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.
Dobbins and Akers, again
Ohio State 4-star running back commitment J.K. Dobbins has heard the discussions about he and Cam Akers and he wants to make it clear that he’s not bothered by it.
“I’ve never once said it bugged me,” Dobbins said of the talk around Akers potentially joining the Buckeyes top-ranked 2017 recruiting class. “I said I’ll take visits.”
That is where things stand and that’s why the Buckeyes are going to have make some serious decisions in the upcoming months.
Dobbins has been committed since early March and has reiterated over and over that he’s “100-percent” committed to Ohio State. He’s visited twice on his own dime in the last four months and will visit again this fall for an official. He’s become close to the rest of the Ohio State commitments, thanks in part to their time together at The Opening in early July, and overall has done pretty much everything you’d want a committed recruit to do.
But…there’s always this lingering feeling that Texas is lurking and that could be one of the reasons why the Buckeyes are still looking toward another running back. The primary reason they’re still looking at Akers is because the Mississippi star is really darn good, so don’t let that fact get lost in the mix, but the Texas thing is a concern. Dobbins has grown up in the virtual shadow of Bevo’s horns and his girlfriend is a volleyball player at Texas – so there’s some pull to stay closer to home – and that’s going to be a concern whether Akers were to commit to Ohio State or not.
To be clear: the Buckeyes do have some concern that if Akers were in, Dobbins would be out. That said, there’s no guarantee that if Akers is out that Dobbins is in. Do you see the dilemma?
Eventually there’s going to be a moment when the Buckeyes – Urban Meyer and Tony Alford – have to ask which player is more likely to be in come February and which player fits the offense as they’d like to run better.
More on Shaun Wade
On Monday night we talked briefly about the travel plans for Ohio State commitment Shaun Wade, a 5-star cornerback from Jacksonville (Fla.) powerhouse Trinity Christian Academy. That discussion centered around the cancellation of a planned visit to Michigan for this weekend’s “BBQ at the Big House” and whether or not Wade would ever visit Ann Arbor as has been rumored for months.
According to his father, Randy, there is a plan in place for that, and it will be an official visit.
“Right now,” Wade said. “There are two official visits. Michigan and Ohio State. He’ll visit Michigan on October 1 and Ohio State before that.”
Previously, Wade had told Landof10 that he wanted to make sure the last visit his son takes before making a final decision on college would be to Ohio State. He says that is still the plan.
“Ohio State said it’s better to come early (for an official),” Wade said. “He’ll visit again in November on my dime.”
So, there’s kind of a weird catch-22 developing here. Certainly Ohio State will be thrilled to have Wade on campus twice this season as they look to hold on to this commitment. That said, there’s no joy at all in the prospects of him visiting Michigan. If you’ve followed recruiting for the last few years, you no doubt remember the Kareem Walker situation last summer. Walker committed to Ohio State on the same day as Wade – January 12, 2015 – and took a handful of unofficial visits throughout the summer leading up to his senior season; he planned official visits to a number of places and all that was totally ok with the Buckeyes.
Then he scheduled a visit to Michigan and everything fell apart between the two sides. There is a certain level of pliability permitted for the true cream of the crop recruits, but it seems that – in the past anyway – visiting Michigan was off-limits. Will that hold this time around?
Jaelen Gill, Jaiden Woodbey bumped to 5-star status
If you’ve ever seen Jaelen Gill play football, or baseball, or whatever, it won’t be a surprise to you that he’s been bumped up to 5-star status by 247Sports.com composite rankings. Gill, the Westerville (Ohio) South 2018 running back, is one of five new 5-stars according to the industry’s most-respected rankings.
The 6-foot-1, 175-pound dual-sport star has 100-percent of his 247Sports.com crystal ball selections pointed in the Buckeyes direction, though he remains wide-open in his recruitment. UCLA, Tennessee, and Notre Dame are among the biggest threats to Ohio State in the chase for Gill.
Two more top Buckeyes targets, Bellflower (Ca.) St. John’s Bosco defensive back Jaiden Woodbey and Tampa (Fla.) offensive lineman Richard Gouraige also moved into 5-star status according to the industry composite.
Woodbey is a USC legacy that has been publicly listing the Buckeyes as his leader since they offered him in June. The country’s 24th-ranked overall prospect according to the composite rankings, Woodbey has tried to visit Ohio State this summer but has not yet been able to make it happen.
Gouraige is another recent offer extended by Ohio State. The 6-foot-5, 270-pound offensive tackle is the 25th-ranked player in the country and Florida’s fourth-ranked prospect in 2018.
Friday, Tyler Friday
While it was the big Friday Night Lights weekend that drew most of the attention on the Buckeyes recruiting trail lately, 2018 athlete Tyler Friday’s visit to Columbus this past weekend is also worth paying some attention to.
— Big Smooth (@almighty_ty5) July 31, 2016
Friday, the country’s 47th-ranked 2018 prospect, came away from his visit very impressed.
“It was a great visit,” Friday told Landof10. “The atmosphere of the school really stood out to me.”
Friday’s visit was pretty low key compared to Friday Night Lights, but it was a unique opportunity to get a lot of individual time with the Ohio State coaching staff.
“Being there with less people,” Friday added. “That really helped me get to know the coaching staff and build a relationship with them. Still, I can’t really say where they stand until I take more visits.”
According to one source close to the Buckeyes, where Friday stands with them isn’t up for debate.
“He’s a great kid,” the source said. “We loved him.”
One of the things to love about the 6-foot-3, 255-pound two-way lineman? His willingness to do whatever his coaches ask of him.
“He could play either side of the ball,” the source said. “He said he’d play whatever Ohio State wanted but I think he’ll probably start his college career as a defensive lineman.”
No early decision for Lindsey, Aug 22 it is
On Sunday night, 5-star Corona (Calif.) Centennial wide receiver told Landof10 that he would consider – if he were able – a commitment date earlier than August 22.
“I may release it on another day,” Lindsey said. “It’s just a matter of making sure I’m ready.”
That is not going to be the case. Lindsey told Twitter last night that he’s sticking with the planned date, and – if his tweet is an indicator – it will be done with a Bleacher Report video.
T H E D A Y . ®
Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon, Tennessee, & USC. pic.twitter.com/eDzViedLdQ
— Tyjon A. Lindsey ® (@tyjonlindsey) August 1, 2016
Ohio State, Nebraska, Auburn, USC, and Oregon are the schools at the top of the list for the country’s fifth-ranked wideout.