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.
Emory Jones opens season with comeback win
Ohio State’s 2018 quarterback commitment is off and running in his junior season.
Emory Jones and Heard County (Franklin, Ga.) opened their regular season schedule on Thursday night against South Atlanta High School on a rain-slicked field at Lakewood Stadium. In 2015, Heard County toppled SAHS 35-18 on their way to the second round of Georgia’s AA playoff but – after delays for weather and an injured official – found themselves trailing the Hornets (1-9 in 2015) 13-7 at the half.
Jones, who told Landof10.com following a recent scrimmage that he had a slight knee scare, wasn’t his best in the first half of the first game of the season. He threw a 21-yard touchdown pass on Heard County’s first drive of the game to put the Braves on the board, but failed to move the offense throughout much of the first half. He fumbled the ball deep in SAHS territory when he tried to make a play with his feet after pass-protection broke down.
Overall, Jones and his offense struggled to find consistency in the mud and the rain, but as the second half got underway, the Braves defense stiffened and gave them a chance to win. Down 19-7 at the start of the fourth quarter, the Buckeyes commitment helped engineer two late touchdown drives – though he didn’t open it much in the passing game – and rallied for a 22-19 win. Jones finished with one touchdown pass on the night but more importantly, one win.
You can find the highlights of Emory Jones’ 2016 debut below.
Cam Akers has absurd season-opener
If you’re following Ohio State’s 2017 recruiting efforts, you’re no doubt aware that 5-star running back Cam Akers is a big piece of the puzzle for Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes, especially if they want to finish at No. 1 in the national rankings.
With La Grange (Texas) 4-star J.K. Dobbins already committed, why is Akers – a 5-foot-11, 213-pound wrecking ball out of Clinton (Miss.) – such a pivotal player? If you take a look at what he’s a capable of doing on the football field, the answer reveals itself, and quickly. Like Emory Jones, Akers opened his season on Thursday night and he was – in a word – spectacular.
The Arrows (No. 2) faced off against third-ranked South Panola and, thanks to country’s second-ranked running back prospect – playing quarterback – emerged victorious, 38-26, in a big-time season opener for both schools. How good was Akers?
- He completed 14 of 22 passing attempts for 272 yards through the air and three touchdowns.
- He rushed for 180 yards on 17 carries and scored two touchdowns.
To put it lightly, Akers was the best player on the field – he’s the best player in Mississippi – and began stating his case as the best player in the country. Period.
— Jeff Barker (@JeffBarker_) August 19, 2016
“All I did was whatever my team asked me to do,” Akers said. “I knew what I had to do to put the team on my back and make plays and that comes with being a leader, but everyone on our team contributed to this.”
Right now, when it comes to being a leader, Akers is leading the way as one of the most difficult-to-read recruitments in America. Yes, the Buckeyes are the team many people believe lead the way, but if you think that the hometown, Ole Miss Rebels are going to slink away without a fight? Think again. Hugh Freeze sent a whole host of his players to watch Akers in Batesville – 26 miles away from Ole Miss – and impress upon him how much his needed in Oxford.
— Yancy Porter (@YancyPorter) August 19, 2016
Grimes and St. Thomas Aquinas roll in scrimmage
While we’re talking football – real football – let’s check in once more on 5-star wide receiver Trevon Grimes and St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale) and their most recent scrimmage, a “kick-off” classic that doesn’t feel like a scrimmage, but doesn’t count as as win or loss on the schedule.
The update on St. Thomas, the country’s top-ranked team. is short and sweet: The Raiders offense – and Grimes – will likely be a problem for whomever they line up against this fall. Dillard High School, a Fort Lauderdale rival, just happened to be the team that tried to get in the way on Thursday night.
So, here’s the end result: St. Thomas Aquinas 51, Dillard 0.
With Florida commitment Jake Allen at quarterback, and a host of Division 1 talents strewn throughout their roster, it’s going to take a major performance by anyone, anywhere, to beat St. Thomas and Dillard – a talented team in their own right – wasn’t able to even put a point on the board.
Grimes, the country’s third-ranked 2017 wide receiver, had a solid start to his final season in Florida, though he didn’t need to do much. He caught one touchdown pass from Allen and he made it look easy.
Five-star WR Trevon Grimes with a touchdown from Florida QB commit Jake Allen. https://t.co/68IemNol4I
— Rob Cassidy (@Cassidy_Rob) August 19, 2016
Next Wednesday, the 6-foot-4, 205-pound Grimes is scheduled to make his college decision. The Indianapolis native will be choosing between the Ohio State, Miami, Georgia, Florida and Florida State. He has already informed the college of his choosing that they’re his choice, according to a report published earlier on Friday, and most believe that the Buckeyes are the team of choice.
More from Stephen Herron
In Thursday night’s edition of Dotting the ‘Eyes, we briefly updated you on the newest Buckeyes offer, 2019 defensive end Stephen Herron out of Louisville’s Trinity High School. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound rising sophomore told Landof10 that he was humbled by the Ohio State offer and, on Friday, spoke a bit more about that. The reality is that, as a 15-year-old, it’s a wild situation to have a scholarship offer from a program like the one Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes have.
“It was definitely a ‘hell yeah’ situation,” Herron said about the offer. “I carry myself pretty well as a student-athlete, so my character and behavior changes nothing wherever I go and whatever I do. I must act like I’ve been there before, but for sure that offer excited me.”
Ohio State signed Herron’s 2015 teammate, defensive back Rodjay Burns, and the defensive end says he’s spoken a little bit with the Buckeyes freshman about what the Buckeyes program is about.
“We’ve spoken a little when he was down here,” he said. “I’m excited to get up there and visit and see a game.”
Now with five offers, Herron believes the Ohio State offer may help send his recruitment to another, higher, level. Just more reason to get to work, he says.
“I’m sure I’ll get some more attention with that offer from the Buckeyes,” he said. “But I realize the grind doesn’t stop. I’ve got to do my thing.”