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Jay Tufele will make official visit
After its biggest recruiting weekend of the season, Ohio State is reloading the fireworks cannons and preparing for its next major event: Michigan weekend.
On Wednesday, one of the Buckeyes’ top remaining 2017 targets, Utah defensive tackle Jay Tufele, made public his intention to be on hand for the occasion.
— Jay Tufele (@tufele123) November 9, 2016
Tufele, the country’s third-ranked defensive tackle, has made just one other official visit so far. He previously trekked to Ann Arbor to check out Michigan in October. Though Tufele once reported Ohio State as his favorite, there’s been some stagnation between the two sides as each focused on their seasons.
The Buckeyes would love to land another defensive tackle in this class and will now host two of the country’s best that weekend. Texas 5-star prospect Marvin Wilson, the nation’s top-ranked player at the position, will also be there.
The overall list for Michigan weekend is expanding with the inclusion of Tufele and players like 5-star prospects Darnay Holmes, Cam Akers and Trey Smith all expected to join Jeffrey Okudah, Baron Browning and a host of Ohio State commits in Columbus.
Zach Smith talks recruiting balance
As we’ve mentioned previously here on Dotting the ‘Eyes, there’s an interesting choice Ohio State made when considering official visits. The choice? When is the right time to ask someone to visit? Is it for the biggest game, with the best environment? Those weekends, like Michigan weekend, aren’t always the best. You run the risk of losing a game, you run the risk of spending too little time with the kids you want. It’s risk vs. reward.
Is it for the weekend that will give you the best chance to spend quality time with a recruit and his family? Sure, that’s great, but then a kid from Florida may not get the truest representation of fan support, or the game-day atmosphere. There’s a balance that you have to strike.
Whatever option you choose, usually there are times when things just go perfectly. That’s what happened last weekend as the Buckeyes hosted Nebraska. There were dozens of high-end recruits. There were lasers and fireworks and there was a 62-3 win over a top-10 team.
“It had to be perfect,” Ohio State wide receivers coach Zach Smith said Wednesday night. “If you bring 60 (kids) in, and you want all 60, you hope to impact all 60. It depends on the kid. You want them all to love it, right?”
The balance for the coaching staff is the challenge. Not the atmosphere.
“Official visits are always hard during season – especially a night game – there’s just no time to spend with the recruits,” he said. “It’s kind of a give-and-take. You bring them in to an atmosphere like that, and they get to experience it, see it, fall in love with it. Then you have to evaluate is that more valuable than the quality time you could spend postseason with a kid in town for 48 hours where you have nothing else to do.
“It’s really a strategic decision, but it’s also kind of based on who the kid is. For a kid from maybe far away, that’s kind of a critical thing, to get him up there, to pay for him to come and see a game and experience the Horseshoe. Otherwise they’re not going to get to.”