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If you read Friday…
You will remember that we wrote in this space about how sometimes committed players — for a variety of reasons — visit other schools.
One of the things that happens during a recruitment is sometimes a recruit who is all-in for your favorite school (School A) may visit another school (School B). Perhaps School B really wants this recruit and speaks to him about how he could help change the culture at School B. They tell him that he could be a difference maker if he just stays home and gives School B a shot.
Sometimes the player visits School B. Most of the time, it’s worth worrying about.
However, there are times that happens when there’s zero reason to worry. Hypothetically, it could be a time when School B is hosting School A, you know? Perhaps – hypothetically – that player will make a visit to School B just to see School A, right? Then you wouldn’t worry.
What the heck were we talking about? Three different Buckeyes commitments made visits elsewhere this weekend, so let’s examine those players and what — if anything — those visits mean to their recruitment.
Ohio State commitment checks out Maryland
The first visit we’ll talk about is that of Chase Young, who — along with a handful of his DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.) teammates — visited Maryland on Saturday to watch the Terps take on the Buckeyes. Young, the No. 2 weak-side defensive end in the 2017 class, informed Ohio State he’d be making the trip, and there are no concerns from the Buckeyes that he’s wavering at all.
I spoke with Young on Friday and he let me know he’d be at the game to spend the afternoon with his teammates and to watch the Buckeyes. He was on the sideline with his team during Ohio State’s 62-3 destruction of Maryland, decked out in DeMatha gear, and stayed in the background most of the time.
Nothing to see here. Young visited Ohio State unofficially a week ago, and he will visit the Buckeyes again in two weeks. He’ll make his official visit to Columbus the weekend of the Michigan game.
Shaun Wade treks to Tech
A week after making his official visit to Ohio State, Wade — a 5-star cornerback from Jacksonville’s Trinity Christian Academy — visited Virginia Tech. Wade is very close friends with Virginia Tech WR Isaiah Ford, who also played at Trinity Christian.
While you never want to discount any official visit, there’s not much reason to panic here if you’re rooting for the Buckeyes to land Wade. This recruitment will come down to Ohio State and Alabama, period.
I spoke to a pair of Buckeyes sources this weekend and both told me they felt “good” about things with Wade. Of course, that means nothing because this is recruiting 2016 and anything can happen.
Wade will visit ‘Bama the weekend of Nov. 26 and make his college decision sometime shortly after that. Don’t be surprised if he makes another trip to Florida before that final choice is made, as well.
So in this case, nothing new. That leads us to the biggest bit of news from the weekend …
Antjuan Simmons visits Michigan State
This visit was significantly different than the visits made by Young and Wade. Why?
Because Simmons — a 4-star linebacker from Ann Arbor (Mich.) — didn’t tell Ohio State he was going to visit Michigan State … which he did this weekend, and in an official capacity. The visit was first reported by Scout.com’s Bill Greene.
On Saturday, I spoke with two different sources close to Ohio State about Simmons. The general reaction to this was that it was not a good decision by Simmons. The Buckeyes have no rules against visiting elsewhere, so that’s not the issue. The attempt to do it without informing them, however, was not kindly received.
If you read our “how does the class finish” story recently, you may recall that I was feeling some uneasiness about things with Simmons.
Every once in a while, there’s just a feeling about a recruit and the idea that something out there could cause chaos in his recruitment and, for me, that play this year is Antjuan Simmons. To be clear: I feel strongly that Simmons wants to be a Buckeye, he’s been committed for almost nine months and has said the right things, done the right things, etc. However, whether he decides to look elsewhere if the Buckeyes add a player like Baron Browning or something else just happens I can’t shake the feeling that there’s something out there. Maybe it’s because Simmons isn’t making a visit to Columbus this weekend when it seems every other commit that’s in the region is? Maybe I’m just losing my mind.
That has now gone from “uneasy” to “worried.”
As in, worried he will not be in the recruiting class come February. If he’s not, it’s not because Ohio State was pushing him in another direction. It’s because he chose to go a different direction. Why would that happen? That’s anyone’s guess right now.