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.
Emory Jones will return for first time as a commitment
After his last visit to Ohio State – for Friday Night Lights in July – 2018 quarterback Emory Jones decided he was going to commit to the Buckeyes. He did so a week later. This weekend, the country’s second-ranked dual-threat quarterback will return to Columbus for the first time as an Ohio State verbal.
“I’ve been talking to Ohio State every day,” Jones told Landof10.com. “I’m visiting there this weekend. Some of my teammates are going up with me.”
Jones and his Heard County (Franklin, Ga.) teammates have not one but two off weeks ahead of them. So far this season, the Braves are 4-1 and Jones is adapting well to a new, more pass-happy offense.
“I’ve had to be on the move a little,” he said of the offense and his focus on staying in the pocket. “I’m feeling more confident now, we’re just having little problems like people missing blocks and running wrong routes. Just things we can fix. The season is going pretty good.”
Last week, while the Buckeyes were off, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer visited Jones and, as you’d expect, was very well received at the school.
“I was very excited to see (Urban) Meyer at the school,” Jones said. “Everyone was going crazy. It was pretty amazing.”
One of the ongoing conversations between Jones and the Ohio State coaches centers on the players the Buckeyes hope the 6-foot-2, 195-pound quarterback can bring with him to the 2018 commitment list.
“Jeremy Ruckert, Brian Hightower and Jamaree Salyer,” Jones said. “Those are the three guys I’m recruiting the hardest right now. It’s pretty cool.”
Going for the gusto with the Gaels
Early Wednesday, I took the plunge and cast a 247Sports.com Crystal Ball in the Buckeyes’ direction for two different players from Bishop Gorman High School, one in the 2017 recruiting class and one in the 2018 class.
The first was for Bubba Bolden, a 4-star defensive back who projects as a safety for Ohio State. Bolden, offered by the Buckeyes in early September, has been a hot topic because of how close he is with Gorman teammates Tate Martell, Tyjon Lindsey and Haskell Garrett. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Bolden is different than some of the other defensive backs being recruited by the Buckeyes because his frame almost guarantees that he wouldn’t be moved around the secondary and would instead be a Tyvis Powell-type safety. He has not yet decided on an official visit date for his first trip to Ohio, but multiple people have suggested to Landof10.com that he’d be on hand for either the Buckeyes game against Northwestern on Oct. 29 or Nebraska on Nov. 5.
Those same people have suggested that Bolden is likely headed to Ohio State for college, though the former USC commitment has remained relatively mum on his feelings about the Buckeyes and anyone else. He’s been offered this week by Texas and Oklahoma and is certainly one of the country’s best defensive backs. If there’s one potential holdup or asterisk, it’s that I think Bolden’s potential addition to the Buckeyes recruiting class comes only if Shaun Wade ends up at Alabama or Florida. Right now, though I believe Wade is torn, I still think that is what ultimately happens.
In the 2018 class, it’s linebacker Palaie Gaoteote, who is a cousin of Haskell Garrett. The country’s top-ranked outside linebacker will visit Ohio State this month with Garrett and he’s been a top target of the Buckeyes since they offered him in the spring. Gaoteote has a long way to go in his recruitment but the relationships he’s already built at Ohio State – and that he has with a handful of Buckeyes commitments – is why I think they’ll remain difficult to beat in his recruitment.
What else helps in this chase? Luke Fickell’s recent success developing linebackers with skill sets similar to Gaoteote’s into big-time NFL draft targets.
Reigelsperger heading to Columbus for a visit
Ohio’s 17th-ranked prospect in the class of 2018 will take a short trip north and visit Columbus this weekend as the Buckeyes take on Rutgers.
Osu this weekend ?
— Alex Reigelsperger (@a_reigelsperger) September 27, 2016
A 6-foot-4, 240-pound defensive end at Wayne (Huber Heights), Alex Reigelsperger is ESPN.com’s 156th-ranked prospect for 2018 and is a player that Larry Johnson Sr. and the Buckeyes have been keeping tabs on since this past summer. He currently holds seven offers, but Ohio State is not one of them.
“I talked to (Larry) Johnson on Tuesday night,” Reigelsperger told Landof10. “He said that they can’t wait to get me up there and hopefully get some time afterwards to talk with me.”
Last week, Reigelsperger visited Michigan – and he’s also visited Tennessee this season – but he says he’s trying to focus on his junior year and helping the state’s second-ranked team win a state title.
“Right now,” he said. “I’m trying to focus less on recruiting. I’m just trying to finish up our season and bring back a ring.”
Getting to know Parker Ogle
Though he doesn’t hold any college scholarship offers yet, it may be time to get to know 2018 Florida prospect Parker Ogle.
Ogle, a junior at Palm Beach Gardens, transferred from Jensen Beach, where he played the last two seasons, and has found himself getting noticed on film, thanks in part to the Division I talent that litters the Gators roster. Ohio State is one of the schools that have seen him and the Buckeyes are interested in learning more.
“It was their director of recruiting” Ogle told Landof10.com. “He direct messaged me over Twitter. We have several Division I recruits on our team and I think he just saw me on tape.”
That initial conversation led to the Buckeyes asking the 6-foot-3, 275-pound center to come north and take a visit to Ohio State. He already has a date in mind.
“We haven’t officially talked live,” Ogle said of the conversation. “It’s all been through direct messaging due to recruiting rules since I’m a junior, but I will be there for the Ohio State vs. Michigan game on an unofficial visit. I heard it’s the biggest rivalry in sports.”
Though he grew up in Florida, Ogle grew up with Clemson as one of his favorite schools. He’s got good reason for that and it’s likely that the Tigers will follow suit soon and begin their own conversations with him. He’s begun to hear from two of the country’s biggest programs and that’s usually a good sign for things to come.
“My dad was an offensive guard at Clemson from 1987-1991, so I have a little orange blood in me,” he joked. “Several teams are interested but none have offered. My film just got out and Florida State, Florida Atlantic and others have been talking to my coach and now Ohio State.”