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.
Jaiden Woodbey on the verge of being first in for 2018?
The Buckeyes will have their top quarterback target for 2018 – Franklin (Ga.) star Emory Jones – on campus for Friday Night Lights this coming weekend, but it’s another 2018 4-star prospect that could become the first Ohio State verbal for 2018.
Bellflower (Calif.) defensive back Jaiden Woodbey, a teammate of Ohio State 2017 commitment Wyatt Davis, is expected to head to Columbus this week and there’s a chance that a commitment could follow. The country’s 31st-ranked 2018 prospect listed the Buckeyes as his leader immediately after Ohio State offered him in mid-June.
“I’ll be going there on Thursday most likely, if everything goes to plan,” Woodbey told Landof10. “I’ve been talking to (defensive coordinator Greg) Schiano and (Urban) Meyer.”
While he’s not sure who he’ll be making the trip with – he’s hoping that Davis will visit with him – Woodbey says he’s pretty excited about the visit and that the idea of being an early commitment and a leader in a recruiting class is something he’s thinking about.
“Yeah, that matters,” Woodbey said when asked if he thinks playing the role of leader matters to the overall success of a recruiting class. “I’m pretty excited about the visit. I’m excited to see the whole place.”
Jaylen Harris waiting himself out of Buckeyes class?
Ohio State offered Cleveland Heights’ 2017 wide receiver Jaylen Harris over a year ago and has routinely stayed in contact with the 6-foot-5, 210-pound Harris since, yet there’s been no pressure to commit from the Buckeyes side of things and no hurry to commit from Harris.
This weekend, Harris is visiting Alabama – the Crimson Tide have offered – and he’ll head back to Ohio State for Friday Night Lights on July 22, another visit to Columbus, where he’s been many times in the last year.
So what’s the deal?
First, Harris really hasn’t put much time into his recruitment. He’s a basketball player as well and has spent a lot of time over the last few months – when a lot of football recruiting stuff happens – playing hoops rather than visiting schools for football.
Second, the Cleveland star wants to spend time in this recruitment. He wants to take all five official visits but has also said he’d like to make a college decision by the end of the summer.
The Buckeyes are roughly one month away from finding out if they’re going to receive commitments from two 5-star wide receivers (Tyjon Lindsey decides on Aug. 22, Trevon Grimes on Aug. 24) so if Harris wants to commit to Ohio State, he’s likely going to have to reassess whether or not he’ll be taking official visits all over the country this fall.
As it stands, the “goal” for Ohio State’s 2017 recruiting class is two wide receivers, though they’d certainly consider taking a third if it’s the right third. The question is whether or not Jaylen Harris, Ohio’s fifth-ranked prospect, is waiting himself out of that spot.
Aeneas Hawkins talks busy summer
One of Ohio’s top-ranked 2018 prospects, Cincinnati Moeller defensive lineman Aeneas Hawkins, says he will most likely not be at Friday Night Lights with the Buckeyes.
“I may still try and get to Friday Night Lights if I can,” the 6-foot-3, 260-pound Hawkins told Landof10. “I have camp with Moeller that same day, so I want to be there for that. There’s still a chance I make it up there, though.”
Why does the defensive lineman want to make sure he’s at his camp at Moeller? First and foremost because it’s his team, and that’s the most important thing, but also because he’s working on rounding out his game and there’s a plan to play a little offense this fall for the Crusaders.
“I’ll be coming out of the back field catching the ball and lead blocking for my running back,” Hawkins shared. “If I ran the ball it would just be short yardage situations.”
Hawkins holds early scholarship offers from 11 schools, including Florida State and Florida, but he’s not gotten that big call yet from Ohio State. He did work with the Buckeyes at the Detroit Sound Mind/Sound Body camp in early June, specifically working with Larry Johnson, Sr.
“(Larry) Johnson and (Urban) Meyer were at SMSB Detroit and they had a chance to watch me workout there,” Hawkins said. “Coach Johnson told me that he really liked how I looked and said I looked explosive. He liked a lot of things that he saw from me. I also talked to Coach Meyer while I was there and he said the same thing.”
While Hawkins knows he’d like to visit and camp during Friday Night Lights, he’s comfortable if he can’t make the trip. The chance to work out for a number of schools at Sound Mind/Sound Body is why he chose that camp setting rather than just visiting Ohio State, who he believes may be taking their time before offering him anyway, as they’re known to do with Ohio prospects.
“I did SMSB twice this summer, and I did a few other schools that I knew were closer to offering,” Hawkins added. “I did SMSB to get in front of a lot of Big Ten and SEC schools at once.”
Deep look at J.K. Dobbins interesting road
There are few players in the country that are more explosive than La Grange (Texas) running back J.K. Dobbins, but the Buckeyes running back commitment has not had an easy path to football stardom.
TWCNews.com Austin – the home of the Texas Longhorns, the one team that may have any chance of flipping Dobbins from Ohio State – did a great story on the 5-foot-10, 205-pound running back and it’s worth a watch.
“It’s a grind,” Dobbins told TWC. “That’s what it takes to be great though. I want to become legendary.”
Make sure you check out the whole video at the link above. You’ll see why Dobbins, who is certainly one of the nation’s top football players, is worth rooting for beyond the game as well.