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.
More on Shaun Wade’s one-day visit to Bama
As mentioned in Monday’s Dotting the ‘Eyes, Ohio State 5-star cornerback commitment Shaun Wade made a quick stop in Tuscaloosa, Ala., last Friday as he and his family tried to get out of the way of Hurricane Matthew. Wade has family in Montgomery, Ala., and that is one of the reasons why so many believe he’ll ultimately land on the Crimson Tide’s commitment list and and off Ohio State’s.
SECCountry.com’s Chris Kirschner spent some time on Monday night talking about the visit with Randy Wade, Shaun’s father.
“We went up there Friday morning,” Wade told Kirschner. “It was because of the hurricane. We were already in Tallahassee, so we decided to go to Montgomery, which is my wife’s home. We decided to go to Alabama (Friday) morning. They were gracious enough to show us around for a couple of hours before they had to go to Arkansas.”
Has the thought of playing closer to family been weighing on the mind of Wade and his family? His father’s response certainly indicates that it doesn’t play as big a part as people think. Ultimately, relationships with coaches matter the most.
“I think it’s crazy. I just think it’s crazy,” he said of the Montgomery connection. “We live in Jacksonville. My wife’s family is in Alabama. It’s ultimately about the relationships he has with the coaches. It’s his decision at the end of the day, and people are going to believe what they want. I understand people are going to say (Alabama) is close, but I just think it’s crazy. His relationships with the Alabama staff is going to be what brings him over there and not just because he was born there.”
Don’t misread that “is going to be what brings him over there” as a definitive, that’s just in the event that a flip comes. What’s important right now, according to Randy Wade, is that the relationships are still strongest with the coaches in Columbus and at Ohio State.
“We’re a lot closer to Ohio State’s coaching staff,” he said. “I am a lot closer with Ohio State’s coaching staff. I feel like my wife and I are closer to Ohio State, but she’d have to answer for herself on that one.”
So what about Shaun? He’s very quiet and doesn’t like doing the media “thing” really, so don’t take his father’s words as speaking for his son. Ultimately, the decision will be made by the country’s third-ranked cornerback, not his parents.
“I am much more comfortable with the Ohio State coaching staff than I am with Alabama, but this is about whatever Shaun wants,” Randy Wade added.
Does the distance from Jacksonville to Columbus play a part? Maybe, but again, not much.
“Of course you have reservations, but the distance could turn out to be a positive thing,” Randy Wade said. “When I went to Chicago for boot camp, it was time for me to grow up. It was not a negative thing. So this could be his way of growing up.”
Jaelen Gill continues to improve physically, but mental rehab is the real work
When you’re a premier athlete like Westerville (Ohio) South’s Jaelen Gill is, the hardest part of recovering from an injury is forcing yourself to not do too much, too soon. Gill, a 5-star running back for the Wildcats, broke his ankle during a game in mid-September.
“I think I am going to struggle with that,” Gill told Landof10.com, speaking about trying to force his recovery to happen too quickly. “Physically, I’m doing a lot better.”
That’s the easy part, of course, because the body heals on its own. For a player going through his first serious physical issue, Gill is finding that the real challenge is getting healthy mentally. It takes time and learning to trust your own body again.
“Mentally,” Gill said, “I’m OK. Doing a lot better than most would have imagined. I get down a lot, but I’m positive more than anything.”
One potential positive side effect of his injury? Gill has more of a chance to see some of the schools he’s interested in. Right now, Ohio State, Tennessee and UCLA are among his favorites, and he’s got a few upcoming trips.
“I’ll be at Notre Dame next weekend,” Gill said. “I’ll probably be at Ohio State for their game against Nebraska and Michigan.”
Isheem Young talking to Ohio State regularly
Ohio State’s secondary has been the talk of the college football world for most of the 2016 football season. One of the players getting the most publicity is Malik Hooker, who came to the Buckeyes from New Castle, Pa. As Urban Meyer and his coaching staff look for the next wave of “Silver Bullets,” they’re getting to know another big-time talent from their neighboring state, Philadelphia’s Isheem Young and the 2018 4-star is paying close attention to what is Hooker is doing in with Ohio State.
“That’s my guy,” Young said of Hooker. “I watch him the most, I love his game.”
Young is a 5-foot-11, 195-pound defensive back at the Imhotep Institute, a school the Buckeyes tried to get into during the last recruiting cycle by recruiting tight end Naseir Upshur, who ultimately signed with Florida State. Now, with a couple of years of relationship building, Ohio State is working hard on the fifth-ranked safety in the 2018 class.
“I talk to Greg Schiano and Urban Meyer a lot, every day” Young told Land of 10. “(Meyer’s) message is basically ‘You control your destiny and how good your life is and can be.’ They want me to come visit as soon as possible.”
At this point Young, who holds 20 scholarship offers including Penn State, Florida State, Alabama, Iowa and others, has not made any visits to any schools. When asked if he plans to visit Ohio State, he said that is in the works, at least tentatively.
“Everything (in his recruitment) is just really getting started,” he added. “I’m going to visit, but I’m just not sure what game yet.”
Buckeyes in the top 10 for 2018 Georgia standout
Ohio State recently hosted 2018 defensive end Brenton Cox, a 6-foot-4, 235-pound 3-star prospect out of Miller Grove (Ga.) for a visit, and on Tuesday morning he rewarded their efforts by including the Buckeyes in his newly released top 10 list.
Been thinking for a while , and decided that these are my top10 schools, my recruitment is still open or it can change ?? pic.twitter.com/oC7zG517Ig
— Brenton™ (@Brenton_cox) October 11, 2016
As you can see, the list is in no specific order but speculation in the South is that Georgia – which has not offered Cox yet – will be the team to beat when they decide to toss their hat into the ring. Cox is the country’s 14th-ranked strong-side defensive end in the 2018 class.