Dotting the ‘Eyes: Marcus Williamson and Isaiah Pryor talk recruiting and IMG, first 2019 running back offered and more
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.
Pryor, Williamson grateful for IMG experience
Wednesday morning was media day at the IMG Academy and Landof10 was in the house getting a chance to talk to a few different Ohio State targets and of course, a pair of Ohio State commitments: Marcus Williamson and Isaiah Pryor. This season will be Pryor’s second at IMG, but the first for the former Westerville (Ohio) South standout Williamson. The country’s 18th-ranked cornerback says he’s beyond glad that he made the decision to take a chance at IMG.
“Just the weight room training, the on-the-field training — I’ve put on a good 15-pounds already,” Williamson said. “I can’t thank the staff more for how much they’ve developed me over the past several months. It will most definitely help me prepare for Ohio State. I think I’ve learned how to practice better. I’m playing against the top guys in the country every day, learning how to compete every day like it’s a game. That’s really helped me prepare for the next level.”
Pryor, who is the fourth-ranked safety in the nation, agreed. He’s gotten comfortable with the rigors and high expectations of IMG.
“At first it was kind of difficult,” Pryor said Wednesday. “But the other guys that have been here helped me get better and develop. I’m much more vocal and more of a leader now, getting everyone to think like a family, to work together. That’s really been the big thing for me. I have developed a lot since I’ve been here.”
The future Buckeyes defensive backs are each staying active at IMG not just trying to win football games, but also trying to recruit their most-talented teammates to Ohio State as well.
“I’m talking a lot to Jeffrey Okudah and Trevon Grimes, I say some stuff to them,” Pryor said. “Nothing too much, just ‘Hey, come join the program, it’s a really special place’ type of stuff. I talk to Dylan Moses too, and I think I’ve helped get him interested. We hang out and talk all the time, and I think he’s really interested in Ohio State.”
Williamson has a different primary target in mind at IMG, defensive tackle Taron Vincent.
“Taron is a special, special player, hopefully we can get him to Columbus,” Williamson said. “I tell Taron all the time ‘if you want to develop as a player and as a person, Ohio State is the place to be. You see the draft, you see the guys they develop.’ Ohio State speaks for itself, but it helps to have someone who knows it talking to you about things.”
Both Pryor and Williamson are planning on enrolling early with the Buckeyes and each spent most of their summer in Ohio working out with the Ohio State coaching staff. It was just one more chance for them to get ready for the next step.
“It was great getting up there and working with the guys on the team and with Isaiah,” Williamson said. “Our relationship with the coaches there are better than ever. I can’t wait to get back up there.”
Markquese Bell cuts list from 13 to 7, Buckeyes official visit planned
One of the late-minute additions for the Buckeyes big Friday Night Lights camp on July 22 has narrowed his college list from 13 to 7 and the Buckeyes, as you’d expect, are still in the mix.
Michigan, Florida, Clemson, Rutgers, Maryland, and Temple also made the cut for Markquese Bell, the country’s sixth-ranked athlete for 2017. The Bridgeton (N.J.) native also announced which schools he’d be making official visits to this fall.
The Big Ten heavy list includes an early season trip to Michigan (Sep. 24), a visit to Gainesville to see the Gators take on LSU (Oct. 8) and a season-ending visit to Ohio State on Nov. 26 against the Wolverines.
As we’ve mentioned before, Bell is a player that intrigues Ohio State but it’s hard to say right now where he fits into their 2017 plans. If the Buckeyes were to land Jeffrey Okudah and hold on to Shaun Wade or bring in a player like Lamont Wade or Darnay Holmes, it seems unlikely there’d be room for Bell come February.
Unless…he’s a linebacker candidate and the Buckeyes missed out on 5-star Texas linebacker Baron Browning and 4-star middle linebacker Anthony Hines. One of the perks in recruiting a player like Bell is his versatility and that’s why Greg Schiano has turned up the heat on him in recent months.
Initial top 100 for 2019
If it’s too early to care about 2018 recruiting then it’s way too early to care about 2019 recruiting, right? Yeah, probably, but that’s not going to stop us from talking about it.
Today, 247Sports.com released their initial 2019 Top 100 and a number of the Buckeyes early targets are represented on the list
Who are the names to look at this early?
- No. 2 • Owen Pappoe • Linebacker • Grayson (Loganville, Ga.)
- No. 11 • Dominick Blaylock • Wide receiver • Walton (Marietta, Ga.)
- No. 12 • Deyvn Ford • Running back • North Stafford (Stafford, Va.)
- No. 14 • Devontae Dobbs • Offensive line • Belleville (Mich.)
- No. 37 • Jacob Lacey • Defensive tackle • South Warren (Bowling Green, Ky.)
- No. 40 • Nolan Rumler • Offensive line • Archbishop Hoban (Akron, Oh.)
- No. 56 • Jamir Thomas • Linebacker • Washington (Massillon, Oh.)
- No. 68 • Andre Gordon • Athlete • Sidney (Oh.)
- No. 70 • Antonio Alfano • Defensive end • Bergen Catholic (Rahway, N.J.)
As you can plainly see, there are three Ohioans on the early list. Nolan Rumler is a big, bruising guard at Hoban and he may be a bit of a tough pull for the Buckeyes. Michigan has already offered and he’s rumored to be a big Wolverines fan. Jamir Thomas is a big-time physical prospect at Massillon and he was very impressive in camp with the Buckeyes this summer.
First 2019 running back offered by the Buckeyes
One of the names on that 2019 list is Virginia’s Deyvn Ford, a 5-foot-11, 170-pound running back out of North Stafford High School.
Ford is the first RB in the Class of 2019 to pick up an offer from the #Buckeyes. He rushed for 1,865 yards and 24 TDs as a freshman.
— Taft Coghill Jr. (@tcoghilljr) August 3, 2016
Ohio State is the 20th offer for Ford, who already has opportunities with Clemson, Georgia, Virginia Tech, Auburn, Michigan State among his listed offers.
The Buckeyes will be looking for a number of new playmakers come 2019 and they’ve become very familiar with Virginia in recent years thanks to the efforts of Zach Smith and Larry Johnson, Sr. They have extended an offer to 2018 running back Ricky Slade from Woodbridge where he was a teammate of current Buckeyes lineman Matt Burrell.