Dotting the ‘Eyes: Moretti eager to get back to work, Buckeyes commits on defensive All-American team 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.
Moretti focused on rehab, final months of high school
After a June knee injury and subsequent surgery, Ohio State 2017 4-star offensive line commitment Jake Moretti will miss his senior season at Pomona High School (Arvada, Colo.). The 6-foot-5, 285-pound Moretti has been working hard in his rehab and says things are coming along well.
“I’m doing good,” Moretti told Landof10. “I’ve had a positive mindset. I’ve been just spending time with family and friends. Rehab is going really well. Just the little exercises the doctor is telling me to do. I’m just trying to get back from this injury and that’s all the motivation I need with my friends and family in my corner helping me out.”
With a plan to enroll at Ohio State in January, Moretti says that he’s been in regular contact with his future coaches and future teammates who are helping him stay motivated.
“I’ve had constant talk with a bunch of the (commitments),” Moretti said. “I’m really excited to go up there and get to know all of them even better. I’ve been in regular contact with (running backs coach Tony) Alford and (offensive line coach Greg) Studrawa. It’s just us checking in on each other for the most part, seeing how everything is going.”
While there’s no doubt that the country’s 12th-ranked offensive tackle would prefer to be on the field with his teammates, he’s enjoying the chance to spend a little more time with his family and friends prior to his college departure.
“It’s been nice having a little more free time,” he said. “But I definitely miss being where I was with everything. Not just sports.”
There’s no plan yet for his official visit but Moretti, selected for Nike’s The Opening but unable to participate, says he’ll be looking into that soon.
“The next time I’ll be in Columbus is whenever my official is and we haven’t decided that yet,” he said. “I definitely still have to enjoy high school with my current teammates, but I’m excited to get up there without a doubt.”
Tyjon Lindsey heading back to Bishop Gorman?
It appears that Tyjon Lindsey, the country’s fifth-ranked wide receiver, will not be playing his senior year at Centennial (Corona, Calif.) High School after all.
Tyjon Lindsey, a standout receiver who transferred from Las Vegas Bishop Gorman to Corona Centennial, has not been at practice this week and there’s questions whether he’ll be coming back to Centennial.
So where would he go? Centennial’s coach, Matt Logan, told the LA Times that he’s expecting Lindsey to head back to Las Vegas and Bishop Gorman High School, where he spent the past two seasons.
Landof10.com has confirmed with sources that is exactly Lindsey’s plan, although nothing is official. The 5-foot-9, 185-pound 4-star wideout had lived with Ohio State commitment and Gorman quarterback Tate Martell from the time he was in eighth grade, but family reasons took him back to California in January. He’s close with defensive tackle Haskell Garrett, another Gaels player who is committed to Ohio State, as well.
Lindsey will make his college choice next Monday, but now his high school choice may be up in the air as well.
Akers working to be the best ever from Mississippi
There are a lot of talented football players that have come from Mississippi but Clinton’s Cam Akers – a top 10 player nationally in the 2017 recruiting class – could be on his way to being the best ever. At least that’s what the coaches who are playing against the 5-star running back are saying.
Akers is as talented as or more talented than any one of them in the past 25 years or so,” said South Panola coach Lance Pogue, who has coached against Akers in each of the past three seasons.
“Cam Akers was the best sophomore I ever coached against,” said Biloxi coach Bobby Hall, who first started coaching in Mississippi in 1980.
“I have never seen an athlete like Cam,” said former Clinton offensive coordinator Paul Anderson, who is now the Copiah Academy head coach. “I can see why people bring up Marcus Dupree.”
If you don’t know the name Marcus Dupree, you should get familiar with this powerful running back. Dupree, though, played in a different era in high school football and what Akers has done in the three years he’s started for Clinton – as a quarterback – would make anyone shake their head in amazement. He’s thrown for more than 5,000 yards in his career and is just shy of 50 passing touchdowns. He’s recorded 2,998 rushing yards and added 37 career scores on the ground. He’s a 5-foot-11, 213-pound machine on the football and he wants to be the best to have ever done it.
“I want to be brought up as possibly the greatest player to come through Mississippi and definitely out of my city, Clinton,” Akers said. “I want to be remembered as a leader figure on and off the field and someone who always does the right thing and makes the right choices.”
Speaking of choices, Akers isn’t close to make one of those about college yet. Ohio State will get an official visit and the Buckeyes have been at or near the top of his list for much of the last year, but Tennessee, Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss, Florida State, and others are still working hard to keep up.
What’s the 2017 running back situation for each of those schools? Here’s who each has committed.
- Ohio State: 4-star back J.K. Dobbins
- Georgia: 4-star Toneil Carter
- Tennessee: 4-star Ty Chandler
- LSU: 3-star Clyde Edwards-Helaire
- Ole Miss: No running backs committed
- FSU: 4-star Khalan Laborn, 4-star Zaquandre White
Georgia may very well add a commitment from 4-star D’Andre Swift, who will make his college decision at the end of August, but none of the schools on that list are going to stop recruiting Akers no matter who they have a verbal pledge from.
Pryor, Wade lead defensive All-Americans
On Tuesday, USATodayHSS.com released their preseason All-American picks on the offensive side of the ball and on Wednesday, as promised, they did the same for the defense. As it was with the offense, the Buckeyes – both commitments and targets – have a few familiar names on the list.
Two more Ohio State verbals – giving them five total, more than any other school – made the cut.
- CB • Shaun Wade • Trinity Christian Academy • Jacksonville, Florida • National Ranking (Pos.): 3
- S • Isaiah Pryor • IMG Academy • Lawrenceville, Georgia • National Ranking (Pos.): 3
The Buckeyes are still chasing a handful of defensive players that made the list as well, including a trio of Texas stars.
- LB • Baron Browning • Kennedale • Kennedale, Texas • National Ranking (Pos.): 2
- LB • Anthony Hines III • East • Plano, Texas • National Ranking (Pos.): 1
- LB • Dylan Moses • IMG Academy • Baton Rouge, La. • National Ranking (Pos.): 1
- CB • Darnay Holmes • Calabasas • Calabasas, Calif. • National Ranking (Pos.): 2
- CB • Jeffrey Okudah • South • Grand Prairie, Texas • National Ranking (Pos.): 1
Ohio State is expected to receive an official visit from each of the players on the list, none of whom are committed to any other school.
McFarland out for the season?
A few weeks back, we talked about a dark-horse running back candidate to join the Buckeyes in the event that they missed on Cam Akers or DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, MD) 4-star Anthony McFarland. A teammate of Ohio State 5-star defensive end commitment Chase Young, McFarland has been one of the country’s top running backs for a while but he’s not been a major priority for the Buckeyes yet, at least not compared to how he’s valued by Maryland and others.
Unfortunately for McFarland, it appears he may have lost his senior season to a leg injury.
Never the " why this have to happen to me" type dude things happen for a reason …
— MaccⓂ️ (@AnttMacc_) August 17, 2016
Initial reports on the injury are that McFarland broke his ankle, and if his season is over, it certainly could impact his recruitment, though Maryland wouldn’t be one of the schools to back off. In fact, it may push him toward a decision sooner than later, understanding that he’s going to have to focus on rehab and recovery and not recruiting.
There’s not much concern on the Buckeyes end re: Chase Young at the moment, but having McFarland committed to the Terps would give Maryland one more skilled player as they take their shot to flip him from Ohio State.