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More on Clark’s decommitment, Ohio State’s quarterback situation
In case you missed it earlier Tuesday, Ohio State is back to 17 commitments in their top-ranked recruiting class after the decommitment of Akron Archbishop Hoban quarterback Danny Clark. Clark’s decision was a tough one, but one that was made with his best interest in mind after the Buckeyes accepted a commitment from Tate Martell in June.
Whenever there’s a decommitment, the first thing to know is this: They’re usually expected. That was certainly the case with Clark and Ohio State, because the two sides have maintained a very open and honest dialogue over the last few months, even though it wasn’t always an easy conversation.
Ohio State had two quarterbacks in the class and now, obviously, is back to one. Will the Buckeyes chase another? Was two the ideal number from the start?
To begin with, no, I don’t think they’ll look to add another quarterback in 2017. The early commitment of Emory Jones, the country’s second-ranked 2018 quarterback, provides a little cushion in that regard and will afford them a little space in the class. If J.T. Barrett returns for his fifth year at Ohio State, and if Stephen Collier returns for his fourth, the Buckeyes quarterback room next season will look like this:
- Class of 2013 • J.T. Barrett • No. 2 (dual-threat)
- Class of 2014 • Stephen Collier • No. 17 (dual-threat)
- Class of 2015 • Joe Burrow • No. 9 (dual-threat)
- Class of 2016 • Dwayne Haskins Jr. • No. 7 (pro-style)
- Class of 2017 • Tate Martell • No. 2 (dual-threat)
It’s easy to see where Clark and his family – after those difficult conversations – may have seen the proverbial writing on the wall. Clark’s style of play doesn’t fit what the Ohio State offense does.
The one pro-style quarterback Ohio Sate has signed is Haskins, and he was not the choice in that class initially: Tristen Wallace, now a wide receiver at Oregon, was. Wallace was the guy for months before he decided he no longer wanted to play quarterback, forcing the Buckeyes to try to get back into the Haskins recruitment very late in the game. If Maryland hadn’t been in the midst of a crumble, they may very well have missed on that front.
Now as for whether two quarterbacks remains the ideal number? That depends on who you’re asking, and since I’m writing this article, I’ll answer it: If I were in charge of Ohio State’s recruiting, I’d still want a second quarterback. Why?
Because I think you at least have to mentally prepare for J.T. Barrett and Stephen Collier to not return next season, and I think to enter the 2017 season with just Burrow, Haskins and Martell – who will enroll early – is a risky proposition, even with Emory Jones committed for 2018. If things change as we move toward February, I’d not be entirely surprised if another name or a grad transfer option was examined.
Big Texas targets making official visits elsewhere this weekend
Two of Ohio State’s top remaining targets in the 2017 class – both from Texas – will make key official visits elsewhere this weekend.
Grand Prairie prospect Jeffrey Okudah, the nation’s top-ranked cornerback, will head to Athens, Ga., and make his second official visit in three weeks. The visit to Georgia is an interesting one for a number of reasons, but foremost among them is that Georgia is a sleeping giant and they’ve got a number of big-time recruits who will be in his ear as the Bulldogs prepare to host Tennessee at Sanford Stadium.
Taking an OV to UGA for the Tennessee game this weekend! #GoDawgs ?
— Jeffrey Okudah III (@TheJeffOkudah) September 26, 2016
Okudah has been to Georgia a handful of times throughout his recruitment, though most of that interaction occurred with Mark Richt and the previous coaching staff. Kirby Smart and the Dawgs will have a big opportunity to make headway into Okudah’s recruitment as he continues to make visits elsewhere. He’s also still likely to take an official to Florida State before any decision – or any visit to Ohio State – is finalized.
One of Okudah’s closest friends, 5-star linebacker Baron Browning from Kennedale, will also make a major visit this weekend.
— Baron Browning (@baronbrwnng) September 27, 2016
Browning, the country’s second-ranked outside linebacker, visited Ohio State over the summer and also visited Michigan. The Wolverines will get their second shot at making an impact with the 6-foot-4, 230-pound Browning – whose brother Barry played for Jim Harbaugh at Stanford – before Ohio State will.
He’s expected to visit Columbus again in November.
Another defensive tackle lists Buckeyes
Monday night we discussed the Buckeyes making the top seven for Utah defensive tackle Jay Tufele and Tuesday they’re in the final six for New Jersey’s Dalyn Wade-Perry.
NEW TOP 6 ALERT ? pic.twitter.com/tDwtopm0z3
— DWP☁️ (@DalynWP) September 27, 2016
Wade-Perry is the country’s 28th-ranked defensive tackle and visited Ohio State for its spring game in April. He was at one time thought to be leaning toward Notre Dame, but the Irish have filled up at defensive tackle and now Stanford and Penn State are the two teams most regularly linked to him. As of now, it’s the Cardinal who lead and there is no visit planned to see the Buckeyes, though he does have plans for a Florida State visit on Nov. 26.
The Buckeyes have commitments from two defensive tackles in 2017 – Cincinnati’s Jerron Cage and Las Vegas 4-star Haskell Garrett – but are looking to add one more.
Marvin Wilson chats about Ohio State
While Wade-Perry is one of a handful of defensive tackles still being considered by the Buckeyes, it’s Tufele and Texas 5-star Marvin Wilson who are a bit higher on the board at present. Wilson, from Bellaire’s Episcopal High School, got a chance to see the Buckeyes on Sept. 17 when he made an official visit to Oklahoma and came away very impressed by what Ohio State did on the field. He immediately began suggesting he’d like to make a trip to Columbus, something he’d said months ago but that never came to fruition.
Wilson has a torn meniscus and will miss some playing time but didn’t miss an opportunity to talk about the Buckeyes during a recent interview with a local ABC affiliate.
— Joe Gleason (@joeagleason) September 24, 2016
Are the Buckeyes one of the teams to watch for here? Perhaps Marvin Wilson will be an Urban Meyer surprise?