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.
247Sports.com Crystal Ball: Jaylen Harris
On Wednesday night, Dotting the ‘Eyes shared some thoughts about 4-star Cleveland Heights (Ohio) wide receiver Jaylen Harris and why eventually I believe that he will sign with Ohio State come February.
If Harris wants in, the Buckeyes will have to make a choice on whether they can take him, understanding that things are currently tight. It’s my belief that they will accept a commitment from Jaylen Harris at some point, and I believe the longer he waits to make a college decision, the higher those odds get.
Thursday, I used the power of the internet to make a 247Sports.com crystal ball prediction to support that belief. Why?
Well, I spoke to a few different people in the last 24 hours close to the Buckeyes recruiting efforts and it seems they’re confident that Harris, the country’s 27th-ranked wideout, will end up at Ohio State.
“He’s just enjoying the process and making sure,” one source said of Harris’ recruitment. “I feel pretty good saying he’ll eventually be a Buckeye.”
While the majority of discussions around Harris have focused on whether the Buckeyes will have roster space for him, I don’t see a scenario where, given the chance, they’d turn a player of his caliber, from Ohio no less, toward another school.
Could Ohio State chase another defensive end?
For much of the last year, the Buckeyes had one defensive end in mind for their 2017 recruiting class, Hyattsville (Md.) 5-star talent Chase Young. When the DeMatha Catholic standout committed to Ohio State in July it appeared the pursuit for future Rushmen, the group of players coached by Larry Johnson Sr., would turn the page to the 2018 recruiting class.
That may not be the case.
On Wednesday, 247Sports.com wizard Steve Wiltfong reported that Ohio State could be looking at another Maryland defensive end, Joshua Paschal. After checking in with a few different sources close to the Buckeyes, it may be worth paying attention to this name moving forward.
“Yes,” one source answered simply when asked if the interest from Ohio State was genuine.
So who is Josh Paschal? He’s a 6-foot-4, 255-pound 4-star prospect at Olney, Md.’s Good Counsel High School, the alma mater of current Buckeyes freshman Keandre Jones. He is the country’s 10th-ranked defensive end and was selected for Nike’s The Opening this past July, where his Nike Football Rating of 120.24 was the highest among all the defensive ends in attendance. Paschal holds 29 offers and Ohio State’s relationships in Maryland over the last few years have moved them quietly into the discussion as one of his most likely landing spots.
If there’s room in Columbus, as is always the catch, it seems. Ohio State currently has three defensive linemen committed and is working hard to land another defensive tackle (No. 1-ranked Marvin Wilson or No. 3-ranked Jay Tufele would be the ideal choices). But if a player like Paschal – who one Ohio State source called “very” explosive – wants in, he may be too good a fit to let go.
If a visit happens anytime soon, and a trip for the Buckeyes’ game against Northwestern is being bandied about, things could accelerate quickly.
Emory Jones, Palaie Gaoteote continue to rise in 2018 rankings
Both of Ohio State’s verbal commitments for that class have a new ranking.
Heard County (Franklin, Ga.) quarterback Emory Jones jumped 22 spots on the 247Sports.com rankings, moving from No. 43 to No. 21 nationally. The country’s top-ranked dual-threat quarterback, according to the composite rankings, still trails Notre Dame commitment Phil Jurkovec at that position on 247’s individual ranking.
Seffner, Fla. 4-star running back Brian Snead, who committed to Ohio State at Friday Night Lights in July, dropped 11 spots to No. 68, according to 247, and now checks in at No. 83 in the composite rankings.
A handful of Buckeyes targets also made moves in the 247Sports.com rankings.
- Defensive end Xavier Thomas, a 5-star prospect from Florence, S.C., moved up to No. 2 nationally. He was No. 4.
- North Carolina running back Zamir White moved up one spot to No. 3 nationally. He’s the ideal running back for Ohio State’s offense and a top priority. A potential visit to Columbus at the end of October is being discussed.
- Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) linebacker Palaie Gaoteote moved up five spots to No. 5 overall. He’ll visit Ohio State with his cousin Haskell Garrett for the Buckeyes home game against Northwestern.
- Los Angeles 5-star wideout Jalen Hall, who may be the Buckeyes top wide receiver target in 2018, dropped two spots to No. 9.
- Georgia offensive lineman Jamaree Salyer moved up to No. 13 from No. 15.
- Fairfield, Ohio’s Jackson Carman was a big mover, jumping nine spots to No. 14.
- Defensive tackle Taron Vincent, a 5-star prospect at IMG Academy, dropped two slots to No. 19.
- Yoakum, Texas, wideout Joshua Moore was a big mover, jumping 58 spots to No. 31.
- Westerville (Ohio) South running back Jaelen Gill, who has missed most of his junior season with a broken ankle, dropped 10 spots to No. 32 nationally.
- Another big mover from Texas was cornerback Anthony Cook, who rose 31 slots to No. 37.
- Ohio State’s top tight end target, New York’s Jeremy Ruckert, made a major leap up to No. 39 from No. 96.
Though Carman and Gill are in the top 35, a number of Ohio prospects – all but one with an Ohio State offer – are also in the Top 247.
- Springfield defensive end/tight end Leonard Taylor checks in at No. 46, dropping 21 spots.
- Toledo St. John’s outside linebacker Dallas Gant is now ranked No. 58, down 14 from the last ranking.
- Wayne (Huber Heights) wide receiver L’Christian Smith dropped 52 places to No. 152.
- Tyreke Smith made a big jump to No. 176, moving up 218 spots.
- Winton Woods linebacker Christopher Oats dropped to No. 193 from No. 168.
- Cincinnati Moeller’s Aeneas Hawkins moved up 103 places to No. 223.
Wyatt Davis sets Ohio State official visit
One of the six 5-star prospects committed in Ohio State’s 2017 recruiting class – Bellflower, Calif., offensive lineman Wyatt Davis — will make his official visit with the Buckeyes the weekend of Oct. 29.
“I’ll be there against Northwestern,” Davis told Landof10.com when asked about his official visit plans. “I’m going with my mom and dad.”
What remains to be seen is if Davis will have his 2018 teammate, defensive back Jaiden Woodbey, with him. Woodbey is the country’s 26th-ranked player in 2018 and the nation’s third-ranked safety.