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 a glimpse at what’s coming next.
Buckeyes offer Bishop Gorman’s Bubba Bolden; are there questions in secondary?
As the wheels of the 2017 recruiting bus turn, there’s one position that continues to provide the most remaining intrigue for Ohio State. The Buckeyes have had cornerbacks Shaun Wade and Marcus Williamson committed for well over a year. The same can be said for safety prospects Isaiah Pryor and Brendon White, and, in recent months, Ohio State added another 4-star cornerback in Cincinnati’s Amir Riep. That’s a pretty good haul in the secondary, but there are still two major questions that may ultimately decide whether Ohio State can hold off Alabama and win the 2017 recruiting championship.
- Can the Buckeyes hold on to Shaun Wade as Alabama and Florida – and a dark horse Notre Dame – are coming on strong. Wade will now visit Ohio State only once, according to multiple reports, and won’t visit the school for the Buckeyes’ home game against Michigan over Thanksgiving weekend because he’ll have family in town visiting for the holiday. He will visit Florida one more time (he was in Gainesville over the weekend), he’ll visit Alabama and he’ll visit Notre Dame. He will not visit Michigan.
- Can the Buckeyes remain the top team on the list for Grand Prairie (Texas) 5-star cornerback Jeffrey Okudah and fend off Oklahoma, Florida State and Clemson? Okudah will make his first official visit on Sept. 17 and watch the Buckeyes in Norman against Oklahoma. He’s planning on visiting Ohio State in late November, officially, and the race for his services could go all the way to the wire.
Two weeks ago, the Buckeyes seemed to begin hedging their bets in the secondary. They offered Georgia’s Xavier McKinney, a Top 100 prospect from Roswell, a player who has described Ohio State as his “dream school.”
Today, Urban Meyer’s program extended another offer at a place that’s becoming exceptionally comfortable for Ohio State: Las Vegas Bishop Gorman.
— BUBBA BOLDEN (@BubbBolden) September 6, 2016
That is 2017 4-star safety Bubba Bolden, who is a teammate of three Buckeyes verbals (Tate Martell, Tyjon Lindsey and Haskell Garrett), and a former USC commitment. Bolden, 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds, is one of the country’s most dynamic playmakers from the safety position. The offer is the 20th for Bolden, and he’s already begun getting the full-court press from his teammates.
I NEED @BubbBolden TO COME WITH ME TO COLLEGE MAN… He'd make OSU UNBELIEVABLE! WHO ELSE THINKS SO?! #?-?❗️
— T-WAYNE (@tyjonlindsey) September 6, 2016
— T-WAYNE (@tyjonlindsey) September 6, 2016
While there’s no official word yet from Bolden, it’d be a major surprise if he didn’t end up making an official visit to Ohio State the same weekend his Bishop Gorman teammates do, which is probably going to be Oct. 29 (Northwestern) or Nov. 5 (Nebraska).
Aeneas Hawkins adds Ohio State offer
After a few months of watching him closely, the Buckeyes have extended a scholarship offer to Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller defensive lineman Aeneas Hawkins, a 3-star prospect in the class of 2018.
Praise God!! I've been blessed to receive and offer from THE Ohio Stare University ‼️ pic.twitter.com/M0k6viXTfO
— Aeneas Hawkins (@King_Hawk92) September 6, 2016
The 6-foot-3, 250-pound Hawkins is the country’s 35th-ranked defensive tackle in his class, though a primary reason he’s so “low” on that list is that right now he’s still physically built like a defensive end, rather than a traditional defensive tackle. Though he’s been recruited by Kerry Coombs, who handles Cincinnati for the Buckeyes, it was defensive line coach Larry Johnson Sr. who made the offer.
“Coach (Larry) Johnson made it official,” Hawkins, the nephew of Cleveland Browns wide receiver Andrew Hawkins, told Landof10.com. “God is good.”
The offer has been in the works. Hawkins was impressive at Friday Night Lights with Ohio State in July, but Johnson wanted to see what he could do in a game situation, and he did. Now that he’s got the opportunity in hand, Hawkins will get back to Columbus as soon as possible.
“He offered because of my junior film, what he’s seen so far, I believe,” Hawkins said. “I’m going up there for a visit as soon as my dad gets back into town, so maybe Oct. 1.”
The belief right now is that Hawkins will end up with the Buckeyes, but he’s not in a hurry to decide and wants to make sure he’s examining everything closely. He holds offers from Notre Dame, Florida State, Florida and others and wants to make a few key trips.
“I’m hoping to go around and visit a few places,” he said of what he’ll need to do before a college choice gets made. “The academic part of it is huge. I have a few schools that I know will help springboard me into life after football, and Ohio State is definitely one of them. Now it’s just seeing where I feel like I fit the best. That involves a lot of things, like the environment and how the coaching staff handles business.”
Tyreke Smith dealing with injury
After not playing football since the seventh grade, the one thing that Cleveland Heights 2018 defensive end/tight end Tyreke Smith didn’t want to do was miss any time this season.
Unfortunately, the 6-foot-4, 240-pound prospect will do just that. He injured his ankle in practice last week and could miss a few weeks.
“I dove for a tackle in practice and messed up my Achilles and a muscle in my lower leg,” Smith told Landof10.com “I just messed up ligaments and muscles. I may miss a few games, but I could be back this Friday. Hopefully.”
Smith is the country’s fourth-ranked weakside defensive prospect – mostly on potential – and has 13 scholarship offers currently, but does not have one from the Buckeyes, who wanted to see game film before making that decision. If he misses time, Smith will just focus on mental reps, he says.
“I just need to rehab and lift,” he said. “I felt I was playing pretty good, so it’s just about getting back to it.”
The two-sport star at Cleveland Heights told Landof10.com that he’s working on setting up his next visit to Ohio State and hopes to get to a game in Columbus soon.