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 getting a big visit from the country’s top-ranked wideout
Florida is on the verge of being walloped by a potentially devastating weather event (please, people, if you’re in Florida, and you’re in the path of this hurricane, evacuate ASAP, don’t risk your health and your family’s health by “riding it out”) and because of that the Gators will have to reschedule an official visit from the country’s No. 1-ranked wide receiver in the 2017 recruiting class, Donovan Peoples-Jones.
The 5-star wideout from Detroit Cass Tech High School has made one previous official visit this fall – to Nebraska on Sept. 3 – and had planned to be in Gainesville this weekend but will head to Ohio State instead.
— Donovan P. Jones (@dpeoplesjones) October 6, 2016
Peoples-Jones making an official visit to see the Buckeyes is, in itself, interesting. He’s just a three-hour drive from Columbus so the opportunity for an unofficial visit is always there for him, but there weren’t many who believed he’d make an official visit to Ohio State.
What does it mean? It means there is one more real chance for head coach Urban Meyer, wide receivers coach Zach Smith and the rest of the Buckeyes staff to convince the 6-foot-2, 192-pound wideout that what Ohio State can offer – as a school and as a football program – outweighs what any other school can offer. And in doing so, they can hope to convince his parents of the same thing.
Michigan is still the runaway favorite to land Peoples-Jones, and the Gators have been the dark horse. But at least for one more weekend, Ohio State will make a play to add a third 5-star wide receiver to its epic 2017 recruiting class.
Xavier Henderson still hearing from Urban Meyer, Buckeyes
It’s not often that a high school junior ranked among Ohio’s top 10 football prospects – especially one who has received a fair amount of Ohio State attention – commits elsewhere while the Buckeyes are still in evaluation mode. Generally speaking, Urban Meyer’s coaching staff is direct about whether a scholarship offer may come and exactly what a player needs to do to get it. That’s why it was so interesting – from a purely chronological standpoint – when Pickerington Central 2018 4-star athlete Xavier Henderson decided to commit to Michigan State on Sept. 9.
Committing hasn’t stopped Henderson – Ohio’s sixth-ranked player for 2018 – from being courted by Ohio State. His father, Allen, told Landof10.com that the Buckeyes have been in contact as much as ever. That said, there has been a slight shuffle in who is doing the talking.
“They’re still reaching out regularly,” Allen Henderson said of the Buckeyes. “Urban Meyer has slowed down a little and (Luke) Fickell has picked up more. He was at the school and at the game last week.”
The 6-foot, 190-pound Henderson was a regular visitor to Ohio State over the summer but now that he’s committed to the Spartans – a program with very strict no-visit policy for its commitments — don’t expect to see him visiting the Buckeyes anytime soon.
“(The Buckeyes) are not hard pressing to get him to a game,” Henderson said. “They know Michigan State’s policy on that, I’m sure, but they are definitely still recruiting.”
Are we not talking enough about Markquese Bell?
Do you know who Markquese Bell is?
Maybe you do, but it’s more likely that you do not, though perhaps it’s time to start paying a bit more attention to him. Bell, a 6-foot-3, 194-pound athlete from Bridgeton (N.J.) High School, was offered by Ohio State months ago. Up to this point, there’s not been a lot of clarity about exactly why the Buckeyes offered, or how they would utilize him in their program. There is still some gray area in how they’d use him but, according to one source close to the Buckeyes, he’s become a favorite of one Ohio State assistant coach.
“Yeah,” the source said when asked if the Buckeyes are still looking at Bell, the country’s sixth-ranked athlete in the 2017 class. “(Greg) Schiano loves him. I just don’t know if they have a spot.”
Of course, after the departure of Danny Clark, Ohio State does have one more spot in its recruiting class than previously anticipated. If Bell – who is expected to visit officially the weekend of Nov. 26 – wants in with the Buckeyes, what position he would play in Columbus is up in the air.
“He could be like a Darron Lee,” the source added. “Just a raw athlete who comes in looking like a defensive back but who may be better suited at linebacker if he grows. You just never know.”
Bell has taken only one official visit so far, to Michigan, and was expected to be at Florida this weekend though that’s certainly up in the air for the same reasons that the Donovan Peoples-Jones trip was canceled. The Wolverines, Rutgers and Clemson are very high on his list right now, as are the Buckeyes.