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.
Cage, Oats added to visitor’s list for Indiana game
Through three home games in the 2016 football season, Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes have kept a low profile when it comes to game-day recruiting visits. But that’s set to change this weekend against Indiana.
Here’s a handful of the prospects who will see Ohio State on Saturday:
- 2017 5-star wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones
- The country’s top-ranked 2017 wideout, Peoples-Jones will visit Ohio State as its first official visitor of the season. The Detroit Cass Tech star was planning to visit Florida and changed his plans due to Hurricane Matthew. Chance of a commitment? Close to zero.
- 2017 4-star wide receiver Jaylen Harris
- One of Ohio’s most intriguing prospects and perhaps the most likely wide receiver to join 5-star recruits Trevon Grimes and Tyjon Lindsey on Ohio State’s list of 2017 verbals. The Cleveland Heights wideout, all 6-foot-5 and 210 pounds of him, says the Buckeyes have told him they’d “make it work” if he were to choose Ohio State. Chance of a commitment? It’s been a waiting game for more than a year between the Buckeyes and Harris, and there’s no real reason to think it ends this weekend unless Ohio State were to tell him that he needs to decide this weekend. I’m not saying that will happen but numbers are tight, and Peoples-Jones’ presence does provide some interesting leverage. Let’s call it 40 percent.
- 2017 4-star defensive tackle Jerron Cage
- One of two Ohio State commitments at defensive tackle, Cincinnati’s Jerron Cage will return to Columbus after three trips to Notre Dame in the last month. His brother, Daniel, is a defensive lineman for the Irish, and Cage insists that he’s 100 percent to the Buckeyes. But the continued trips to South Bend are not ideal, and this is a good weekend for Ohio State to underscore what makes it the place for him.
- 2018 4-star defensive end Tyreke Smith
- A teammate of Harris at Cleveland Heights, Tyreke Smith remains one of the country’s most unique recruiting stories. A talented two-sport athlete from California, Smith is playing organized football for the first time since he was in the seventh grade and has burst onto the recruiting scene with offers from Penn State, Michigan State and others. His last two weekends were spent at Notre Dame and Clemson, and he’s some junior gametape away from getting an Ohio State offer. Chance of a commitment? With no offer, zero. But if the Buckeyes were to extend one this weekend? Let’s say 25 percent.
- 2018 4-star offensive guard Frederick “Juice” Scruggs
- The Buckeyes are expecting the country’s ninth-ranked offensive guard in the 2018 class, Erie (Pa.) Cathedral Prep’s Frederick Scruggs, on campus this weekend. A 6-foot-3, 270-pound junior, Scruggs has an Ohio State offer among his 11. Chance of a commitment? There’s a long way to go until signing day 2018. Although Erie isn’t Pittsburgh, the top players in Pennsylvania rarely seem to make a decision this early in the process. Let’s call it 10 percent, because the Buckeyes offer was a big one for Scruggs.
- 2018 3-star offensive guard Blaine Scott
- Ohio’s third-ranked 2018 offensive lineman, Portsmouth (Ohio) East guard Blaine Scott will return to Columbus and spend some more valuable time with Greg Studrawa and the Buckeyes. Scott has 25-plus offers, but Ohio State is not on that list yet. Will this weekend be the one where that big offer comes? Chance of a commitment? Again, with no offer, there’s no chance. But if Scott were offered by the Buckeyes this weekend, I think that would jump to somewhere between 75-85 percent.
- 2018 4-star linebacker Christopher Oats
- One of two Ohio linebackers in the 2018 class with an Ohio State offer, Christopher Oats, out of Winton Woods (Cincinnati), has the Buckeyes on the top of his list. Ranked as the ninth-best player in Ohio, Oats is a good choice if you’re in some sort of office commitment pool (which don’t exist). But he says that he’s going to wait things out. Chance of a commitment? Let’s aim high and say 50 percent.
- 2019 4-star defensive tackle Jacob Lacey
- One of the country’s premier sophomore football talents, Jacob Lacey, a 6-foot-2, 290-pound defensive tackle at Bowling Green (Ky.) South Warren, has been to Notre Dame, Clemson, and Louisville this year, and his recruitment is shaping up to be a real doozy over the next few years. He’s exceptionally fond of Larry Johnson Sr. and eager for an Ohio State offer. He camped in Columbus over the summer and is absolutely one of the few players in his class being closely monitored by the Buckeyes. Chance of a commitment? Zero.
How do you get recruited by Urban Meyer?
So what have those players listed done to get the attention of Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer? On Wednesday night, Meyer gave a little insight into the things that he and his coaching staff look for when they’re on the recruiting trail. He used Robert Landers as an example.
“We didn’t offer him right away,” Meyer said, lauding the player for a few minutes before continuing. “I always look at the competitive spirit of the guy. I’ll talk to – for example, he came from a great high school program – so I simply pick up the phone, and if you trust that high school coach, ‘How’s he play in the fourth quarter? How’s he playing in big games? Rivalry games?’ I don’t overstep the boundaries, for me to tell Larry Johnson to take a defensive lineman? I’m not going to do that. What I will do is, I’ll do all the background on him.
“How’s he going to handle our mat drills? How’s he going to handle academic rigors, how’s he going to handle this. But the most important thing is, I always look for is, is he a competitor? His competitive spirit. That’s with every position.”