commitments at wide receiver yet for 2017 but that number should shift to two in about three weeks (when 5-star receivers Tyjon Lindsey and Trevon Grimes make their announcements), and at that point it gets real difficult to predict what happens with Harris.
The working number at wide receiver has been two and that’s not changed but there’s always a pull to try and take an Ohio kid and the Buckeyes are going to have to consider that. Do Ohio State commitments from Ohio care if the Buckeyes recruit harder at home?
“I just want to win,” one commitment told Landof10 when asked that question. “If there’s a kid in Alaska who is better than a kid in Ohio? Take the kid in Alaska.”
A lot can happen between now and signing day but – as of today – I’d lean towards Harris not be in the Ohio State 2017 recruiting class barring a significant change in scholarship needs at the position.
2019 Georgia star earns Buckeyes offer
Ohio State continued their “young guy offer tour” on Thursday with a scholarship sent out to Saint Simons (Ga.) Frederica Academy wide receiver/athlete Jashawn Sheffield.
O-H-I-O blessed to receive an offer from THE Ohio State Univeristy. pic.twitter.com/Lf2ltDGHhn
— Jashawn Sheffield (@Jashawnsheff) August 4, 2016
Sheffield is a 6-foot-2, 175-pound rising-sophomore that racked up over 1200 all-purpose yards while lining up on the varsity team as a freshman last season. The offer came by way of Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer.
“I talked to (recruiting operations assistant) Eron Hodges first, then (wide receivers coach) Zach Smith and two other assistants,” Sheffield told Landof10. “Then I talked to Urban Meyer. It was special. He told me that he liked me and my film and that I need to stay humble, but that he wants me there. They like me as a player and said they see something special in me.”
With a near 4.5-time in the 40-yard-dash, it’s not hard to see why Sheffield has 15 offers to his name already. Ohio State joins Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, Auburn, Michigan, and others who have already reached out.
“I’m an explosive player,” he said. “Especially with the ball in my hands. I play more running back than wide receiver at my school and I just try to do whatever it takes to help my team win.”
Sheffield has already visited a number of schools on his offer list, including Florida, Florida State and Clemson – as well as Georgia and Georgia Tech – but he’s not beholden to southern living. Those schools just caught wind of him – and offered first – but he wants to visit up north this fall if he can.
“I’m open to anything,” he said. “I’ll travel anywhere, I hope to visit Ohio State this fall for a game. They just won a title. Ohio State is Ohio State, it’s special.”
North Carolina defensive end adds Ohio State offer
The Buckeyes offered 6-foot-3, 275-pound 2018 defensive end Rick Sandidge on Thursday night as well.
Excited to say that I've received my 20th offer from ⭕️hio state pic.twitter.com/3gksjlsX9b
— 9⃣0⃣READY (@rickyo_90) August 5, 2016
Sandidge, North Carolina’s third-ranked prospect, is the latest prospect to hear from Larry Johnson, Sr., the Buckeyes well-respected defensive line coach.
“(Larry) Johnson offered me,” Sandidge said. “We’ve been talking a little bit, but I can’t say much about what he’s like yet, we’ve just talked a few times.”
Ohio State is Sandidge’s 20th offer. He claims Alabama, North Carolina, Florida, Florida State and Michigan amongst his early scholarships and although he’s just getting started in his recruitment, he’s just looking for a place that’s comfortable for him.
“I’ve visited UNC, Bama, South Carolina, Wake Fores, Florida State, N.C. State, and Tennessee,” he told Landof10. “I’m just looking for a place that feels like I’m at home.”